August 7, 2009 10:38AM

Senator Harkin Laments Lack of Poverty

An AP story today contains a quote that caught my eye, an indication that apparently jet‐​gate hasn’t jaded me as much as I thought it had. In the context of rising enrollment in the federal food stamp program (now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) and private charity efforts to feed poorer Americans, Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Tom Harkin (D, IA) says this:

Ensuring that our kids have enough to eat during summer months is critically important, especially during these tough economic times… Unfortunately, despite repeated efforts, the number of children participating in federally reimbursed summer nutrition programs in 2008 was the same as it was 15 years ago. (emphasis added)

At first I thought maybe he was saying how unfortunate it was that there had not been progress in reducing the number of kids receiving nutrition assistance, which would be fair enough. But the context of the quote suggests that Senator Harkin would prefer that more kids receive federal food assistance.

Sometimes I get the impression that politicians want increased power over our lives.