Why the attack on food stamps?
Cleveland Plain Dealer: If it’s not broke, Congress shouldn’t try to fix it. Yet that’s exactly what some members are doing in their attempt to slash food aid as part of the mammoth five-year agricultural bill. The attacks on food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, are particularly worrisome as the economy wobbles back from the Great Recession.
Although the stock market has been on a tear, many Americans are still picking up the pieces and trying to scrape together enough money to feed their families.
The Republican-controlled House Agriculture Committee voted recently to cut $2.5 billion a year from the nearly $80 billion SNAP program. The full House is expected to vote on the issue during the summer.
In an attempt to appease House Republicans so Congress can pass a farm bill sometime this summer — something it has failed to do the last three years — the Senate voted to make a smaller $400 million annual cut to the program.
But $400 million would still be too much. In point of fact, Congress should approve no reductions at all to federal food assistance.
There probably is waste, abuse and fraud in the program, as critics assert — but if so, address that directly and weed it out.
Any cutbacks would mean that more people would go hungry. Face it: Local hunger centers help when the cupboards are bare, but they can’t replace food stamps.