FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Congressman Quotes Jesus in Bid to Gut Food Stamps

by RICHARD SCHIFFMAN

GOP Congressman Stephen Fincher is on a mission from God. He wants to drastically cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps, for 47 million of our poorest citizens. He supports a rider on the farm bill that would effectively eliminate 2 million people from the program, most of them children and older people, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan Washington research group.

The Tea Party caucus member from Tennessee’s 8th district justifies taking food out of the mouths of millions of hungry children and their parents by quoting the Book of Thessalonians: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” He also quoted, a verse from the 26th chapter of Matthew, which says the “poor will always be with us.”

“The role of citizens, of Christians, of humanity is to take care of each other,” the congressman concedes, but quickly adds “not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.”

While Fincher cites chapter and verse to prove that it is immoral for out of work folks to mooch off government largesse, he fails to mention that his own fingers have been observed in the public till. But not for the sake of a measly loaf of bread or carton of milk, mind you. No, the good congressman is one of Tennessee’s largest-ever recipients of farm subsidy payments– otherwise known as “Big Ag’s Food Stamp program.”

How much exactly has the Tennessee legislator received from hard working American taxpayers? Together with his father and brother, who farm over 2500 acres for cotton in five counties, roughly 8.9 million dollars in cotton subsidies over the last 10 years, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Rep. Fincher, who is the second largest recipient of farm subsidies in the United States Congress– and that is saying a lot– wants to increase federal crop insurance by a whopping 9 billion dollars over the next 10 years. The congressman has not said how much more he would personally reap if these additional federal subsidies are enacted.

The Commercial Appeal reported that in 2010 the Federal Election Commission conducted an investigation into a $250,000 loan to the Fincher campaign from the Gates Banking and Trust Company, where Fincher’s father is a board member. On July 21, 2011, the FEC ruled unanimously that Fincher had violated federal election law by listing the loan as a personal donation rather than from Gates Banking and Trust Company. To date, no penalty has been invoked for the illegal act.

In September 2011, Fincher was named one of the “Most Corrupt Members of Congress” by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, specifically citing the Gates Banking loan. I wonder what Jesus would say about that?

Richard Schiffman is the author of two biographies as well as a journalist whose work has appeared in  Salon, The Guardian, Reuters, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and the Huffington Post. He was also a free-lance journalist for several years at NPR and Monitor Radio.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail