The Agriculture Department recently released a study indicating that the number of families in the U.S. who had to forego buying food in order to meet other basic expenses has increased dramatically in the past two years. "Nearly 3.8 million families were hungry last year to the point that someone in the household skipped meals because the family could not afford them. That is 8.6 percent more families than in 2001, when 3.5 million were hungry, and a 13 percent increase from 2000."
In light of the political philosophy that guides current policy, there is nothing surprising about these figures. In fact, we should expect this trend to continue. That's why it's crucial that people who are surprised or disturbed by it make an effort to inform themselves as quickly as possible.
Grover Norquist is the president of an organization innocuously called Americans for Tax Reform. It's his vision of America that guides the Bush administration's economic policy. Norquist wants to reduce the size of the federal government by 50 percent over a 25-year period. In a recent radio interview, he commented that "a government that protects property rights and leaves people alone and says foreigners can't come mess with us and criminals shouldn't and can't come mess with us. Those are legitimate functions of a government. Beyond that, the government becomes abusive, it becomes tyrannical."