Last week the White House issued a Thanksgiving Day reminder: “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps millions of Americans put food on the table.” Then began a litany of statistics and charts along with explanations of how wonderful SNAP is, even getting in a dig at those selfish “House Republicans [who] would cause nearly 4 million Americans to lose access to SNAP next year.”
Harold Maass, writing at the liberal TheWeek.com blog, correctly explained some of the reasons why conservatives hate food stamps: it’s “entitlement spending gone wild,” 48 million Americans are on the food stamp dole, the program costs have more than doubled in seven years, it encourages government dependency, it is an attack on work, and so forth.
Henry Olsen, writing for National Review, updated some of those statistics, noting that food stamp costs have quadrupled since 2000 and have created more government dependency than ever: Some four million SNAP recipients are able-bodied without dependents, and most work fewer than 20 hours a week — if they work at all.
The Heritage Foundation suggests that SNAP should be converted into a "work activation” program, at least for those able-bodied individuals currently milking the system. It would require recipients to work, be looking for work, or be preparing for work. It also would end some loopholes which the states have been using to treat SNAP as a “bonus” program on top of unemployment benefits.
On the other hand, Tyler Durden, writing at ZeroHedge.com, thinks the magic of statistics will somehow slow the growth of SNAP or perhaps convert it into something less costly and more morally acceptable. For example, he shows that “a single mom is better off earning a gross income of $29,000 a year [and thus receive] $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 a year with net income and benefits of $57,045.”
A great example is Lucy, age 32, who lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three kids. She called into a local radio station, which recorded the seven-minute conversation.
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