Happy Holidays from TEA Party Republican State Representative Tom Burnett, of Bozeman.
To celebrate the spirit of the season, Burnett has penned a bizarre 53-page treatise on his beliefs that we should cut food for needy families. In “Hunger in America: The Myth,” which has been making the email rounds this week, Burnett writes that hunger doesn’t exist because he hasn’t seen it:
No advocates parade a line of emaciated children at any school or playground. They just can’t be found.
But that’s not the only reason Representative Burnett has come to the conclusion that no one is really going hungry. He also bases his case on…wait for it…pictures of fat people he found on the internet (see right), which he includes in his article as “evidence.”
Burnett has apparently decided to decided to ignore the studies showing the increased risk of obesity among the nation’s poor, who must rely on cheap starchy and higher fat foods to feed their families. A box of mac and cheese will last on the shelf a lot longer than a cucumber.
In addition to claiming that hunger doesn’t exist. He also sanely tells us that not being hungry “kills,”
Hunger is a normal part of a healthy person’s day. One should expect to be hungry six hours per day, the two hours preceding each meal. Satiety kills.
He proposes to create a massive federal food police bureaucracy to crack down on the poor to stop them from buying items that Burnett feels they don’t deserve. Those in need, says Burnett are characterized by “Indolence. Shirking responsibility. Indulgence. Enabled laziness.”
They don’t budget or plan. Lack of foresight is common in this population. They don’t restrain their impulses, one of the definitions of management problems. They don’t discipline themselves to stay in school, to turn in their homework, to get out of bed on time, to study when they’d rather watch movies.
There have been attempts by Republicans in Congress and the Montana Legislature to slash the budget for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but this just might be the oddest attempt to make the case.
Meanwhile, Congressional candidate and State Representative Franke Wilmer is working to shed light on the issue and those Americans suffering the most in these harsh economic times. Wilmer has been living off of $31.50 worth of food ($4.50 per day), the average weekly benefit the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program provides to help hungry people in need to buy food.
Don’t expect this kind of compassion from Tom Burnett, who has only stern advice to hungry Montanans. Here it is:
Nine kids. One income, a teacher’s income. Federal Poverty Level.
Work 17-hour days. Expect little entertainment.
Work a full-time job, seasonal jobs, and home businesses.
Get out of bed early. Stay out of bed and off the couch.
Glean potatoes, apples. Gather wild berries. Hunt.
When conditions allow, raise a garden. Raise rabbits, a calf, geese, chickens.
Can, dry, freeze and store food.
Cook from scratch. Use basic ingredients; flour, rice, beans, vegetables.
Cook in large batches. Goulash, Spanish rice, soups, stews, pan muffins, fried or baked potatoes, pancakes, waffles, bread, casseroles. Hot cereal is cheap. Boil wheat.
Plan ahead. Budget. Stretch a budget. Never buy junk food, prepared food.
Avoid fast food and restaurants.
Never waste a morsel. Keep and serve later. Meld into future dishes.
Refuse government aid, free school lunch, church charity.
Lunch: One peanut butter and honey sandwich, four carrot sticks, an apple.
Expect occasional hunger.
Fast two meals per month. Give money saved to “the poor” through the church.
Glean tomatoes and beans on the church welfare farm, “for the poor.”
Forego other spending. Wear undershirts until holes gape. Shop for clothes at the thrift store.
Never waste money on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or electronic entertainment.
The dignity of self-reliance is not cheap. It is priceless.