Trump Regime Makes Large-Scale Cuts in Food Stamps
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition assistance program — providing benefits to eligible low-income households.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities last March:
“Each of the past two Trump budgets has targeted benefits and services for individuals and families of modest means for deep cuts, even as it has supported tax cuts conferring large new benefits on those at the top of the income scale,” adding:
“If (his proposed FY 2020 budget is) enacted, these cuts (will increase) poverty and hardship, leaving more people struggling to afford basics like food and rent.”
New Trump regime announced rules last week eliminate food stamps for around 700,000 needy individuals.
Beginning in April 2020, “able-bodied” adults without dependents, aged-18 to 49, now receiving food stamps will lose them.
A new Trump regime regulation makes it harder for states to grant waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries work or enroll in a vocational training program.
According to corporatist Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, serving agribusiness interests and his own private enterprises, the new regulation moves hundreds of thousands of food stamp recipients “toward self-sufficiency and into employment (sic).”
The move comes at a time of increasing economic weakness, real unemployment at around 21%, most working Americans way underemployed, needing two or more jobs to survive if able to find them.
Further Trump regime food stamp cuts are planned. According to the Urban Institute, around 3.7 million recipients will lose benefits.
Dem Rep. Marcia Fudge called the new regulation “the Grinch (that) stole Christmas,” adding:
It’s “an unacceptable escalation of the (Trump regime’s) war on working families.”
Dems were largely silent on the new regulation. The Clinton co-presidency’s Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) ended Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).
Time limit harshness replaced it. Five years and out became policy. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) mandates it.
States get diminishing amounts of federal fixed block grants funding.
To qualify for benefits, recipients must work or train for jobs, including single mothers with small children. Millions lost benefits.
During his time in office, Obama in cahoots with Congress slashed Medicare and Medicaid benefits, Pell Grants for college tuition, low-income energy assistance, Head Start, housing block grants, and other social programs.
In 2014, he, congressional Dems, and Republicans agreed on cutting nearly $9 billion in food stamp aid over a 10-year period, around 850,000 needy households losing around $90 a month.
The vast majority of food stamp recipients are impoverished. They’re either unemployed or way underemployed.
Millions of US households struggle to pay rent, service mortgages, cover medical bills, heat homes, feed families, and manage other daily expenses.
Greater social benefits are needed. Cutting them increases hunger, hopelessness and despair.
Hunger in the US is a silent crisis. A mother in distress spoke for countless others, saying she “can’t remember the last time she went to bed without worrying about how she was going to feed her three children.”
“She can’t remember the last time she woke up and wasn’t worried about how she and her husband would make enough in their part-time jobs to buy groceries and pay utilities on their apartment in a working-class” neighborhood.
“She can’t remember the last time she went to bed without worrying about how she was going to feed her three children.”
“She can’t remember the last time she woke up and wasn’t worried about how she and her husband would make enough in their part-time jobs to buy groceries and pay utilities on their apartment.”
Depriving millions more US households of vitally needed food stamps assures the hidden US hunger crisis will increase.
Around 36 million Americans receive food stamps. Both right wings of the one-party state want food security increasingly based on the ability to pay — millions receiving food stamps to lose benefits.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”