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The SNAP 'cuts': Food for thought

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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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.”

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