Saturday, November 02, 2013

One giant lie

The Republican war on food stamps is based on one giant lie.

Ask any Republican on Capitol Hill about the proposed cut of $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps, and they'll say that the billions we spend each year on the SNAP program are a waste, and that the program is hurting our economy.

The Republican story couldn't be any further from the truth.

The 13.6% boost in food stamp aid in the 2009 Recovery Act helped to lift more than half a million Americans out of food insecurity, and millions more out of poverty. Food stamps lifted 4.7 million Americans out of poverty in 2011 alone, and when Americans are lifted out of poverty, the entire economy benefits.

As Christopher Cook over at Mother Jones points out, "extensive research shows food stamps are a highly effective investment delivering big returns for all Americans, not just the poor. SNAP not only provides an economic and nutritional lifeline for low-income Americans, it also creates a significant boon to the wider economy."

In other words, the billions of dollars the government spends each year on food stamps are being reinvested in the economy, and acting as a giant government stimulus.

According to the Department of Agriculture's Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, for every $5 spent on food stamps, up to $9 is generated in economic activity.

Read the Truthout story here.

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