- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 7, 2019

Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in her normal screeching manner, just raised national hackles by saying people will starve — starve! — because the Agriculture Department, under President Donald Trump’s watch, is reeling in some of its Supplemental Nutrition Program, or food stamp, giveaways.

Stupid is as stupid does, as Forrest Gump’s mom might say. Does anybody actually starve in America? Starving’s a socialist-country thing. 

“Famine is a disproportionately prevalent outcome of socialist systems,” as the American Enterprise Institute reported in a 2016 study.

Starving’s a despotic leader thing.

Starving connotes death.

Americans may go hungry now and then — particularly those to-be-pitied American children who’ve had the bad luck to be raised in homes representing the leftist dream. You know, the homes without fathers. The homes led by teenage girls with babies from different daddies. The homes where Planned Parenthood representatives and drug dealers both — the epitomes of leftist visions for free and easy living, absent pesky moral restraints — get much of their business.

Those homes may have a bit of a void when it comes to refrigerator stocks.

But starving? Actual starvation?

That’s a hysterical claim of the left.

“My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “I was a student. If this happened again, we might’ve just starved. Now, many people will. It’s shameful how the GOP works overtime to create freebies for the rich while dissolving lifelines of those who need it most.”


What’s “shameful” are the lies of the left.

The latest goings-on with America’s SNAP, or food stamp, program is that this administration reined in some of its more egregiously abused aspects by formalizing work requirements for adults, ages 18 to 49, who do not have minor-age dependents to feed. In other words: If you’re an adult, able to work, and absent any responsibility for children, then you have to work to eat. 

The food-stamp gravy train is leaving the station.

Still, that new rule doesn’t apply to parents with minor-age children in their homes — something Ocasio-Cortez failed to mention. The new rule also carves out allowances for adults without children who work at least 20 hours a week to continue receiving food stamps under certain conditions.

All in all, America is a pretty generous nation.

Nobody starves in America. Not as the left would like believed.

And saying that people do, simply to score socialist points, isn’t just ridiculous. It’s an outright lie.

Hunger is a different story.

United Way reports one in eight families in America are hungry. Ample Harvest reports one in six individuals in America go hungry. Feeding America reports more than 37 million people in this country struggle with hunger, including 11 million children. Hunger Free America reports one in ten, or 15 million, working adults in America struggle with hunger.

Still, “hunger” has kind of a wishy-washy definition.

In these studies, hunger can mean anything from stomach-growling broke — or at college, forced to eat Ramen noodles for midnight snacks. It can mean that some people simply don’t have all the food they want, all the kinds they want, all the times they want.

From the United Way: “Some 48% of college students in America are food insecure. … Food-insecure people are more prone to obesity. Not having a grocery store close by (and limited transportation) forces people to shop at places that sell mostly packaged and prepared foods — higher in calories, but lower in nutrition.”

Hunger, true hunger — not to mention starvation, where death looms and comes — is no joke. It shouldn’t be taken lightly.

But conflating hunger with starvation and trying to make it seem as if Americans are dropping in the streets because of lack of food is dishonest.

Starvation is not an issue in America, where part and parcel of the public school landscape now includes free breakfasts and free lunches for all deemed needy children — where local governments and local private businesses frequently band together to provide food for whomever asks. Where churches and charities exist in abundance, and dole, to whomever needs.

Socialism may starve. But America feeds.

“The Myth of Starving Americans,” one Wall Street Journal headline read in 2012.

Good reading material for the socialists of the country, yes?

But for the sake of argument, let’s suppose: if it were true — if, as Ocasio-Cortez claimed, it were true that cutting back on SNAP benefits did truly lead to starving children and families in America?

Then those who see this happening ought to be the first to reach into their pockets and put a stop to it.

Ocasio-Cortez: feed those children. Dig into the $174,000 the taxpayers of America provide as your congressional salary — and for God’s sake, feed those starving families.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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