Former President Bill Clinton said the federal government is critical in developing the Mississippi delta region of the country. He spoke Friday to the annual meeting of the Delta Grassroots Caucus.
On Thursday Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton said he would abolish the Delta Regional Authority that Clinton had helped to create in 2000. Speaking via telephone Clinton made it clear he believes more government involvement, not less, is what the Delta needs.
“I think there is a role for government and it should be explicitly acknowledged. Here on the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty you hear people say it failed. It didn’t fail it just didn’t completely succeed. There’s no question that child poverty is much lower than it would be if not for the WIC programs, the school meals, the SNAP program. Hunger is lower and child poverty is lower but it’s still way too high,” said Clinton.
Clinton claimed SNAP kept 4 million children from some of the effects of poverty in 2011 alone and that increasing development is the responsible way to reduce federal aid for food.
“The food stamp budget is going to go down as the economy comes back up,” said Clinton.
Clinton helped to create the Delta Regional Authority. It has never been funded to the levels outlined in its creation. Clinton also advocated for increased investment in broadband internet services.