In his latest column for the New York Times, Paul Krugman castigates House Republicans for slashing funding for the Supplementation Nutritional Assistance Program (aka SNAP or food stamps) and defends the program as an example of "public policy at its best." Krugman argues that SNAP's growth is not a sign out-of-control government spending, as Republicans have said, but rather of the program responding to increased demand in the wake of an ongoing economic crisis:
SNAP, in short, is public policy at its best. It not only helps those in need; it helps them help themselves. And it has done yeoman work in the economic crisis, mitigating suffering and protecting jobs at a time when all too many policy makers seem determined to do the opposite. So it tells you something that conservatives have singled out this of all programs for special ire.
Even some conservative pundits worry that the war on food stamps, especially combined with the vote to increase farm subsidies, is bad for the G.O.P., because it makes Republicans look like meanspirited class warriors. Indeed it does. And that’s because they are.