Hardhearted and tightfisted

Hardhearted and tightfisted

To the Editor:

I feel compelled to respond to R.E.L. Knight’s letter [Reduce their ‘unwelcome presence,’ April 2], which hopefully he meant to be sarcastic. It’s very disturbing that conservative political ideology has become so warped that Paul Ryan would try to make the case that poor children are better off going hungry. Mr. Ryan’s Conservative Political Action Committee story wasn’t even true.

Here we have the new conservative talking point: it pushes shameful policy, it demonizes Americans who find themselves in need of help, and it’s based on a lie. It was thoroughly debunked in The Washington Post.

He’s supporting proposed budget cuts of $122 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including $57 billion specifically allocated for child nutrition. The 13 million children who go to bed hungry in this country don’t get to decide if their parents have jobs, and many depend on school nutrition programs for their only decent meal of the day.

Mr. Ryan wants the Christian right to support him; perhaps he should refer to the Bible: “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.” (Deuteronomy 15:7)

Mark Grandfield

New York City and Harthaven


  1. The story was about pride and not accepting handouts. The burden falls on the average working folk who are burdened more and more by government handouts. The Bible refers to voluntary assistance from one person to another, not mandatory confiscation of income by the government to someone else to the detriment of your own family. If you steal my paycheck by force or threat to give it to someone else, I wasn’t being tightfisted with my brethren, I was being robbed.

    Also, the new restrictions on what the schools feed to our kids is largely disliked and inedible. Got any teenagers attending the Regional High School here? I guess not. If you did, you’d know most of the lunch goes into the trash bin. I know, I made my kids lunch on a regular basis because they wouldn’t eat the lunches sold there.

    By the way, Mr Grandfield, when did you last darken the doorway of a church for worship services?

  2. So, the Christian right thinks that hungry children are just fine and dandy and it is a badge of honor for them to remain so, rather than accept charity. That’s some religion.