Sunday, May 20, 2007

Our Betters

Four representatives prove they don't know how to live like everybody else.
Ryan and three other members of Congress have pledged to live for one week on $21 worth of food, the amount the average food stamp recipient receives in federal assistance. That's $3 a day or $1 a meal. They started yesterday.

According to the rules of the challenge, the four House members cannot eat anything beside their $21 worth of groceries. That means no food at the many receptions, dinners and fundraisers that fill a lawmaker's week.
The stunt is to demonstrate that $21 dollars in food stamps doesn't go as far as it needs to. But the terms of the stunt are self-limiting; Declining a free buffet because it's not in 'your' budget? Can you say "setup an experiment in order to fail"?
"No organic foods, no fresh vegetables, we were looking for the cheapest of everything," McGovern said. "We got spaghetti and hamburger meat that was high in fat -- the fattiest meat on the shelf. I have high cholesterol and always try to get the leanest, but it's expensive. It's almost impossible to make healthy choices on a food stamp diet."
Cry me a river. Food stamps are to supplement the diet, not be the entire enchilada. And for all of that I've lived healthy on a budget of $20 a week for food. I didn't like it but it's possible. Of course I cheated by eating 'free' bagels at work when available but I was aiming for 'practical' not 'prove a point'.

Ryan blogs about here.
The McGoverns blog about the experience here.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.
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