Purpose versus excuse: Why Congress might buy Trump’s food stamp reform plan

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

Politico reports that the Trump administration wants to partially replace ‘food stamps’ with ‘a box of government-picked, nonperishable foods every month.’ … From the initial response, one might expect this plan to go nowhere. Its cost-cutting benefits are debatable (the US Department of Agriculture says it would save $129 billion over ten years, but they’re not including the cost of actually delivering the food). Grocers oppose it for the obvious reason that it would reduce the amount of money flowing through their cash registers. Smaller-government types point out that it would entail a bigger USDA and that families are better judges of their own food needs than some box-packing bureaucrats. But it still might pass. Why? Because the purpose of ‘food stamps’ is not what most people think it is. What is that purpose? No, it’s not to feed the poor. That’s a happy side effect and a convenient excuse. The real purpose of the program is to justify welfare checks to Big Agriculture.”


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