Today’s daily dozen… 12 things related to SNAP.
Are There Enough SNAP Shoppers in My Community? – This discusses why farmers’ markets may not find it worthwhile to accept EBT. The small town where we used to live had a certain prestige and we were the only family who used SNAP there.
- Alabama isn’t going to take cars away from food stamps recipients – Last week it was widely reported that Alabama Republicans introduced a bill that would prohibit people from owning a car if they get SNAP. I’m not sure why it was reported the way it was but basically, this bill is like Maine’s asset test reinstatement from last fall. Asset test for assistance is a federal policy that most states waive. This reverses that waiver.
The budget from the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), a.k.a. “the people’s budget.” is everything we need – “The CPC budget bulks up funding for food stamps, child nutrition programs, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance, along with housing assistance for low-income families. It indexes Social Security to a more generous cost-of-living measure, so benefits increase more over time. It expands both the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, which top-off the paychecks for poorer Americans with extra cash. And it appropriates federal funding to create either national-level or state-level programs for paid sick leave and paid family leave.
Along with replenishing these preexisting welfare programs, it would push non-defense discretionary spending back up to its historical average of 3.5 percent of the economy by 2021, down from the historic lows of 2.3 to 2.4 percent it’s at now. “In the long run [the CPC budget] spends a lot on needed public investments to push back against slowing productivity growth,” Blair said.
But the CPC budget also contains some genuinely new additions: a public option for ObamaCare’s exchanges, funding to provide preschool for all families, a new program to refinance student debt, and a change to the law to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with providers. But arguably the biggest addition — in terms of economic impact — is the $1.2 trillion in new infrastructure spending the CPC budget would deploy in its first decade. There’s widespread agreement that at least that much is needed to repair the country’s seaports, roads, bridges, railways and such. And there’s hundreds of billions more needed to update the national infrastructure to make it more green friendly and environmentally sustainable.”
- ‘Congrats on Your College Degrees. Here Are Your Food Stamps.’– ugh. Just ugh.
- Senators uphold Nebraska food stamp ban for drug felons – Of all the policies that restrict people from getting food stamps, this one always makes me so angry. Felony convictions up the odds of living in poverty after release and then we take away the safety net. It’s ridiculous. I hope Sen Morfeld reintroduces the proposal.
- 9000+ Arkansans Losing SNAP at End of Month, Pantries Prepare to Serve More – this is the result of Arkansas reinstating work requirements
- Arkansas is looking at restricting certain foods from being purchased– That link goes to a misleading headline that makes it sound like a study was done that shows SNAP recipients buy junk food and “luxury” foods. What’s actually happening is an interim study was requested to look at how people spend SNAP money.
- House Agriculture Committee Questions USDA over Proposed SNAP Rule – Basically, those new proposed rules I talked about last week is what they’re asking questions about. Are these new requirements going to deter retailers from accepting SNAP?
- Tampons Shouldn’t Be Tax Free. They Should Be Covered by Food Stamps and Medicaid. – yes. yes, yes.
- Thousands of Unemployed Missouri Residents Will Soon Lose Their Food Stamp Benefits – same story as Arkansas
- Rules for SNAP benefits tightening in Maryland – same. Changes start April 1
- Proven at last: Want to raise a sneer? Buy organic while poor. – Oh,hell yes.