Category: Farm Bill (Page 1 of 2)

Everything they say about SNAP is wrong

by Paul Rosenberg

The Three Stooges

Hilary Hoynes is a University of California at Berkeley economist who wrote a particularly notable paper last year. Instead of increasing dependency, as conservative critics have repeatedly claimed, Hoyen’s paper showed that, for women at least, food stamp use during pregnancy and early childhood has exactly the opposite impact of what conservatives allege: It actually increases economic self-sufficiency when children grow up, in the next generation.

That was just one of two main results reported in “Long Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net,” which Hoynes co-authored with Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Douglas Almond. As stated in the paper’s abstract, access to food stamps for women leads to “increases in economic self-sufficiency (increases in educational attainment, earnings, and income, and decreases in welfare participation).” Hoynes and her colleagues took advantage of the fact that food stamp programs were established county-by-county over a period of years, creating a sort of “natural experiment” beginning half a century in the past.

“Hoynes’ work has been timely, innovative and revealing,” said Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which has highlighted Hoynes’ work this year as food stamps and the SNAP program have become a major subject of controversy. “Hoynes and her collaborators have really broadened our understanding of how programs like food stamps not only relieve hardship in the moment but can trigger long-lasting gains in participating children’s later health and education. The implications of the research are considerable. In this long view, such assistance is not only helping struggling families to scrape by, it’s a good investment in the next generation of citizens and workers.”


America’s New Hunger Crisis

New York’s River Fund Food Pantry’s new clients are diverse—working people, seniors, single mothers—but many of them share something in common: they represent the millions of Americans who fell victim to food insecurity when the Great Recession hit in 2009, but didn’t benefit from the economic recovery.

And the worst may be yet to come..

“I believe we have a hunger crisis,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, who sits on a House committee responsible for the food stamp program. “When 50 million people in the richest country on the planet are hungry, that’s a crisis.”

There’s little sign that McGovern’s colleagues in Congress will step in to stave off the crisis. In fact, some Republicans in Congress are pushing further cuts to the food stamp program as part of broader budget negotiations that could bump an additional 4 million people off of the food stamps rolls by the end of next year.

Welcome to the Hunger Games.

Dear Eric Cantor,

Don’t Let Your Constituents Go Hungry

A letter from Melissa Harris-Perry

Dear Mr. Cantor,

It’s me Melissa. Now I’m not going to quibble with you over your philosophical approach. But let’s deal in facts. The beginning of your speech on the House floor before Thursday’s vote was…um, kind of right.

“This bill is designed to give people a hand when they need it most and most people don’t choose to be on food stamps….most people don’t choose to be on food stamps.”

Now if you’re talking about the intent of the original bill then yes Mr. Cantor I can agree. Because that bill was meant to give people a hand when they need it most. But if you mean the new bill you spearheaded, oh no sir. Mr. Cantor: #HaveASeat.

Because according to the Congressional Budget Office your bill cuts $39 billion over the next decade. And as a result of those cuts, 3.8 million people will lose their SNAP benefits in 2014. Sticking with the facts, in your speech you talked about what certain participants in the SNAP program will have to do to get benefits. “The truth is anyone subjected to the work requirements under this bill who are able bodied, who are able bodied under 50 will not be denied benefits. If only they are willing to sign up for the opportunity to work.”

“…sign up for the opportunity to work.”

Mr. Cantor, you also noted the demagoguery and misinformation around the work requirement of this bill. #HaveASeat. Because Mr. Pot you’re worse than the kettle you complained about. You make it sound like: Sure poor people, we’ll give you food, but only if you are willing to work for it. What gave you the impression that poor people didn’t want to work? Sir they want to eat! And at a time when most of your fellow Republicans are worried about their districts, you seem distracted and have forgotten about yours. So let me remind you.

Take a look at this interactive map on the website of “Feeding America,” the nationwide network of food banks. If you scroll your mouse along this map, you can find out what the food insecurity levels are in all parts of the country. Nationwide the figure is 50 million. Fifty million Americans living at risk of not knowing where their next meal will come from or if it will come at all.

Take Virginia. Does it look familiar, Mr. Cantor?

This is the 7th District of Virginia–your district. 11% of your constituents, Mr. Cantor–approximately 85,000 people in your district–are at risk of hunger. 15% of—or nearly 27,000 children—who you represent, have to worry about their next meal.

And yet you’ve waged a war to slash the very funds that feed the hungry. That includes your constituents. This isn’t about curbing government waste or preventing fraud. It’s not about your effort to bully the poor and dictate how they should live and qualify for food. It’s about feeding the 47 million people who benefited from the program last year and continue to need its support.

And if you don’t understand that fact, seriously, man… #HaveASeat.



Food Stamp Cuts: What Eric Cantor Isn’t Telling You

The House SNAP bill is harsh.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates it would deny SNAP to approximately 3.8 million low-income people in 2014 and to an average of nearly 3 million people each year over the coming decade.  Those who would be thrown off the program include some of the nation’s most destitute adults, as well as many low-income children, seniors, and families that work for low wages.  The people the bill would cut off SNAP include but are not limited to:

  • 1.7 million unemployed, childless adults in 2014 who live in areas of high unemployment — a group that has average income of only 22 percent of the poverty line (about $2,500 a year for a single individual) and for whom SNAP is, in most cases, the only government assistance they receive (this number will average 1 million a year over the coming decade);[4]
  • 2.1 million people in 2014, mostly low-income working families and low-income seniors, who have gross incomes or assets modestly above the federal SNAP limits but disposable income — the income that a family actually has available to spend on food and other needs — below the poverty line in most cases often because of high rent or child care costs.  (This number will average 1.8 million a year over the coming decade.)  In addition, 210,000 children in these families would also lose free school meals;
  • Other poor, unemployed parents who want to work but cannot find a job or an opening in a training program — along with their children, other than infants.

Table 1

See Table 1 for a summary of the bill’s major SNAP benefit cuts and Table 2, below, for the detailed CBO cost estimate of the bill.

Figure 1Proponents mischaracterize some of the proposal’s severe provisions as “work requirements.”  In fact, various provisions would terminate basic food assistance to people who would take any job or job training opportunity offered but cannot find one; the proposal does not require states to provide jobs or job training, and it includes no added funds for these activities.  Moreover, although proponents stress the need to promote work, the proposal would eliminate or reduce assistance to substantial numbers of working families who are paid very low wages — and often incur significant work-related expenses, such as for child care — and consequently struggle to afford sufficient food.

Proponents’ rhetoric about the importance of work also overlooks the fact that most SNAP recipients who can work do so.  More than 80 percent of SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult worked in the year before or after receiving SNAP.[5]

The proposed cuts would be on top of a substantial across-the-board benefit reduction for all SNAP households that takes effect in November.  Benefits will be reduced, for example, by $36 a month for all families of four on SNAP (about $400 over the course of fiscal year 2014).[6]  The proposed House cuts also come at a time when the economy continues to struggle to create sufficient jobs and the share of adults with jobs remains only slightly above the level to which it fell at the bottom of the recession.  The economy is creating only 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month, not much more than needed just to keep up with population growth.  As Figure 1 shows, there are three unemployed workers for every job opening.

Though SNAP benefits are modest, at an average of less than $1.40 per person per meal,[7] SNAP is the nation’s foremost tool against hunger and severe hardship, particularly during recessions and periods of high unemployment.  During the recent recession, SNAP performed as it was designed to:  as millions of Americans lost their jobs and fell into poverty, SNAP responded to the increase in need, helping to avert the harshest impacts of the recession while also providing a boost to the economy.

Table 2

[4] The bill’s provisions removing the ability of states to secure waivers for high-unemployment areas from a rule that cuts off benefits after three months for unemployed adults who aren’t raising minor children would, by itself, terminate benefits to more than 2 million individuals in 2014.  The proposal also would retain and modify a provision of current law allowing states to exempt a modest fraction of these individuals from the benefit cut-off.  CBO estimates the number people cut off in 2014 once these exemptions are taken into account to be 1.7 million.  See “Cutting Off Unemployed Childless Adults Even When Jobs Are Scarce,” below, for a discussion of these issues.

[5] Dorothy Rosenbaum, “The Relationship Between SNAP and Work Among Low-Income Households,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, January 29, 2013,

[6] Stacy Dean and Dottie Rosenbaum, “SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Revised August 2, 2013,

[7] This level is currently close to $1.50 per person per meal but will automatically drop to less than $1.40 on November 1.

continue reading

Food Stamps to be Cut by Average $30 a Month in Madison County

People getting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits don’t just face the prospect of House Republicans slashing $40 billion from the program over the next 10 years, they face the immediate, certain prospect of losing an average of nearly $30 a month in benefits starting November 1st, 2013, as a temporary increase in benefits included in the stimulus expires.

That will take money from the food budgets of Madison County families who really can’t afford it, people whose food assistance already doesn’t stretch as far as it needs to..

With a population of 13,169 (2011), Madison County has 2,360 people who depend on food assistance.

With a population of 13,169, Madison County has 2,360 people (18% of the population) who depend on food assistance.

Republicans like to talk about SNAP as being plagued by fraud (even though its fraud rates are vanishingly low) and, even with unemployment high and the minimum wage so low that many who work still qualify for food stamps, to stigmatize recipients. They like to pretend its easy to live on a food stamp budget. But in reality, this is an economy where too many are unemployed or stuck in part-time work when they want full-time work. It’s an economy where you can work full-time at minimum wage and still be poor, still need food assistance. And SNAP benefits can be the difference between having some fruits and vegetables occasionally and eating nothing but processed foods. For instance..

« Older posts

© 2024 Madison County Democratic Committee

Website by Ren LeVallyUp ↑

We are in the fight of a generation.
We are in the fight for a generation.

Our strength lies in both our numbers and the level of involvement of our members.

Please consider joining us as a voting member


2023 Founders Dinner - I'm a Democrat