The SNAP Stimulus Sunset: When The Ends Don’t Meet | VALID | #TWIBnation

The SNAP Stimulus Sunset: When The Ends Don’t Meet

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SNAP benefits are slated to undergo a devastating reduction in funding beginning Friday, November 1. Surprisingly, this is not directly attributable to hateful Republicans, it’s an unintended consequence of the Stimulus (aka the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009). Because increasing SNAP benefits is one of the most economically stimulative things the government can do, the Stimulus increased SNAP maximum monthly benefits by 13.6 percent beginning in April 2009. But now SNAP’s stimulus-funded boost is reaching its sunset. And, as everybody knows, nobody in Congress has the political will or ability to extend SNAP benefits, even though our economy still needs help, and each dollar spent on food stamps infuses over $1.73 of spending into the economy.

What is the effect of the SNAP Stimulus Sunset? According to Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, the poorest families will lose roughly an entire week’s worth of food per month. Purvis notes that erroneous beliefs about poor people help contribute to the lack of political pressure on this topic: “people are comforted by believing that they know that a person has to have done something wrong in order to be poor.” Even if you are cruel enough to believe poor people deserve their poverty, are you really prepared to watch families starve over the holidays? That’s what this SNAP Stimulus Sunset means for thousands of families in the “richest country in the world”.

Remember a time in America when “war on poverty” didn’t mean “a war against poor people”?  I’m thirty, so I don’t; all I remember from my lifetime is how CEO pay has grown by orders of magnitude compared to minimum wage, but somehow poor people with barely enough food at Thanksgiving have it too good. You know a government program works too well at preventing starvation when McDonald‘s and other massively profitable corporations refer their employees to SNAP . . . instead of paying them a living wage.

Rad-Femme Lawyer

Rad-Femme Lawyer is a practicing litigator living in Chicago, and a contributor of legal information and opinions to #TWiBNation, Her professional concentrations are commercial and securities litigation, and she also does pro bono work in special education access and employment discrimination.

View all contributions by Rad-Femme Lawyer

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