Bill Kristol calls shutdown-related loss of food benefits “Not the end of the world”

The right-wing pundit shrugs off the consequences of the ongoing government shutdown

Topics: Bill Kristol, MSNBC, Morning Joe, Sam Stein, The Huffington Post, Government shutdown,

Bill Kristol calls shutdown-related loss of food benefits "Not the end of the world"Bill Kristol (Credit: CBS News)

Weekly Standard editor and frequent Fox News contributor Bill Kristol is tired of what he calls the government shutdown “hysteria.”

“I think there’s a little too much hysteria. We’re going to have a negotiation,” Kristol said on Wednesday morning’s edition of “Morning Joe,” according to MSNBC.

Kristol was immediately challenged by the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, who argued that the shutdown was causing real harm by denying Americans nutritional assistance. “Eighty-five thousand people are losing nutritional assistance in Arkansas; that’s not inside the Beltway, that’s Arkansas,” Stein responded.

“For these people who are affected by these cuts, it is sort of comparable to the end of the world,” Stein went on. “I understand it’s great to wait it out and to negotiate from a better platform with more power and the debt ceiling and all that. But those two weeks while you wait it out are consequential for a whole number of people, not just in the agencies that the Republicans want funded. I think we tend to lose that kind of perspective in these kinds of conversations.”

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Kristol granted that “there are genuine human emergencies” related to the shutdown, but insisted “a one or two week shutdown is not going to be the end of the world … even if you’re on nutritional assistance from the federal government.” He went on to claim that “localities” and “churches” can “help out” those especially in need. “I believe no one is going to starve in Arkansas because of the shutdown,” he concluded.

Elias Isquith
Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.

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