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Senate Cuts Food Stamp Funds; Leaves Oil and Gas Subsidies Intact

The Giant Noodle

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America's poor rarely catch a break these days. The Senate is expected to vote today for a bill that will cut food stamp benefits by $6.1 billion to help fund Medicaid and teachers' jobs, reasoning they were too high now that food costs are lower than predicted. Proponents essentially argued that poor people had too much money for food.
As the Washington Post's Ezra Klein explains, last year's federal Recovery Act increased the amount of money for food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), to about $80 more per household each month. Amid the recession and high unemployment, about six million more people registered for the program in the past year alone, so program costs boomed from $20 billion to $65 billion. Meanwhile, food prices have deflated from last year's high rates. Now people are able to get more bang for their buck, hence the Senate's idea to cut payments. It's frustrating not only because America's poor, working, and middle class are suffering at record levels and could use this tiny leg up, but also because it's a really stupid cut for the overall economic picture: According to Klein, food stamps serve as one of the best forms of stimulus money, to the tune of $1.70 of activity for every dollar spent. In other words, our economy desperately needs this.
"This is also a question of priorities," Klein writes, explaining that the Senate voted against proposed cuts to oil and gas subsidies, and may continue tax cuts for the wealthy. "But food assistance for poor families? You can get the votes to slash those."
It's not like most food stamp recipients are young, jobless bums who spend the funds on lavish feasts, despite what a recent Salon.com story on "hipster" recipients suggests. About half of food stamp users are children and the elderly; about one-quarter are working-age women and 14 percent are working-age men. Most have jobs, but about 90 percent fall below the poverty line. An increasing number of recipients were considered middle class before falling on hard times, and many feel embarrassed to sign up because of the stigma that remains. One Idaho man explained,"I'm the type of person if I really don't need it, I got pride, I guess. I don't like asking for help unless I really need it. But I couldn't go without anymore."
The sustainable food movement has been (and sometimes rightfully) accused of being entrenched in the realm of the wealthy Whole Foods shopper. When it's a question of eating or not eating, organic versus conventional or chips versus carrots seems pretty silly. But there's no question that a sustainable food system won't really work unless all people can afford sustainable food and understand how to prepare it. Policymakers must enact long-term changes to the system to make it more affordable, but in the meantime, they add insult to injury by cutting food stamp funds. Recipients could use the means to purchase items other than cheap junk. As Jennifer Bleyer writes in Salon, "Controversy about how [recipients] use food stamps marks an interesting shift from the classic critique that the program subsidizes diets laden with soda pop and junk food. But from that perspective, food stamp-using foodies might be applauded for demonstrating that one can, indeed, eat healthy and make delicious home-cooked meals on a tight budget." Thanks to Senate priorities, that budget just became unnecessarily tighter.

Senate Cuts Food Stamp Funds; Leaves Oil and Gas Subsidies Intact | Sustainable Food | Change.org
 

mike2810

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and your point is?
"America's poor rarely catch a break these days. The Senate is expected to vote today for a bill that will cut food stamp benefits by $6.1 billion to help fund Medicaid and teachers' jobs, reasoning they were too high now that food costs are lower than predicted."
Seems they just moved money that was not needed for food stamps and spent it on teachers and medicaid. For once Congress didn't add to the debt. They just changed priorities.
 

JohnWOlin

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It says they are voting on it, I doubt such cuts would pass especially right now. Also are they high? Food prices definitely are going up. So I guess because they aren't going up as much as they thought though, kids should have to eat ramen noodles instead of brown rice until daddy gets a new job? I think if they want to save money in the long run, what they should do is be more careful about whom they give food stamps to, but punishing poor families because of a few bad seeds is a very greedy, and bad idea.
 

Renae

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I say get rid of food stamps entirely. Think of all the money we could save.
 

Vader

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I say get rid of food stamps entirely. Think of all the money we could save.
I say get rid of Republicans entirely! Think of all the corruption that would prevented.
 

Vader

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It says they are voting on it, I doubt such cuts would pass especially right now. Also are they high? Food prices definitely are going up. So I guess because they aren't going up as much as they thought though, kids should have to eat ramen noodles instead of brown rice until daddy gets a new job? I think if they want to save money in the long run, what they should do is be more careful about whom they give food stamps to, but punishing poor families because of a few bad seeds is a very greedy, and bad idea.
Republicans will lose this bid to stop welfare. They always do. Sooner or later the Republicanazis are going to learn to leave welfare alone.
 

JohnWOlin

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Think of all of the children that will starve.
@Your Star if not for the liberals taxing the **** out of corporations and CEOs they would have had PLENTY O cash to go around to the poor (you know like by donating to food pantries and stuff?) and then they would never of had to start this socialist program in the first place.
 

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@Your Star if not for the liberals taxing the **** out of corporations and CEOs they would have had PLENTY O cash to go around to the poor (you know like by donating to food pantries and stuff?) and then they would never of had to start this socialist program in the first place.
I don't trust CEO's to put their own money into charities, and give to the poor. What do businessmen care about? Their bottom line, and if they got tax cuts do you really believe they would give that money to the poor, or just stuff their pockets with it? I'm guessing the latter. I think the whole welfare system needs to be reformed, but I'll stick with welfare than having to rely on private charity.
 

JohnWOlin

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I don't trust CEO's to put their own money into charities, and give to the poor. What do businessmen care about? Their bottom line, and if they got tax cuts do you really believe they would give that money to the poor, or just stuff their pockets with it? I'm guessing the latter. I think the whole welfare system needs to be reformed, but I'll stick with welfare than having to rely on private charity.
How could you not trust CEO's? These billionares got to where they got with hard honest work. ;)
 

Aunt Spiker

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Think of all of the children that will starve.
Or lose weight at least - not eating all those chips and chugging sodas. A huge number of children on welfare are - well - huge. . . and so are their parents.

The government allocates some money to the states for welfare.
The states determine *how* the welfare program will be run.

If the states are facing losing money - they NEED to step in with some serious fraud PREVENTION as well as heavy regulation of what can and cannot be bought with those benefits. (chips and sodas being just two items that should get the axe).

Years ago when I was on the program I had 3 young children and one infant - all 5 of us received $500.00/month in benefits which was *more* than enough for food - I was a savvy grocery shopper before, during and after benefits - it went really far.
 

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Or lose weight at least - not eating all those chips and chugging sodas. A huge number of children on welfare are - well - huge. . . and so are their parents.

The government allocates some money to the states for welfare.
The states determine *how* the welfare program will be run.

If the states are facing losing money - they NEED to step in with some serious fraud PREVENTION as well as heavy regulation of what can and cannot be bought with those benefits. (chips and sodas being just two items that should get the axe).

Years ago when I was on the program I had 3 young children and one infant - all 5 of us received $500.00/month in benefits which was *more* than enough for food - I was a savvy grocery shopper before, during and after benefits - it went really far.
Oh I agree, I think the food stamp program should be used to help people get healthy, and start good eating habits. It will only help them to get back on their feet.
 

JohnWOlin

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Keyword here is years ago. How long ago is years ago? What were you feeding yourself, and 4 kids on $500 a month?
 

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Keyword here is years ago. How long ago is years ago? What were you feeding yourself, and 4 kids on $500 a month?
For a more up to date equivalent, my family is receiving food stamps, and I think we get around $700 a month. It lasts us okay, but usually things get scarce around here towards the end of the month.
 

liblady

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For a more up to date equivalent, my family is receiving food stamps, and I think we get around $700 a month. It lasts us okay, but usually things get scarce around here towards the end of the month.
family of how many?
 

Renae

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That's pretty hardcore. :shock:
No more hardcore then backing spending Trillions we don't have for social programs that keep getting bigger and bigger and never solve the problems they were created to solve. Remember the "War on Poverty"? How much money has been spent with little to no reduction in poverty. Why is it clear minded to support failure but to suggest stopping "social services" is extreme??
 

Renae

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Think of all of the children that will starve.

Because only Gov't provides help to children.

Churches, communities, volunteers and families JUST CAN'T BE TRUSTED! One child, might go hungry... only government can stop this!
 

Renae

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For a more up to date equivalent, my family is receiving food stamps, and I think we get around $700 a month. It lasts us okay, but usually things get scarce around here towards the end of the month.
Have you considered the value of not wasting time on the internet and finding a job?

Also $700 is WAAAYYYY Too much money. For me, my wife and my two kids we spent $120 every 2 weeks.
 

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Because only Gov't provides help to children.

Churches, communities, volunteers and families JUST CAN'T BE TRUSTED! One child, might go hungry... only government can stop this!
Not as much as the government can be trusted. Our food stamps come reliably each month, can't say that a food pantry will be open reliably each month.
 
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