Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Congress to leave Food Stamps spending pretty much intact

The Washington Post reports that the House of Representatives is considering a farm bill that would reduce spending for SNAP (food stamps) by 0.5% over ten years. Wow. So I wrote Representative Frank Lucas:

Mr. Lucas,

I work part time at Walmart; the VA considers me disabled, but I manage about 26 hours, most weeks.

I noticed that one of my co-workers in Lawn and Garden will buy a $1.58 soft drink on SNAP, instead of walking to the associate break room and spending $0.50 out of their pocket. This seems to be an issue with SNAP -- that people are using the free money to make poor decisions.

Other families seem to be able to afford new, bigger screen TVs because the SNAP program supplements their income.

I understand that for some Americans, SNAP does bring the food budget up to "adequate", but in many cases I am convinced that SNAP merely displaces their other sources of food purchasing money, until SNAP become nothing more than a straight forward government cash addition to family income. That is, a social welfare program rife with unintended consequences.

Please consider whether Congress is responsible for people that choose expensive fast food and prepackaged food over staples and lower cost but nutritious food. Most people could eat adequately on much less money than many SNAP recipients spend, if they were willing to actually, like, cook their meals.

Because government spending creates industries, industries devoted to growing and maintaining those spending programs. Industries that administer the program, enable merchant compliance, gather additional recipients into the program, etc. And Congress has *no* mandate to create such industries.

And do cut SNAP by 50% in the next five years. Counting long term unemployed and young never-employed into unemployment statistics will be a good start.

Thank you,

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