While Congress may be interested in blowing over $600 billion to subsidize defense contractors in fighting the non-existent Soviet Union, the food stamp program is facing the knife. Now you might note that the Pentagon can’t account for trillions (with a t) of dollars and the fraud rate for SNAP is 1%, but whatever. We need to save money and people on food stamps can’t make campaign contributions like defense contractors can.
The new plan, according to analysts at Roll Call, is to eliminate a loophole that allows states to pay higher food stamps by tapping into a program designed for helping with winter heating bills.
For Democrats especially, any talk about cutting billions from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is uncomfortable and certain to create internal strife. But negotiators on the farm bill believe they’ve found a way to make about $8 billion in savings from the program palatable for most Democrats.
Why is this “palatable” to most Democrats?
The key is eliminating a loophole that enables states to help some low-income residents with nominal subsidies to pay for their heating in the winter in order to trigger much higher food stamp benefits. Some states, such as New York, will make a $1 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program payment to low-income people in order to automatically qualify them for the maximum federal food stamps Standard Utility Allowance for 12 months.
How horrifying, states are trying to find ways to help residents not go hungry by tapping into other programs for the poor. Clearly this must be stopped at all costs.
So the plan would be to raise the minimum from $1 to $20 which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates would stop states from using the LIHEAP program to access maximum food stamps and thus save the federal government $8 billion over 10 years. It is truly amazing how creative people in DC can be when thinking of ways to screw the poor and enrich the already rich.
Any Democrat voting for this is cutting food stamps, full stop.