Allen Quist ignores facts, alleges food stamp program discriminates against married couples

Instead of looking at the numbers, Quist alleged that the food stamp program is discriminatory.
Instead of looking at the numbers, Quist alleged that the food stamp program is discriminatory.

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With his gaffe-fest primary against Mike Parry in the rear-view mirror, you might've expected Republican U.S. House candidate Allen Quist to move from the ridiculous right to the reasoned center.

Think again. During a press conference yesterday, Quist dropped a doozy of misinformation about the food stamp program.

Here's some background: Congress is currently considering a farm bill. Eighty percent of the bill's spending would go toward food stamps, with 11 percent allocated for farm subsidies and 9 percent for conservation programs.

More Americans than ever rely on food stamps. Earlier this week, a USDA report revealed that a record 46.7 Americans received $6.2 billion worth of benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in June. Nonetheless, according to The Atlantic, Republicans in the Senate want to trim $4 billion from the food stamp budget, while the House wants cuts that go four times deeper.

Quist has concerns about how much the government is spending on food stamps, too. He said yesterday he couldn't support the farm bill as its currently written, because... food stamps discriminate against married couples? Yup, he said that.

From the Mankato Free Press:

[Quist] said the program discriminates against married people by making it easier to get food stamps if you are single. "That is a reason why two-thirds of food stamps go to unmarried people."

Quist said he favors a plan by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan that would make food stamps a block grant program to the states that would allow states to add more money to it if they wish.

Actually, Allen, the reason two-thirds of food stamps go to single people is because only 51 percent of adults are married, and 47 percent of food stamp recipients are children under 18. There's no government conspiracy against heterosexual couples at work here.

As The Atlantic notes, "What the [food stamp] numbers imply is that those who get benefits are unquestionably poor [and] many of them aren't old enough to work or care for themselves." Quist, citing concerns about some sort of anti-family conspiracy, wants to make it tougher for such folks to eat.

For better or worse, looks like we'll have crazy Quist to kick around for at least another couple months. It should be fun, if you can take everything he says with a grain of salt and ignore the fact that he's serious.

-- Hat-tip: Bluestem Prairie

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