The politics of food stamps: Unlimited government!

Recently proposed cuts to the federal food stamps program would return the program to 2011 spending levels, still providing benefits to roughly 45.7 million individuals. SoldAtTheTop dismisses Keynesian arguments against the proposal and argues 'limited government' to be a dead philosophy. 

Allen Breed/AP Photo/File
Kevin Concannon, former U.S. undersecretary of agriculture, chats with vendor Helen Wise at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, N.C.. SoldAtTheTop analyzes recent proposals to cut federal food stamp spending.

Listening to a recent Diane Rehm episode entitled "The Politics of Food Stamps" which discussed proposed cuts to the federal food stamps program provides yet another example of how far out of hand and fiscally profligate the statist policy junkies have gotten.

The proposed cut, as stated directly in the opening of the show, would amount to 5% of the program cost, roughly $40 billion, over 10 years or put another way, roughly $4 billion per year for the next 10 years. 

Recall from my prior posts that the current monthly cost of funding the federal food stamps program is $6.35 billion with an annual total of roughly $76.2 billion. 

So, the proposed annual cut is less than the cost of funding the federal food stamps program for just a single month, spread out over an entire year.

Looking at it another way, the $4 billion annul cut equates to roughly $335 million per month or the equivalent of the cost of providing food stamps benefits to 200K recipients or 100K households per month.

Given the fact that there are currently 47.7 million food stamps recipients, this proposed “cut” is simply a "drop in the bucket", a mere rounding error on a program that has grown far out of bounds in both cost and purpose.

Of course, listening to the Keynesian policy junkies on the Rehm panel though, any cut is too much and completely unacceptable.

No matter that the federal government is effectively insolvent, relying on the Federal Reserve for a $45 billion monthly hit of “stimulation” just to make the ends meet on these programs… “We must not cut these important benefits” the Keynesians opine.

Keep in mind that the proposed cut would simply roll the level of spending back to that seen in mid-2011 with the program still providing benefits to roughly 45.7 million individuals.

At this point, “limited government” as it was traditionally framed is dead philosophy with advocates lucky to simply establish any limits whatsoever over the grotesque expansion of government largesse.  

To that, I say “Bring on the shutdown!”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.