Last week Newark Mayor Cory Booker tweeted a quote from the Greek Historian Plutarch, “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics." With that, Booker announced he would live on food stamps for a week. The challenge: spend no more than $35 on food and drinks for yourself or a family of four for a week without accepting anything from family or friends. Food stamp rolls have sky-rocketed under the current administration, with Democrats and Republicans often at odds over the direction and funding of the program.
While the challenge calls attention to those in need by showing the difficulty in eating on $35 a week--does that present an accurate representation of the point of the social program? Are food stamps intended to be a supplement and pick-me-up, or what the long-term poor live off of entirely for food? Also, does the challenge draw attention to the larger problems that lead to the need for food stamps?
On "Real News" Tuesday the panel discussed Booker's food stamp challenge and competing views over the point of the program: