There are other persuasive reasons to protect safety-net programs. Sometimes we know that a policy is morally wrong but may still assume that otherwise it makes sense. But current proposals to reduce the resources available to hungry and poor people do not make sense.
In our last Bread newsletter, we talked about the necessity of reducing the federal deficit and current proposals to cut programs that support hungry and poor people, such as international food aid or SNAP (formerly food stamps). However, the United States simply does not spend enough on these programs to make a difference in the deficit. For more on why cuts to non-military discretionary spending will not solve the nation's fiscal problems, see "The U.S. Budget: Myths and Realities" at www.bread.org/hunger/budget.
But wouldn't cuts help a little, even if they are just drops in the bucket? Ordinarily, people think of budget cuts as saving money—by definition. But just like an individual trying to save money by skipping preventive maintenance of her furnace or roof or car, cutting safety-net programs doesn't save money because it adds to costs in other areas of the budget.
When full-time, year-round workers do not earn enough to eat fresh vegetables and whole grains regularly, the country's productivity suffers. When millions of children don't have enough nutritious food to concentrate in school, the country's future becomes bleaker. Ample data show that hunger and poverty increase the healthcare costs of adults and children—both now and years down the line. And unlike spending on programs such as WIC, rising healthcare costs are a significant cause of the budget deficit.www.bread.org/what-we-do/resources/newsletter/june-2011/cost-hunger.html