Colbert Excoriates House GOP For Cutting Food Stamps From Farm Bill
On Wednesday night's Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert called out the House GOP for "compromising" on the Farm Bill last week. He must have had a great time on vacation with the family last week, because he was on fire last night!
"And last week, just last week, the House of Representatives proved that they are not do-nothings, by done-didding something," Colbert began. "They passed the farm bill. Now, that might not sound like much — traditionally, the farm bill is a routine piece of legislation which provides government subsidies for farmers, while also setting aside money for food stamps. It's a win-win. Help for the folks who grow the corn, and help for folks who live on nothing but corn syrup."
"Now, the House had not passed a farm bill in two years because 60 House Republicans demanded deep cuts in food stamps. But last week, House Republicans agreed to an historic compromise on food stamps by eliminating the food stamps. Jim?"
HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS (7/11/2013): The U.S. House narrowly passed a scaled down farm bill today after dropping food stamps from the measure. Texas Republican Pete Sessions and others said today food stamps can wait, but farm programs cannot.
"Yes, farm programs cannot wait. We need to grow the food that people can no longer afford to buy. You see, Republicans showed that they are willing to compromise, by eliminating the part of the bill they refuse to compromise on. It's just like a cardiologist who's having problems with the patient's heart. Instead of getting bogged down in complicated procedures, he simply removes the heart. Problem solved. The best part, that patient no longer needs food stamps."
"And without this government handout, he is motivated to work. It keeps him hungry for success, and of course food. Now, the GOP breakthrough did not satisfy mainstream media stomach grumblers, like CBS' senior root vegetable Bob Schieffer."
BOB SCHIEFFER (7/14/2013): You pass a farm bill in the House, it gives billions of dollars, much of it to large corporations that own farms. It's almost like welfare for the wealthy. But you don't include a dollar for hungry people for food stamps. What kind of a message is that?
"I'll take that one, Bob. It is a principled conservative message based on the old adage: Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Take away his food stamps, and he'll found FishCo., a multinational seafood conglomerate that gets a massive subsidy in the next farm bill," said Colbert to laughter and applause from the studio audience.
"Besides, folks, let's be clear," the Comedy Central show host explained. "Republicans are not ogres. Although, if we can find a cheap way to grind bones into bread, they're willing to listen. They just understand that providing subsistence nutrition traps people in a state of poverty, and that's not right. Is it, Republican Congressman Mike Kelly?"
REP. MIKE KELLY, R-PA (7/14/2013): That's not right. That's not American. That's not the way we worked in the past. And that's not what our future should hope for. It should be one of blue skies and strong winds at our back, and a nation that has everything that God could possibly provide for us here. We have tillable soil and potable water. As far as providing food for people, my goodness, we shouldn't be vulnerable in this country any place.
"Yes, we don't need food stamps! America's blessed with blue skies and strong winds and tillable soil and potable water," exclaimed Colbert. "Not to mention elbow soil and drumstick wrappers with some chocolate nuts stuck on them. Then there's that old man in the park who just gives away bread crumbs! My goodness, how hard could it be to elbow a pigeon out of the way and peck your way to a full stomach?"
"Plus, food stamps just turns being poor into some sort of poörgåsbord. Who wouldn't want to stay home and not work when you can rake in an average of $134 a month for food? That's almost one $5 footlong a day. 3 inches for breakfast, 4 inches for lunch, 5 inches for dinner, and for dessert, the plastic bag."
"And don't worry, folks. Do not worry. House Republicans are absolutely gonna pass funding for food stamps at some point. And when they don't, if people are still hungry, we'll just combine the food stamp program with the immigration program, and let poor people eat Mexicans. The best part is, they are a healthy snack, because they pick their own vegetables."