And let's ignore the fact that, by some estimates, more than half of the food stamp program is wasted on fraud and criminal activity.
Let's ignore the fact that you can buy food stamps on Craigslist and every social media site known to man (and some scientists have yet to discover). And let's ignore the notion that you can walk into liquor stores in some neighborhoods and pay with food stamps. No, let's put all of that aside.
As Mike Shedlock explains, the entire program is poised to crash, which makes the Democrats' bleating whines about draconian cuts all the more ludicrous. But, then again, that's why they're Democrats.
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 ... 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.
- SNAP benefits more than doubled between 2000 and 2007.
- Between 2007 and 2013 snap benefits went up another 150%.
- Trendline growth would have annual benefits at about $32.5 billion.
- Instead benefits are more than double.
- Liberals are whining about a 5% cut when a cut to the trendline would be a 50% cut
- Participation is nearly double what it was in 2007.
- Participation in 2013 is 275% of the 2001 total.
...Supposedly a 5% cut is draconian.
- Growth in the number of participants is on an unsustainable trend.
- Growth in benefits per person is also on an unsustainable trend.
- Multiply the two together and you get the first chart.
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...
- Prohibit food stamp purchases of potato chips, snacks, soft drinks, candy, pizza, frozen foods of any kind except juice.
- Limit food stamp users to generic (store brand vs. name brand) dried beans, rice, peanut butter, pasta, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, frozen (not bottled) juice, canned vegetables, canned soup, soda crackers, poultry, ground beef, bread, cheese,
powdered milk, eggs, margarine, and general baking goods (flour, sugar, spices).
- Calculate a healthy diet based on current prices, number in the family, ages of recipients, and base food stamps allotments on that diet.
- In the interest of health and cleanliness, expand the food stamp program to include generic soap and laundry products.
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...
Let me put this in terms even progressives can understand: either the economy is recovering, in which case we can slash food stamps... or we're still in the Obama Depression.
Which is it, dimwits?
Charts: Tim Wallace. Related: How we lost the "War on Poverty".