As reported by The Real News Network, there are a lot of myths about food stamps that fuel the indignation on the Right, contributing to the Republican House passing a bill that cut the program by $40 billion. One would think that as members of Congress, they would be privy to some of this information, but apparently learning important facts and using logic to make their decisions is not a TEApublican strong suit.
To summarize the video below, there are two key takeaways. First and foremost is the good that SNAP does: The USDA found that every $5 in SNAP benefits generates upwards of $9 in economic gains, spent at community businesses, etc. It doesn’t just feed people but also supports business.
This is extremely important because the program represents more than just food on people’s tables. It also contributes to the economic recovery by spreading money around the communities that it is spent in. If Republicans believed in spending money on government programs that then spread out and helped everyone, they would have passed Obama’s transportation bill(s) long ago.
The second point is that the SNAP program has one of the lowest levels of fraud among government programs. When TEApublicans talk about how much they want to starve people, they’ll bring up examples like the surfer in California who uses food stamps to avoid working, claiming he proves that there is rampant abuse in the program. They of course conveniently ignore that the only reason why that particular example exists is because the government temporarily waived the work requirement due to the economic crisis.
Yet the fact is that only 3% of cases involve over-payments and approximately only 10% of businesses are found to be committing some kind of SNAP fraud. It’s interesting that the Right is quick to jump on these few examples and use them for their own political gain. But whenever some mentally ill person goes on a rampage with a gun, they immediately cry foul and say that you can’t judge all gun-owners by the actions of a few.
Ultimately this is important information that needs to be disseminated. The Tea Party will spread as much lies and misinformation as they possibly can to discredit the program. The truth is that it helps a lot of people who need it and it helps the economy, and it doesn’t make any sense to cut the program by $40 billion.
Watch the Real News Network report in the video below.