ShareThis Page

The SNAP 'cuts': Food for thought

| Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

If advocates for Americans' growing dependence on food stamps focused more attention on helping benefit recipients become breadwinners, they wouldn't be stomping their feet over a $5 billion funding “cut” — actually another one of those infamous Washington reductions in increases.

This “cut” ends the federal stimulus boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), effective Nov. 1. In all, the Recovery Act pumped in $45.2 billion to increase monthly benefit levels, The Washington Post reports. Households that received the maximum monthly benefit will see a decrease of about 5 percent, according to The Heritage Foundation. For a family of four, that's a monthly drop from $668 to $632, The Post reports.

For all the hand-wringing over this supposed “unfairness,” remember that SNAP is but one of about 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs providing cash, food and housing to poor and lower-income Americans, writes Rachel Sheffield for Heritage. Yes, food-stamp spending doubled to about $80 billion during the recession. But it also doubled, pre-recession, between fiscal years 2000 and 2007.

And if the economy is supposedly improving, as Team Obama keeps insisting, why is welfare's total cost projected to increase?

Getting people off food stamps should be the thrust of any public “assistance.” Yet the Obama administration musters all of its political muscle to maintain the poor's dependency on government's habitual “beneficence.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.