The self-described “wacko bird,” who is leading Republican Sen. Kay Hagan 45-43 in one recent poll, said he would abolish the Department of Agriculture and its $76 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program because founding father James Madison said so.
“Agriculture will never be a federal function, it’s a local issue,” Brannon said, paraphrasing the fourth president in a quote highlighted by Mother Jones.
The Republican primary contender — who has been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Red State editor Erick Erickson and conservative pundit Ann Coulter – said the federal government doesn’t have the authority to spend tax money helping poor families obtain food.
“We’re taking our plunder, that’s taken from us as individuals, [giving] it to the government, and the government is now keeping itself in power by giving these goodies away,” Brannon said. “The answer is the Department of Agriculture should go away at the federal level. And now 80 percent of the farm bill was food stamps. That enslaves people.”
Brannon, who opposes public education as “Marxist,” instead suggested providing poor people with some means of improving their situation.
“What you want to do, it’s crazy but it’s true, teach people to fish instead of giving them fish,” Brannon said. “When you’re at the behest of somebody else, you are actually a slavery to them [sic]. You don’t need to have the government come in. That kind of charity does not make people freer.”
The “teach a man to fish” proverb is often attributed to the Bible, which contains a somewhat similar passage in Matthew 7, but most likely dates only to the late 1800s.
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