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?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.