House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) pitched his last budget proposal as a way to rein in the federal budget, cut deficits and debt, and create jobs. While much of the focus on that budget fell on Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it, it also included substantial cuts to vital safety net programs.
One of the programs that would have been cut by Ryan’s budget was the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps). Ryan’s plan turned SNAP into a block grant to states, cutting 18 percent from a program that is credited with keeping 3.9 million Americans — including 1.7 million children — out of poverty in 2010. Had the Ryan budget been approved, that conversion would have had terrible implications for the program’s “ability to respond to rising need, forcing states during economic downturns to cut benefits or create waiting lists for needy families.” And according to a new study from the Center for American Progress, those cuts would have also destroyed more than 174,000 jobs:
In the so-called “Ryan budget plan,” named after the principal author of the bill, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), he proposed a $127 billion cut to the program. A cut of that size would result in the loss of more than 174,000 jobs in the first year.
According to the study, each $1 billion cut from SNAP results in more than 13,700 lost jobs, and a 10 percent cut to the program would kill roughly 96,000 jobs that have depended on the program during the recession. The losses would particularly impact food-related industries, which would lose 11,000 jobs if the program was cut by 10 percent.
It’s unclear whether Ryan’s budget, set to be released tomorrow, will include cuts to SNAP similar to last year’s. If it does, however, it’s important for Ryan to know that such cuts wouldn’t only increase the spread of poverty and hunger, they would kill jobs too.