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"Draconian" Cuts in Food Stamp Program?
Townhall.com ^ | December 11, 2013 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 12/11/2013 1:21:25 PM PST by Kaslin

Inquiring minds are digging into the alleged "Draconian Cuts" in Food Stamps as championed by the Daily Koz. Of course the Daily Koz is not alone in whining about "draconian" cuts.

Note: The food stamp program is now called "SNAP" Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"The Unthinkable"

On December 5, Greg Kaufmann, writer for The Nation wondered Why Is a Senate Democrat Agreeing to Another $8 Billion in Food Stamp Cuts?

On the same day that President Obama eloquently described his vision of an economy defined by economic mobility and opportunity for all, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow was busy cutting a deal with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to slice another $8 to $9 billion from food stamps (SNAP), according to a source close to the negotiations.

“That was the first time in history that a Democratic-controlled Senate had even proposed cutting the SNAP program,” said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “The willingness of some Senate Democrats to double new cuts to the program…is unthinkable.”

Mother Jones Says "Kill the Farm Bill Entirely"

Bitching and moaning would not be complete without Mother Jones getting in on the act. On November 12, Mother Jones proposed House Dems Can Block GOP Food Stamp Cuts—by Killing the Farm Bill

The food stamps program—which helps feed 1 in 7 Americans—is in peril. Republicans in the House have proposed a farm bill—the five-year bill that funds agriculture and nutrition programs—that would slash food stamps by $40 billion. But by taking advantage of House Republicans' desire to cut food stamps as much as possible, Democrats might be able to prevent cuts from happening at all.

To pull it off, Democrats would have to derail the farm bill entirely, which would maintain food stamp funding at current levels.

Where's the Beef?

On December 10, The Tennessean more evenly covers the issue in its report TN House Republicans back $40 billion in food stamp cuts.

The future of food stamps — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — remains the largest sticking point in House-Senate negotiations to finalize a new farm bill before the end of the year.

In September, the House approved a farm bill that cuts almost $40 billion from food stamps over 10 years — about 5 percent a year. The Senate earlier approved a bill that would cut $4 billion over that time.

At $80 billion a year, food stamps remain the single costliest item in the farm bill. The program serves almost 48 million Americans and 1.34 million Tennesseans — about 20 percent of the state population.

Among House members from Tennessee, all but Reps. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis — the two Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation — voted for the bill making $40 billion in cuts.

Groups such as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning Washington think tank, say cuts of that magnitude would result in denying benefits to 3.8 million low-income Americans in 2014.

“Those who would be thrown off the program include some of the nation’s most destitute adults, as well as many low-income children, seniors and families that work for low wages,” the CBPP said in an analysis of the House bill. “The House SNAP bill is harsh.”

Rep. John Duncan, R-Knoxville, complained that administrators of the program “have no incentive to keep people off.”

“They will get bigger offices, staffs and funding if even more people get food stamps,” he said.

Close Inspection of "Draconian" Cuts

Please note that the alleged $40 billion in cuts is really only $4 billion in a close to $80 billion program. They arrive at $40 billion by multiplying $4 billion by 10 years.

OK Fine. The cuts then are $40 billion in an $800 billion program. And I actually doubt we will ever see those "cuts" in the first place.

A few charts from reader Tim Wallace will help explain.

SNAP Growth in Benefits



click on any chart for sharper image

SNAP Benefit Facts


SNAP Participation



SNAP Participation Facts


SNAP Per Person Benefits



SNAP Per Person Benefits Facts


Supposedly a 5% cut is draconian.

The Problem


As is typical with government programs, there is no incentive by the administrators to eliminate waste or fraud.

The more funding for food stamps, the bigger the salaries and staffs of the administrators.

I suggest that we need a way to provide necessary safety-net benefits while simultaneously providing an incentive to get off the program and get a job.

I repeat my proposal.

Mish SNAP Proposal


My proposal will not only lower the cost of the food stamp program, the resultant healthier diets would lower Medicaid and Medicare costs as well.

Moreover, my proposal would give people a strong incentive to get off the food stamp program without intrusive, costly big-brother ideas like drug testing which cannot possibly work for the simple reason that anyone who fails will steal to get food rather than starve.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/11/2013 1:21:25 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Why don’t we have “fuel stamps” for poor people too?

I mean driving is important, right?


2 posted on 12/11/2013 1:24:25 PM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: nascarnation

“Why don’t we have “fuel stamps” for poor people too?”

SHHHH!


3 posted on 12/11/2013 1:28:03 PM PST by rsobin
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To: Kaslin
The way to fix food stamps is to fix employment.

Restore the import tariffs. Bring back American industry. Put Americans back to work. Food stamps will fix itself.

Cutting food stamps without fixing employment will cost the GOP elections.

4 posted on 12/11/2013 1:28:49 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: nascarnation

I saw “ebt accepted” on a gas pump in Arkansas.


5 posted on 12/11/2013 1:30:22 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: DannyTN

Actually doing some fraud prevention might cut the food stamp budget by 40%.


6 posted on 12/11/2013 1:30:58 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Kaslin

You mean those unfeeling ‘Pubbies actually reduced the rate of increase in the Food Stamp Program?


7 posted on 12/11/2013 1:31:58 PM PST by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: MrB

Interesting. I wonder if that’s for gasoline or the nutritious grub inside.


8 posted on 12/11/2013 1:32:27 PM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: MrB
Actually doing some fraud prevention might cut the food stamp budget by 40%.

It might, but I doubt it would reduce it more than 10%. Most of the increase can be directly linked to the poor economy.

Still, do the fraud prevention and let the Food stamp outlays fall accordingly. Don't do an arbitrary cut to the food stamp program in hopes that they might make up for it by implementing a fraud prevention program.

9 posted on 12/11/2013 1:33:58 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: MrB

They should hire that guy who does video stings and give him a staff and funding to audit the program.


10 posted on 12/11/2013 1:35:40 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: nascarnation

I don’t think this was a convenience type place, just a kiosk.

I think there is a cash component on EBT - that might be what it was about.

Still, I was paying $3.30 for my gas, and buying someone else’s against my will. It really ticked me off.


11 posted on 12/11/2013 1:37:52 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Kaslin

12 posted on 12/11/2013 1:38:21 PM PST by Hoffer Rand (If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. *Asterisk.*)
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To: MrB

I saw a hand written EBT Accepted sign on a fudge kiosk at the BJS in Newnan, GA.


13 posted on 12/11/2013 1:40:08 PM PST by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: MrB

The cash part is called TANF.

A local tv station here got a computer file of all TANF card swipes by Indiana recipients for 2012.

Vegas, Nevada brothels, Puerto Rico, Disney (LA and FL), Hawaii, all showed up as locations used.


14 posted on 12/11/2013 1:41:10 PM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: nascarnation

DON’T GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


15 posted on 12/11/2013 1:44:26 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: nascarnation
Why don’t we have “fuel stamps” for poor people too?

I mean driving is important, right?

Are you also advocating "car stamps?"

16 posted on 12/11/2013 2:00:21 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: nascarnation; Kaslin

And don’t forget “housing stamps” for folks to pay their rent/mortgage with.

And clothing stamps, as we can’t have folks running around naked.


17 posted on 12/11/2013 2:01:24 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: DannyTN

Right on target, Joe Carr for US Senate, send the RINO Lamar Alexander, over 70 home to play with his great grands before they become parents!

Carr is a TN Legislator, has a good conservative track record, unlike the RINO lamar. Whose chief of staff jut got caught in a child porn issue.

Lamar Alexander’s Chief Of Staff Investigated For Child Pornography
WRWG TV
George Brown 12/11/13

http://wreg.com/2013/12/11/home-of-lamar-alexanders-chief-of-staff-being-searched/


18 posted on 12/11/2013 2:11:49 PM PST by GailA (THOSE WHO DON'T KEEP PROMISES TO THE MILITARY, WON'T KEEP THEM TO U!)
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To: Kaslin
"Draconian" Cuts in Food Stamp Program?

Did the Draconians have food stamps? Are they related to the Romulans or the Amish?

19 posted on 12/11/2013 2:29:10 PM PST by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: DannyTN
Cutting food stamps without fixing employment will cost the GOP elections.

Good point, at least doing SOMETHING that looks like fixing the climate for job creation.

20 posted on 12/11/2013 3:10:05 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: DannyTN

Give him 10% of the savings. That and get the illegals off. Around half of all welfare in CA goes to illegals. Probably not as bad in the rest of the US but still significant.


21 posted on 12/11/2013 3:31:01 PM PST by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: nascarnation

Well they do subsidize heating oil. But the libs hate cars. They give poor people public transit passes.


22 posted on 12/11/2013 3:50:11 PM PST by Hugin
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To: Hugin

Excellent point on the lib attitude toward personal transportation.


23 posted on 12/11/2013 3:50:51 PM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: nascarnation

Not their own, of course.
“But I drive a Prius!”


24 posted on 12/11/2013 3:52:39 PM PST by Hugin
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To: DannyTN

But what about all those American jobs that will be sent to Mars when your comet bombardment works?


25 posted on 12/11/2013 3:54:47 PM PST by Fledermaus (If we here in TN can't get rid of the worthless Lamar, it's over.)
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To: Hoffer Rand

Forget all that, if we are going to have taxpayers support people do it the old fashioned way. Set up “poor farms” or “poorhouses” where those who cannot support themselves go and live in very spartan conditions enjoying only the bare necessities of life, food, clothing and shelter. Anyone who is able should be required to work and or learn until they are capable of supporting themselves. No one should be given cash income by the government and a card that can be swiped to buy food is in essence cash income. In my area there is a constant traffic in half price groceries bought with EBT cards and sold to raise cash for other things. Obviously someone is getting assisstance they don’t really need if they can afford to sell their bennes for half price.


26 posted on 12/11/2013 4:03:59 PM PST by RipSawyer (The TREE currently falling on you actually IS worse than a Bush.)
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To: Fledermaus
But what about all those American jobs that will be sent to Mars when your comet bombardment works?

Transportation costs from Mars will be pretty high. We'll worry about that when they figure out how to instantly transport stuff or control wormholes.

Besides, it's not like Mars is an overpopulated Communist nation either.

27 posted on 12/11/2013 7:27:20 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: RipSawyer
Obviously someone is getting assisstance they don’t really need if they can afford to sell their bennes for half price.

Clearly. When you've got a mom and three kids getting over $600 a month in SNAP, plus WIC, plus the kids get free breakfast and lunch at school 5 days a week (and in some places food sent home for the weekends), it's real easy to sell the bennies for half price and still have enough to be obese. Of course, your solution would do a lot toward solving the obesity problem, too, wouldn't it?

28 posted on 12/12/2013 8:29:01 AM PST by Hoffer Rand (If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. *Asterisk.*)
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To: Kaslin

Tell us all why Obama is putting up and paying for billboards close to the Mexican border telling those who’s proper residence is SOUTH of our border that they can apply for food stamps?

IF it so expensive to feed out own citizens, why are we trying to add Mexicans who don’t live here???

I know quite a few people who would qualify for food stamps, but they are NOT asking for such.


29 posted on 12/12/2013 3:01:56 PM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: MrB
Actually doing some fraud prevention might cut the food stamp budget by 40%.

Thass raciss!

</s>

30 posted on 12/12/2013 8:27:42 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: GailA
Carr is a TN Legislator, has a good conservative track record, unlike the RINO lamar.

Hey! Hey! A little respect here! Lamar Alexander is, and was at one time, Newsweek's reserve grand-champion example of an American Mandarin, born to rule by the grace of Harvard, educated and equipped to be our Better. Never held an honest paying job in his life, always in public service as a Permanent Ruling Class lotus-eater, the subtleties of our lives to clarify and ordain.

You all backed up yet, hardscrabble?

</s>

31 posted on 12/12/2013 8:32:35 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus

I’ve lived in TN nearly 30 yrs, all you hear in politics is how great this RINO is, you never hear that he is a RINO, until lately. He is like cohen in memphis, the same could be said about him as you so aptly described lamar. Went from college to work for the gov’t then onto the State Senate for 20 yrs, now he’s a US Rep, who because of the demographics of his district CANNOT BE VOTED OUT, not even by a black woman! Just because she is a CONSERVATIVE GOP.

I don’t drink either parties koolaid! I vote 2 things Bible and Constitution. U don’t meet those standards, I’ll do a write in. and work to vote your behind out if you don’t live up to what you took a oath to...rubio you are on that list.


32 posted on 12/14/2013 9:31:35 AM PST by GailA (THOSE WHO DON'T KEEP PROMISES TO THE MILITARY, WON'T KEEP THEM TO U!)
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