Our nation’s safety net program to help low income families and children afford enough food, SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is slated for a $14.1 billion decrease in funding. Unless Congress acts to reverse this, those receiving SNAP aid will see a substantial reduction in their monthly benefits, possibly beginning as early as 2013. The decrease in monthly aid would mark an unprecedented event in the program’s history.
Congress is raiding the SNAP program to pay for other domestic programs such as Medicaid and teacher salaries. Although a large deficit can be a problem in the long run, studies show that short-term deficit spending in time of recession is beneficial to the economy. Further, SNAP is not only a proven anti-poverty program but also has the stimulative effect on the economy of producing $1.73 in economic activity for each dollar spent on the program.
New information, which was released from the census bureau on September 28th, found that 20 percent of American children live in poverty. The census report also found that in Mississippi alone 31 percent of children were living in poverty. Further troubling is the fact that, in as many as 21 states nationwide childhood poverty was at or above the 20 percent mark. Since SNAP has proven an effective anti-hunger program, it should be supported and expanded in desperate times, not curtailed.
If you rob Peter to pay Paul, the already hungry Peter will starve. If we allow this kind of deficit hysteria to hijack our children’s well being, we will be a nation morally starved as well.