Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Food stamps and the invisible poor

By Richard K. Barry 

Steve Benen at Maddowblog made a point yesterday that is so obviously true it made me shake my head:

In recent weeks, it's been remarkably easy to find so-called "victims" of the Affordable Care Act on various news shows, each telling their story about how they're going to lose their old, awful coverage plan. These horror stories generally don't stand up well to scrutiny – we're talking about folks who are getting a subsidized insurance upgrade – but they've nevertheless become an easy, popular story for those eager to blast "Obamacare."

I can't help but notice, though, that actual victims of food-stamp cuts aren't exactly blanketing the national airwaves. Arthur Delaney reported on Friday about food-bank directors worrying aloud about the consequences of shrinking benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

According to USA Today:

Food stamp benefits will be cut to more than 47 million Americans starting Friday as a temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without a new budget from a deadlocked Congress to replace it.

Under the program, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, a family of four that gets $668 per month in benefits will find that amount cut by $36.

Those who need food stamps and are suffering from program cuts are largely, Benen ads, invisible to the Beltway media preoccupied with a temporarily dysfunctional website.

Some people count and others don't. That's just the way it is, as the media fabricates one crisis and ignores another.

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  • I spend an average of $160/week on groceries for my family of four, very close to the $167/wk (668÷4) currently covered by SNAP. It shouln't be a problem for the average family of four to live on $158/week ((668-36)/4=158). I just don't see the "crisis."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:02 PM  

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