Chomsky Describes US Domestic Policy in Two Words: 'Pure Savagery'
Chomsky Describes US Domestic Policy in Two Words: 'Pure Savagery'
By Jacob Chamberlain / commondreams.org
Jan 13, 2014

Cuts to food stamps and jobless benefits predictable result of 'neoliberal assault' on American people

As Congress decides this week whether to re-institute emergency jobless benefits for millions of Americans and closes in on negotiations for a Farm Bill that could see billions of dollars cut out of food stamp programs, renowned activist and intellectual Noam Chomsky summed up the state of American politics in an interview Thursday in two words: "pure savagery."

"The refusal to provide very minimal living standards to people who are caught in this monstrosity — that's just pure savagery." –Noam Chomsky

"The refusal to provide very minimal living standards to people who are caught in this monstrosity — that's just pure savagery," Chomsky said during an interview with HuffPost Live. "There's no other word for it."

The Washington Post reports that current Farm Bill negotiations are calling for the elimination of roughly $9 billion in funding for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next decade, "according to several aides familiar with the negotiations who are not authorized to speak publicly about the details."

The changes would decrease assistance for at least 800,000 households, with cuts of up to $90 per month. “That’s the last week of groceries for the month,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) told the Washington Post.

The GOP-controlled House had originally called for $40 billion in cuts and the Democratic-led Senate had originally called for $4 billion.

The negotiation, expected to wrap up by next week, arrives two months after U.S. lawmakers allowed a separate stimulus boost to SNAP to expire, cutting a universal $5 billion in funding that gouged food assistance for 47 million food stamp recipients, 49 percent of whom are children.

Meanwhile, last month Congress let expire emergency long-term jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans, a "lifeline" for many who have been looking for jobs for an extended period of time and depended on those benefits to get by.

On Tuesday, the Senate just barely passed a vote to move ahead on a bill that would restore those jobless benefits. But even if it the actual bill passes in the Senate, it will then head to the Republican-led House of Representatives, where it is likely to face strong opposition.

"Inequality has been a very serious problem for a very long time," Chomsky said. "Inequality now is at a level not seen at least since the 1920s...maybe further back. That is very severe."

Any growth in the last recent years has gone to the top 2% of the population, Chomsky said, adding that a large part of the population is now living below the poverty line while at the very top of the spectrum, profits are booming for the wealthy.

However, today's congressional roadblocks to public service programs, that many say are essential for those in need in the United States, have "nothing to do with bad apples in Congress," Chomsky told HuffPost Live. "These are deep structural problems having to do with, in effect, the neoliberal assault on the population, not just of the United States but of the world, that's taken place in the past generation. There are areas that have escaped, but it's pretty broad."

Chomsky added:

It used to be said years ago that the United States is a one-party state -- the business party -- with two factions, Democrats and Republicans. That's no longer true. It's still a one-party state -- the business party -- but now it has only one faction. And it's not Democrats, it's moderate Republicans. The so-called New Democrats, who are the dominant force in the Democratic Party, are pretty much what used to be moderate Republicans a couple of decades ago. And the rest of the Republican Party has just drifted off the spectrum.

_______________________

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

4.0 ·
2
Trending Today
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means117,379 views today ·
MP Says Government is Intentionally Making People Destitute to Prevent Organised Opposition
2 min12,992 views today ·
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small10,313 views today ·
15 Powerful Quotes From the World's Most Humble President
Hyacinth Mascarenhas9,758 views today ·
Every Town Needs a Remakery
Jeremy Williams6,185 views today ·
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min6,166 views today ·
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min5,510 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min4,858 views today ·
Why You Can Change the World
5 min3,820 views today ·
Load More
New
Meet The Woman Rescuing Fruit and Feeding Her Community
2 min
Debating the British Empire's 'Legacy' Is Pointless - This Is Still an Imperial World
Ibtisam Ahmed
9 Times Video Games Were Great for Mental Health
Marijam Didzgalvyte and Jish Newham
What is Populism?
6 min
5 Things You Can Do To Help Immigrant and Muslim Neighbors
Lornet Turnbull
Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison Industrial Complex
2 min
Break the Chain - Fortnight of Action Against Fracking Supply Chain Begins
Andrew Butler
Republican Fight to Criminalize Protest Tactics
5 min
Trouble, Ep. 1 - Killing the Black Snake
30 min
Load More
What's Next
Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics (trailer)
3 min
Noam Chomsky on the Responsibility of Intellectuals
9 min
The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News
6 min
Like us on Facebook?
Chomsky Describes US Domestic Policy in Two Words: 'Pure Savagery'