Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

Women and Children First! (When it comes to short-sighted budget cuts)

Monday, May 30, 2011


The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, led by Share Our Strength board member Bob Greenstein, has posted on their website an analysis of the impact of proposed cuts in the Women, Infant and Children supplemental nutrition program @

The 2010 agriculture appropriations bill unveiled last week includes proposed cuts in WIC funding that would turn away between 325,000 and 475,000 eligible low income women and young children. Participation levels are likely to decrease as food prices increase.

It doesn’t require much imagination to realize that these are among the most vulnerable and voiceless of our fellow Americans. They belong to no organizations and have no lobbyists. It’s hardly a fair fight. And perhaps worst of all, there has long been a bipartisan consensus that the WIC program works and improves health and nutrition outcomes for women and children. So the legislation is not about cutting waste, fraud or abuse. Rather it’s about ideology prevailing over decency, and the expediency of short-term interests prevailing over the long-term needs of the next generation.