latimes.com – Now comes President Trump, with the meanest and dumbest approach to food stamps in recent memory. Trump’s budget proposal, released on Monday, calls for replacing half of the monthly cash benefit for most recipients with a Department of Agriculture food box containing “shelf-stable milk, ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish.”
The budget document calls this a “cost-effective approach.” In fact, it’s nothing of the kind. It’s likely to raise costs, rather than reduce them. But it’s being used to cloak the administration’s intention to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — to use the formal name of the food stamp program — by one-third, or $213.5 billion, over 10 years. (About 60% of the savings would come from the boxes, the White House asserts, the rest from narrowing eligibility for food stamps and placing a time limit on benefits.) The budget claims the food boxes will “improve the nutritional value of the benefit provided,” an assertion for which there is no evidence whatsoever.
The budget also labels the food-box idea a “bold new approach.” The truth is, it’s a tired old approach to government assistance programs that we previously have identified with the “undeserving poor” theme. The underlying notion is that people receiving government aid are layabouts and scammers with nary a concern in their bones except how to rip off honest working Americans.
As it happens, the promoters of this notion often are politicians who are digging into the public purse with both hands. Our favorite hypocrite in this vein is Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), who cast his vote for that 2013 cut in SNAP while enjoying the fruits of $5.1 million in government crop subsidies collected from 1995 through 2012 by his family farm. He said then that he couldn’t understand why “we can’t retract just a little bit of the spending [on food stamps] over something that’s grown exponentially in the last three or four years to try to get this reform in place.”
I swear we’re just living in Idiocracy , if you haven’t watched this movie yet do yourself a huge favor and go do that. I don’t get into politics like that but man oh man the similarities are tough to ignore.