Food Stamp Cuts: A Bipartisan Scandalhttp://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/11/02-1
A farmers market in Roseville, California, where electronic Benefit Transfer cards are accepted. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Starting Friday, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see a $5 billion reduction in funding. This means families of four who rely on food stamps will receive $36 less each month, starting nowa serious blow to struggling families, but also the economy, since every federal dollar spent on food stamps generates $1.74 in economic activity.
This is just a prelude to deeper food stamp cuts likely to come, as Congress debates a five-year farm bill. So it is important to get the political dynamics of Fridays cut correct. There is a troubling trend among some left-leaning writers to blame the big bad GOP. See for example Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post: Oh SNAP, veterans get dissed by the GOP. But thats not the entire story.
SNAP benefits were boosted by the 2009 stimulus bill, and were to remain at that higher level until the annual inflation adjustments overtook it. But in 2010, Congress (controlled of course, at the time, by Democrats) passed a bill that took $2.2 billion from SNAP and applied the funds to one of Michelle Obamas pet projects: a healthy lunch initiative for low-income children. This is what created Fridays abrupt drop in benefits.
At the time, many House Democrats refused to punish food stamp recipients and would not agree to the funding offset, especially since SNAP had already been raided once before to help fund a round of emergency aid to states. This lead to clashes with the White House and phone calls from Michelle Obama, as a contemporary Politico story notes:
Despite heavy lobbying by the first lady, more than 100 House Democrats have balked at approving the Senates $4.5 billion version of the nutrition bill because it is funded in part with $2.2 billion in cuts to SNAP, the federal food stamp program. They want assurances from the Obama administration that the funding cuts the Senate approved will be restored in the near future.
The new, $40 billion dollar USS Gerald R. Ford
$7+ billion dollar Virginia-class submarines
$5+ billion dollar stealth destroyers
$243+ million dollar F-35
[h1]It is ALL about guns or butter.[/h1]
This is deeply shameful. 57% on military projects, with 6% being the highest, spent on Education, Government, and Veterans benefits. What falls under the food and agriculture category? Farm bills and subsidies? The food stamp program?
Jesus, we're spending more on the military than everything else combined. I think I've figured out where those "cuts" need to come from, in order to really balance the budget.
They get to kick the poor (for fun) and kill the economy (blame the black guy) in one move.
"Cut in food stamps to hit retailers...Sales could be crimped by the $5-billion annual reductions in program." LA Times 11/02/2013
SO...PukeBaggers and DINOs, didn't think about that, did ya?
Dems hedge their bets on some issues only because people with progressive leanings don't provide enough Dem votes. Commondreams.org is one of the worst offenders in terms of perpetuating this problem by spreading a lie of false equivalence.
the democratic party leadership is comprised of adults -- who can take responsibility for their failures to motivate and govern like grown ups should.