Last night's Daily Show took on the billions of dollars being cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, which Jon Stewart reports are "leaving 47 Americans who rely on [the program] in jeopardy." As correspondent Jessica Williams put it, the result is a sort of real-life Hunger Games showdown—and not a particularly glamorous one.
First, Williams turned to one of many right-leaning commentators who thinks the cuts are good for America's poor: Forbes columnist John Tamny.
"If I were in control, I would abolish SNAP altogether," Tamny declared, doubting that poverty in the U.S. is onerous enough to warrant the program. "I think that if people were literally starving, you'd see a massive outpouring of charity to make up for that fact." Williams wondered aloud about any hypothetical programs in place that are stopping people from starving. "I certainly haven't heard of any such program," Tamny deadpanned, seemingly not realizing he was advocating for the discontinuation of the very program a mere two minutes prior.
"If people are starving, private charities will fill the breach that the federal government is no longer filling," Tamny explained. Williams, meanwhile, deftly pointed out that food stamps' $80 billion budget probably won't be filled by the $5 billion that private charities presently give. And noting a Tennessee proposal to tie family welfare payments to those families' children's school grades, Williams wondered if America was turning into a dystopian, Hunger Games-style bid for survival.
So she gathered children from Manhattan's PS 32 school and set about preparing them for battle, training them to shoot arrows and scuffle over a single juice box. If only the fake movie poster that closes the segment—"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," coming soon to to America—weren't so true.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.