Important points on cuts and reactions
A record $4.75 trillion budget was sent to Congress by the president for the fiscal year 2020. The main feature of this budget is its proposals for sharp cuts to domestic programs like social security, education, and environmental protection and a largest in history 5% increase in military funding.
It was widely criticized by the Democrats one of whom declared the proposal, “a gut punch to the American middle class.” Although the main cut is proposed to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, “as well as numerous other middle-class programs, are devastating” including the food stamps. President asked for shaving $818 billion from projected spending on Medicare over 10 years and cutting nearly $1.5 trillion from projected spending on Medicaid. “This budget is a recipe for American decline,” said John Yarmuth, Democrat of Kentucky and the chairman of the House Budget Committee. Even some important Republicans greeted the president’s request somewhat composedly.
The President also proposed new requirements for adult recipients of food stamps, which would not only reduce spending on this program but would also disqualify many who currently receive assistance.
Cut On Food Stamps and Its Effects
- The president’s 2020 budget plan is yet another attack on the poor recommending slashing funding for significant programs that helps vulnerable families and individuals access healthy and nutritious food.
- Particularly, the proposal of a huge cut of around $220 billion (an estimated $25 to $30 billion per year) from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) with proposed reforms including mandatory work requirements and food box delivery service. Although Congress is unlikely to endorse the proposal, the budget draws a worrying state of the administration’s policy major concerns and the possible effect on communities at risk.
- The President proposes to cut SNAP about 30 percent, over the next ten years. The budget would significantly reorganize how food stamps’ benefits are offered, denying food choices and posing new food access barriers for almost 90 percent of the beneficiaries.
- The shocking impact of this cut on SNAP, the nation’s leading anti-hunger program, will be that over 750,000 of 40 million people with food insecurity will lose this assistance in the first place. Other assistance and eligibility cuts would cause at least 4 million people to lose SNAP benefits altogether.
- It could be translated that the Agriculture Department (USDA) to hold back about 40 percent of the benefits issued to households. It plans to use about half of these funds to give households a box of dry and preserved food items such as shelf-stable milk, ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, and canned foods. This box of food would replace the food that households would otherwise purchase with SNAP benefits at the grocery store. The other half of the held-back funds would be removed.
- The proposed cuts would affect every group of food stamps participant, including the unemployed, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and low-income working families with children (as the proposal will considerably reduce child nutrition programs).
- Over the next decade, it would inflict large benefit cuts on most eligible poverty ridden households, even though current benefits average just $1.40 per person per meal, and would radically restructure how benefits are distributed.
- The president’s budget proposal pressed for legislation to harden work requirements for the recipients of assistance programs. It is proved through research that the work rules presently in effect in SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) do not elevate people out of poverty. Rather, these rules have inflicted serious suffering by causing many families to lose assistance in times of need and tossing them into deeper misery.
- Strengthening work requirements in SNAP would harm already working beneficiaries. It can potentially take away coverage that enables individuals to manage the nutrition needs of the elderly or children in the family.
- SNAP like other health and shelter assistance programs enable these individuals to meet their basic needs for food. Failing to meet draconian rules, work requirements will take away benefits that can help families improve their economic prospects. Food stamps promise that the urgent and most basic need of all is met and that no man, woman, or child is subjected to wearing hunger.
- Instead of attending the needs of the poor, Trump’s proposed budget aggravates the survival issue they are already facing. Congress must not only disapprove but end the notion of anti-poor initiative on programs like SNAP that assist them and amend its priorities.