A proposal by the Trump administration that would save billions of dollars by fundamentally transforming the government’s food stamp program into a “food box” program is generating hysterical reactions from the Left.
In an effort to reform the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the White House is suggesting that low-income families receive an “America’s Harvest Box” of nonperishable foods each month to replace about half of the money they currently receive through food stamps. According to Politico, the box would contain “100 percent U.S. grown and produced food” and would feature foods like “shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned fruits and meats, and cereal.”
The revamped program would apply to households receiving at least $90 a month in benefits, covering about 16 million households.
“This proposal focuses on ensuring that all SNAP recipients receive the nutritious food they need at substantial savings by harnessing USDA’s purchasing power and America’s agricultural abundance,” Department of Agriculture spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.
The USDA predicts that this change could save over $129 billion in ten years, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is hailing the plan as a “bold, innovative approach” that would save taxpayers money while delivering the same “level of food value.”
The inside-the-box thinking, if you will, of the Trump administration is causing the Left to freak out.
“Holy mackerel,” said Obama administration SNAP Czar Kevin Concannon, who declared the proposal was reminiscent of bread lines. “I don’t know where this came from, but I suspect that the folks when they were drawing it up were also watching silent movies.”
He also was skeptical that this proposal would go anywhere in Congress.
“Even the people who put this forward have to know that the chances of this happening is the same chance of me captaining the next spaceship launching from Florida,” Concannon said.
An “anti-hunger” group, the Food Research and Action Center, blasted the harvest box as “a Rube-Goldberg designed system” that would be “costly, inefficient, stigmatizing, and prone to failure.”
The proposal is also being criticized as detrimental to small business.
“This action would not only destabilize attempts to bring more healthy, fresh foods into the homes of America’s food insecure, but would keep dollars out of local grocery stores and farmers markets, which are critical assets to all communities,” said Jordan Rasmussen, a policy associate at the progressive Center for Rural Affairs.
Actually, it’s the United States’ tax burden that is keeping dollars out of local grocery stores and small businesses to support bloated and wasteful government programs like SNAP. In 2016, the USDA made $2.6 billion in improper payments. That’s money taken out of your paycheck to fund these programs and then thrown away.
If the harvest box program is feasible and would in fact save money, it would benefit every American to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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