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Sunday, March 02, 2014 2:41 PM


States Circumvent Food Stamp Cutbacks; Draconian Cuts "Much Ado About Nothing"


Flashback December 10, 2013: In Close Inspection of Alleged "Draconian" Cuts in Food Stamp Program I noted Mother Jones, the Nation, and the Daily Koz whined about "draconian" cuts in the food stamp program.

Close scrutiny showed the "draconian" cuts amounted to $4 billion in a close to $80 billion program. I further commented I actually doubt we will ever see those "cuts" in the first place.

Flashback January 29, 2014: Disgusting Compromise on $956B Farm Bill; In Spite of Massive Howls, No Actual Cuts in Food Stamps.

Proving that neither party really wants to do anything about escalating costs of anything, in typical D.C. compromise action, the House Passes $956B Farm Bill in a bipartisan vote.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) all voted for the bill.

Democrats are howling over miniscule cuts in SNAP (food stamps). For example, an inane headline on the Daily Koz reads House passes food stamp-slashing farm bill.

Supposedly there will be $8.6 billion in devastating food stamp cuts. Even if that happens it is less than a 1% cut in an economy that is supposedly in recovery.

Contrary to Popular Belief, No Cuts in Food Stamps

Will there be any cuts? I rather doubt it. In the "too stupid to make up category", this is how they determined the cuts.

The bill finds $8.6 billion in savings by requiring households to receive at least $20 per year in home heating assistance before they automatically qualify for food stamps, instead of the $1 threshold now in place in some states.

Amazing!

Now what do you think will happen? If you can't figure it out, I will tell you. States will give $20 per year in home heating assistance to everyone currently getting $1 per year in annual home heating assistance.

There will be miniscule (if any) savings at all at the federal level, and small increases at the state level.
States Make End Run Around Food Stamp Cuts

Flash Forward March 2, 2014: States Make End Run Around Food Stamp Cuts.
Connecticut and New York have found a way around federal budget cuts that played a central role in the massive farm bill passed this month: bump up home heating assistance a few million bucks in return for preserving more than a half-billion dollars in food stamp benefits.

The moves by Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- with the possibility that more governors could follow -- cheer social service advocates who say the deep recession and weak economic recovery have pounded low-income workers and the unemployed who rely on heating assistance and food stamps.

An order by Malloy will spend about $1.4 million in federal energy aid, increasing benefits for 50,000 low-income Connecticut residents from $1 to $20 so they do not lose $112 in monthly food stamp benefits. It will preserve about $67 million in food stamp benefits. New York will spend about $6 million more in federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding to maintain food stamp benefits totaling $457 million.
Cuts Much Ado About Nothing

That there would be no cuts in food stamps was the easiest call I have ever made.

Yet, we had to put up with incessant and ridiculous whining from democrats about ridiculously small cuts, even if they happened, when it was clear all along they wouldn't happen.

We also had to put up with Republicans pretending they were doing something about spending when they knew (or should have known) they weren't.

Since the time of Shakespeare seldom has there been so Much Ado About Nothing and from both political parties to boot.

This is how I ended my January 29 commentary:
Oh! The Horror!

Republicans and Democrats alike should both be ashamed, not only for doing virtually nothing, but also for howling at the moon as if they did.
Question of the Day

Republicans either didn't see this coming, or they did see it coming and simply didn't care. Which is worse?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

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