Food stamp cuts expected to affect millions
Published: Friday, November 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, November 1, 2013 11:11
Food stamp benefits will be cut starting Friday, Nov. 1, after a temporary increase during the recession period.
The reduction will total to more than $5 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds will affect millions.
The stimulus that gave added funds to the program began back in 2009 and gave the nearly 44 million Americans that received them additional money. Compared to 26 million six years ago in 2007. Today, the average benefit per aid recipient is $133.19 a month.
This isn't the only hit food stamp recipients should expect, however. A partisan fight over the Farm Bill - with a 217-210 vote - led to additional cuts of more than $39 billion over the next 10 years, according to the New York Times.
Republican leaders argue funding cuts to the bill, which is traditionally used for farm subsidies but also includes the food stamp program, was needed because the $80 billion a year food stamp program got out of hand. The GOP argues this adds to the cycle of poverty by creating dependency on government welfare.
“This bill eliminates loopholes, ensures work requirements, and puts us on a fiscally responsible path,” said Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., who was a leader in the fight to separate the food stamp aid program from the overall farm bill. “In the real world, we measure success by results. It’s time for Washington to measure success by how many families are lifted out of poverty and helped back on their feet, not by how much Washington bureaucrats spend year after year.”
According to the New York Times report:
The food stamp cuts scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1 will reduce spending by $5 billion in the 2014 fiscal year, and another $6 billion over the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years. They are expected to shave 0.2 percentage point from annualized consumption growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 and trim an estimated 0.1 percentage point off the annual growth rate of the nation’s gross domestic product, according to estimates by Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist at JPMorgan Chase. Those drags may seem small, but right now projections for gains in fourth-quarter gross domestic product hover around an annual rate of just 2 percent.