Video: Shutdown ‘literally taking food out of babies’ mouths,’ say King County leaders

That’s our video of King County Executive Dow Constantine and Councilmember Joe McDermott (who chairs the county Board of Health) in White Center at noontime today, speaking out against the federal-government shutdown as it threatens a program that serves 38,000 pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. Layoff-warning notices went out today to 82 King County employees who work on the Women/Infants/Children nutrition program, since federal funding expires October 31st if the situation doesn’t change. “It’s time for Congress to stop holding America’s future hostage,” declared Constantine. Also speaking to reporters at the media briefing was Crystal Ruegger, a WIC client and spouse of a furloughed federal employee.

32 Replies to "Video: Shutdown 'literally taking food out of babies' mouths,' say King County leaders"

  • Ray October 9, 2013 (2:18 pm)

    I am sure our leaders can find numerous frivolous spending items that can be cut. Such as money for Arts/sculptures. There are many non-essentials that can be cut. They just refuse to do so.

  • JoB October 9, 2013 (2:44 pm)

    you don’t get it Ray..
    WIC is a federal program that is administered locally.
    there isn’t some magic hat that allows the county to employ workers for a federal program
    can the county make emergency donations to our local food banks? yes. they can
    will it be enough?
    good question.
    this is not politics as usual
    and as such it doesn’t have the usual politics as usual solutions..

  • JoB October 9, 2013 (2:45 pm)

    real children in our community are going to go hungry because of this.

  • Seattlite October 9, 2013 (3:26 pm)

    JoB — Ray does get it. These past weeks have put a spotlight on all of the government’s misuse of taxpayer dollars and egregious fraud. SS Disability fraud is a slap in the taxpayers’ face. This particular fraud proves how inept government is at running programs. Leadership is an essential which the USA doesn’t have at this time.

  • B October 9, 2013 (3:52 pm)

    How is this a “fraud”? The federal government is shutdown. Therefor, federal programs (barring essential operations like air traffic control and the military) are shut down.

    It’s not like KC can do anything about it, since it’s a federal program.

    If you want to complain about leadership, talk to the speaker of the house.

  • metrognome October 9, 2013 (4:09 pm)

    Seattlite — I’m guessing you’re just recycling the garbage report that 60 Minutes just did on SSDI (and the usually accurate NPR did before that.) Here’s some facts that you might want to read; its up to you whether you believe them or not:
    What spotlight on what programs? Burying soldiers who died in the line of duty? Closing national parks, which included cancelling a KKK rally (oh shucks and darn). Can you be more specific about this ‘egregious fraud’?

  • West Seattle Hipster October 9, 2013 (4:17 pm)

    The only silver lining that will come from this fiasco will be in the next few elections, when incumbent republicans will be voted out.


    Shameful behavior.

  • JoB October 9, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    You know i have been hearing about all of this taxpayer fraud.. how disabled people are cheating the US out of disability payments…
    so i looked for the evidence..
    and it turns out that the preponderance of the “evidence” is of the he said she said assumption kind.
    When those screaming about fraud count the frauds they count people like me
    with illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome ..which i wish was the joke they say it is … or fibromyalgia… or severe anxiety disorder.. or PTSD.. or our disabled vets…
    they count people like me who waited until there was no other option before filing for their disability and as a result received minimal benefits in spite of a solid work history
    they count people like me who were granted disability on the first review because as silly as it seems i can’t do simple math or count money without assistance.
    they count people like me who look perfectly normal to you but whose swiss cheese brains are so disabling that on good days the right questions end up labeling us as severely functionally impaired
    and have auditors apologizing for having to put us through their questionnaires..
    Do you know what most of those “frauds” make a month on disability? about $800…
    not enough to rent an apartment
    or for many to pay for their medical insurance, co-pays and transportation to and from multiple doctor’s appointments..
    because if you are disabled you are sick and that means you are taking medications and seeing doctors far more often than you might wish.
    those of us who are disabled wish we could go to work .. even if we are lucky enough to be approved for disability payments..
    did you know the average applicant waits nearly 3 years for approval?
    you want to talk about fraud?
    Representing people who are too ill to be able to hold down a job as whiners because it makes you feel better about denying them even basic funds to live on is fraudulent..
    And it’s none of your business.. but if i didn’t have the kind of vocabulary that can still give textbook definitions of words along with this brain that can’t find the right word easily.. my IQ test would have landed soundly in the range of what they used to call retarded.
    trust me. . for an intelligent person that’s a real wake up call.
    what you think you see isn’t always what is there

  • clark5080 October 9, 2013 (5:02 pm)

    I think they are all in a big pissing match and it is your and my kids who are going to be in real trouble unless we get this country straightened out financially. Boehner, Reid and Pelosi especially need to get booted out.

  • JoB October 9, 2013 (5:30 pm)

    i don’t think we will have to wait as long as that for the real trouble to start.. i believe it has already set in and that most of us are going to find that our retirements are not going to look much like the golden years we worked so hard to create for ourselves..
    we can agree that the political pissing matches have to stop…
    and that both parties need to stop using them as an excuse not to do what is right for the citizens of this nation.
    we have let corporations enrich their bottom line by driving our country into unsustainable debt…
    perhaps it’s time to insist that they help dig us out.

  • Diane October 9, 2013 (6:23 pm)

    in addition to this insanity; the tv news just announced that food stamps could be out of money by Oct 31; isn’t that just lovely? is SS next? so by Nov we’ll have millions more starving & homeless? unless this stops very soon, I predict some of those dudes-in-love-their-guns will go ballistic on Congress

  • Danno October 9, 2013 (6:48 pm)


    You have it exactly backwards. This fiasco is at Obama’s feet, as well as Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Baghdad Jim et al. You likely do not even have an incumbent Republican to not vote for. This mess is all a result of unsustainable “feel good” liberal policies, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. Take a look at Obama’s nose-diving approval rating, 37% today.
    How is Patty Murray, our self proclaimed leader for Veterans, going to justify the non-payment of death benefits or the locking out of WWII vets from their memorial.
    What a total joke, but it is not funny.
    Dianne, really, obfuscate much?

  • B October 9, 2013 (7:14 pm)

    Diane – don’t worry, SS is not affected as it’s “mandatory spending”. Luckily.

    Danno – this is a GOP shutdown, they own it and it has nothing to do with the democrats. All the GOP has to do is pass a clean CR and clean debt ceiling rise and this would all go away.

    “Feel good” policies my a$$. The GOP knew they didn’t have a chance in hell at stopping Obamacare, yet they went with this shutdown anyway to make money from their base. Talk about “Feel good”.

  • WIC worker October 9, 2013 (7:42 pm)

    WIC provides food to babies. Pregnant women and young kids. This program SAVES millions of taxpayer dollars by preventing preterm birth, iron deficiency & supporting breast feeding (which has a whole Additional set of healthcare savings associated with it). So, essentially the GOP is costing us more money by shutting down this program… Aside from
    The hunger pains in kids & parents tummies. The other thing WIC does: negotiates a huge deal w infant formula companies so the infant formula the tax payers pay for costs less than $1 a can (usually $15). Totally cost ineffective for someone to purchase infant formula and donate to food bank…. Just let this program run and stop this bipartisan BS!

  • JoB October 9, 2013 (8:11 pm)

    “This mess is all a result of unsustainable “feel good” liberal policies, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. Take a look at Obama’s nose-diving approval rating, 37% today.”
    1st.. what does Obama’s approval rating have to do with anything?
    President Obama didn’t choose to deny funding for services that had already been approved..
    A handful of Republicans in the House followed a master plan laid down in February by a Conservative think tank and shut off funding for kids, vets, food stamps, etc…
    and you think Patty Murray is responsible?
    do some thinking here..
    2nd.. even if this was all about the deficit even though they said it was all about Obamacare .. exactly how is shutting down the government supposed to do anything about it?
    You do realize the deficit is shrinking rapidly don’t you? That happens when you cut expenses and increase revenues.
    the government shut down has put literally millions of people out of work when you count government employees, government contractors and those whose businesses depend upon proximity to government installations.
    Those lost wages translate directly into lost revenue for the US government which increases the deficit.
    imagine that! the republican cure has the opposite affect of what they say they are trying to achieve.
    bet you didn’t hear that on the news you listen to did you?

  • WSPS October 9, 2013 (8:21 pm)

    People Please, Don’t buy in to the Dems scare tactics.

  • Danno October 9, 2013 (8:37 pm)

    “Mandatory spending” your a$$. We are at about a 17% shutdown, and most of it is discretionary at the POTUS level. Everyday this goes on it is increasingly owned by Barry, especially as he uses his “discretion” to bring pain upon the most sensitive such as vets, NIH (kids with cancer), tourists at national parks and monuments, …
    You are blinded by the increasingly dimming light of POTUS. Let’s see what his approval rating does over the next week of this.
    Maybe he should consider having his wife cook his family dinners instead of two personal chefs. I understand his golf club remains funded as well…
    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” History repeats.
    @JoB- “what you think you see isn’t always what is there,” you said it.

  • pupsarebest October 9, 2013 (8:40 pm)

    Through the looking glass we go, as once again the GreedyOldPatriarchy, Tealiban, Faux News and their ignorant (willfully, in many cases) minions try to convince us that black is white, up is down, and wrong is right.

  • G October 9, 2013 (9:14 pm)

    Never thought I would say this, but self-reliant hippie communes of the past are starting to look better and better. Now, everyone is waiting for something from the gubmint to drop in their trough.

  • D.D.S. October 9, 2013 (9:19 pm)

    I cant believe they trotted out this Woman in the Video.

  • miws October 9, 2013 (10:02 pm)

    Maybe he should consider having his wife cook his family dinners instead of two personal chefs.


    Danno, so, what you are saying is a woman’s place is in the kitchen?


    I understand his golf club remains funded as well…


    Yeah, and so does Congress’ Gym.



  • Seattlite October 9, 2013 (11:00 pm)

    JoB — Adopt a positive attitude and many good things will come your way. I’ve lived with two invisible disabilities for the past 40 years. I retired after working full-time for 45 years and never took any taxpayers’ dollars to accommodate my disabilities — I feel really good about that accomplishment. Oh, and for the record, read about Eric Conn, lawyer, David Daugherty,judge, and discredited doctors whose disability fraud scheme netted them millions of taxpayer dollars.

  • Cait October 9, 2013 (11:54 pm)

    Which has more trolls – this thread or Norse folklore? Spoiler alert – it’s this thread.

    Don’t feed them. Don’t answer their questions. The bridge leads to MORE TROLLS.

  • Steve October 10, 2013 (12:55 am)

    All of you who decry the spending of taxpayers dollars on social service programs for the needy have not ONCE mentioned the multi trillion bail out of Wall Street, Giant Corporations and the few beneficiaries of the greatest recession in modern history, nor do I hear you calling your respective representatives to go and prosecute those responsible for millions of citizens who have recently had their lives destroyed. Your lack of conscience is disturbing.

  • JoB October 10, 2013 (5:56 am)

    i am glad you were able to manage your invisible disabilities well enough to continue working.
    I sincerely wish everyone could.
    Unfortunately, a good attitude isn’t enough to make that happen.
    “Oh, and for the record, read about Eric Conn, lawyer, David Daugherty,judge, and discredited doctors whose disability fraud scheme netted them millions of taxpayer dollars.”
    So you want to deprive people who actually can’t work from benefits because a few lawyers, doctors and judges figured out how to defraud the system?
    that makes as much sense as depriving babies of formula…

  • miws October 10, 2013 (6:08 am)

    Steve, lack of conscience, and/or laziness, IMO.


    It’s much easier to pick on the “little guy”. That’s what bullies do.



  • CE October 10, 2013 (6:39 am)

    “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • LivesInWS October 10, 2013 (7:18 am)

    Love that “positive attitude” magical thinking. Unfortunately it translates to “it’s all in your head,” which comes smack up against the reality of severe disabilities which cannot be wished away.

    “There but for fortune go you or I.”

  • Marty October 10, 2013 (9:29 am)

    Continuing to add to the deficit is not the answer. We went through a similar debt ceiling exercise a few months ago so the Obama administration should have expected it to return and done some reductions.

    Would you run your household finances like this? It really is that simple.

  • JoB October 10, 2013 (1:08 pm)

    hope you like drinking the same old brew because KOMO news just reported that the agency that grants licenses for new flavors is shut down along with everything else non-essential.
    i am guessing the new breweries this is bankrupting aren’t going to buy your rationalizations any more than the kids who don’t get formula will.
    tell me again how killing new businesses and making millions of people jobless is good for America

  • Seattlite October 10, 2013 (6:08 pm)

    JoB — That was not the point of my comment.
    LivesInWS — That was not the point of my comment.
    Marty — Good comment.

  • Nick October 11, 2013 (8:23 am)

    Quit reelection the same people. Also we need term limits

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