Why does replacing food stamps with food so anger liberals?
By Ed Straker
President Trump has proposed replacing some food stamp grants with actual food. This has curiously enraged liberals, who you would think would be delighted to see “hungry” people getting food.
The Trump administration is proposing a major shake-up in one of the country’s most important “safety net” programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Under the proposal, most SNAP recipients would lose much of their ability to choose the food they buy with their SNAP benefits.
But if you like your supermarket, you can keep your supermarket, right?
Under the proposal, which was announced Monday, low-income Americans who receive at least $90 a month – just over 80 percent of all SNAP recipients – would get about half of their benefits in the form of a “USDA Foods package.” The package was described in the budget as consisting of “shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans[,] and canned fruit and vegetables.”
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a hunger advocacy group that also helps clients access food-assistance services, said the administration’s plan left him baffled. “They have managed to propose nearly the impossible, taking over $200 billion worth of food from low-income Americans while increasing bureaucracy and reducing choices,” Berg says.
Do you think before today that this poverty pimp has ever been concerned about the bureaucracy of any government program?
He says SNAP is efficient because it is a “free market model” that lets recipients shop at stores for their benefits. The Trump administration’s proposal, he said, “is a far more intrusive, Big Government answer. They think a bureaucrat in D.C. is better at picking out what your family needs than you are?”
Extolling the free market. Condemning big government. Criticizing D.C. bureaucrats. Hey, Trump finally accomplished something! He’s gotten liberals to talk like conservatives!
Douglas Greenaway, president of the National WIC Association, echoed that sentiment. “Removing choice from SNAP flies in the face of encouraging personal responsibility,” he said. He says “the budget seems to assume that participating in SNAP is a character flaw.”
He’s right: participating in SNAP is a character flaw. No one should be on SNAP for years. Get a job! As for removing choice discouraging personal responsibility, just the opposite. If you want a choice of what food to buy, get a job!
Critics of the proposal said distributing that much food presents a logistical nightmare. “Among the problems, it’s going to be costly and take money out of the [SNAP] program from the administrative side. It’s going to stigmatize people when they have to go to certain places to pick up benefits,” says Jim Weill, president of the nonprofit Food Research and Action Center.
And people aren’t stigmatized using EBT cards in supermarkets? They wave them around like Visa Platinum cards!
Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, called the proposal “radical and risky.”
“Marriage” between two men or two women. Boys in girls’ bathrooms. Gutting the military. Obamacare. Leaving our borders unprotected. None of these is “radical and risky.” But giving food to poor people instead of money – that’s “radical and risky.”
It isn’t clear whether the boxes will come with directions on how to cook the foods inside. “It could be something that [SNAP recipients] don’t even know how to make,” notes Miguelina Diaz, whose team at Hunger Free America works directly with families to help them access food aid.
I can see it now: police, responding to reports of a strange smell, enter a home to find an entire family starved to death, surrounded by dozens of boxes of unopened macaroni. If only the instructions had contained pictograms!
If people are too dumb to cook a box of noodles, why are they voting? Or is voting easier than cooking a box of noodles when the Democrats tell you what to do?
The startling thing about this entire discussion is that liberals are outraged that people on food stamps are being deprived of choice. Liberals didn’t care about depriving people of choice when it came to Obamacare, or gun control, or raising taxes. They didn’t care even when Michelle Obama, the cultural tsarina in charge of food tastes, tried to tell our kids what they should be eating in school.
Why such a different attitude when it comes to food stamps?
Occam’s Razor states that the simplest answer is also most likely the correct one. The simplest answer is that liberals don’t care about feeding the poor. SNAP and a hundred programs just like it are all about income redistribution, not feeding the hungry. Any limits on transferring cash from taxpayers to those on welfare interferes with liberals’ social engineering schemes.
Exit question: If you were President Trump’s adviser on food policy, what foods would you advise him to distribute to people on welfare?
TLB recommends other pertinent articles at American Thinker.
Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.