FROM Robert Rector
Despite Tough Times, Is There a War on Food Stamps? Federal money for food stamps has almost doubled since the start of the Great Recession, now covering 48 million people. The Census Bureau says that's kept four million people out of poverty. But Republicans in Congress say it's increased dependency on hand-outs. They want to cut $40 billion in food stamp money over the next 10 years. Federal action is not very likely, but Kansas, Ohio and other states will be doing it on their own. Is it tough love to encourage personal responsibility, or is it "draconian, heartless and cruel" in an era of high unemployment and an economic recovery that's leaving more and more people behind?
Hunger in America The Agriculture Department says that 49 million Americans did not get enough to eat last year. Scholars at Cornell and Washington Universities report that half America's children will be on food stamps before they grow up. President Obama has renewed his campaign promise to reduce the “trend of rising hunger.”
Americans Are Too Fat and Too Hungry President Obama has repeated his campaign pledge to reduce "the trend of rising hunger," which recent reports call worse than ever. They contend that 49 million people struggled to get enough food last year, and that 50% of American children will be on food stamps before they grow up. We hear what the Obama Administration is trying to do, and hear from a skeptic who says "food insecurity" is not as bad as it's made out to be. How can there be hunger and obesity at the same time? Can charities solve the problem? Is "food insecurity" about politics as well as economic necessity?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?