Fox News' Stuart Varney: “The government is buying votes” with food stamps

The right-wing TV host also says the U.S. will never get its debt under control unless it denies food to the poor

By Elias Isquith
March 12, 2014 7:20PM (UTC)
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While a majority of Americans opposed Congress' recent decision to cut food stamps assistance, Republicans have been found to be enthusiastically supportive of the idea. So it shouldn't come as a surprise to find that the folks over on Fox News have worked themselves into a state of outrage over the decision by some governors — including Pennsylvania's Republican Gov. Tom Corbett — to forestall the cuts for citizens in their states by providing them with heating assistance and thus sparing them from being subject to the new law's raised eligibility requirements.

Saying "some states [are] now trying to game the system" — a move he described as a "scam" — Fox's Brian Kilmeade asked his fellow Fox News employee, Stuart Varney, to explain how some governors are trying to keep poor people from starving, which is apparently a terrible and no good thing for these politicians to do.

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"This completely negates — almost entirely negates — the cuts that Congress imposed," Varney said. "It shows you, once you've got a program, you can never get rid of it and it's very difficult to cut."

"And what's really going on here," Varney continued, "is that the government is buying votes. They're keeping churning out the food stamps in return for votes."

Kilmeade then complained about how Republicans seeking to deny food to the poor have a tough time doing so without suffering political consequences, even though the GOP is right to want to cut food stamps because they're "a never-ending cycle."

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"You are demagogued to death!" Varney exclaimed in agreement. "You are told that you're taking food out of the mouths of children, you're making people starve, you are bad because you're cutting."

"You can't win!" Varney lamented.

"How will we ever get a handle on our debt if you can't cut $8 billion out of food stamps over a 10-year period?" Varney asked next, incorrectly implying that the U.S. debt is a product primarily or significantly of its poverty-relief programs rather than tax cuts, two wars and a financial crisis.

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You can watch Varney and Kilmeade complain about how "the government" is "buying votes" by feeding people below, via Media Matters:


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Brian Kilmeade Class War Farm Bill Food Stamps Fox News Stuart Varney Tom Corbett Video