Mark Bittman Joins Fast to Protest GOP's Budget Cuts to Needy

It makes sense that the government seems to be careening towards a shutdown over budget cuts -- sometimes it seems the GOP's proposed slashes are too vast [and ill-appointed] to target them bit-by-bit. But if anyone's up to the job, it's a man known to the world as The Minimalist -- Mark Bittman, the New York Times' food writer who recently, um, minimized his job to focus more on the politics of eating.

In a column called 'Why We're Fasting,' Bittman explains that he and over 4000 others are on hunger strike to boycott the GOP's devastating budget cuts to programs that assist the poor and hungry. Particularly, the protesters are targeting cuts to food stamps, WIC and aid to the international poor and farmers. 'These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts — they’d barely make a dent,' Bittman writes, 'will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now. And: The bill would increase defense spending.'

The Minimalist has teamed with World Food Prize laureate David Beckmann, who presides over Bread for the World. He details the specifics of the fast, which he's doing until Friday -- senses are heightened, food smells pervade -- but he is at his most salient here:

This is a moral issue; the budget is a moral document. We can take care of the deficit and rebuild our infrastructure and strengthen our safety net by reducing military spending and eliminating corporate subsidies and tax loopholes for the rich. Or we can sink further into debt and amoral individualism by demonizing and starving the poor. Which side are you on?



Truth. Read the rest here, no paywall.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at March 30, 2011, 5:56am

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