Obviously, as the economy improves, stimulus that was designed to get us out of a caving, crashing recession will have to be scaled back. And of course the things that were set to expire are going to expire, especially with a House of Representatives dead set on anything decent for the Republic. So I guess nobody should be surprised that the expanded SNAP benefits are going to be back to what they were before the stimulus starting tomorrow.
Extra funding for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, one of the most impactful elements of the 2009 economic stimulus, expires Friday, meaning poor families in all 50 states will immediately see steep cuts in government food aid.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a 13.6 percent funding increase to SNAP recipients beginning in April 2009, money the bill’s backers said would make its way quickly into the economy. But that extra funding ends Nov. 1. Every one of the 48 million SNAP recipients will see their benefits cut in their next checks.
Given the need, it seems early from a purely moral standpoint. The top earners are recovering nicely, and good for them and all, but the need for SNAP for people who aren’t earning that is still there.
SNAP benefits disproportionately help families with children. More than 21 million children — one in four children in the country today — live in households that participate in the program. More than two-thirds of the $5 billion the government saves will come from households that include children.
But instead of recognizing that the need is real, and that we should do more, we have a House of Representatives that last month voted for major cuts to the program. The GOP in the last election cycle ran candidate for President who doesn’t believe people are entitled to food, and they’re living up to that even though he lost.