Few will even notice major cuts in our nation’s food stamp program, according to Rep. Steve King (R-IA).
Speaking on the floor Tuesday, King argued that a $20 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “spread out over ten years is not something that is going to be noticeable.”
KING: We do calculate our budget and spending in a 10-year window, so that means $800 billion is the universe of money we’re talking about. … Over the time period of 10 years, there would be $20 billion trimmed off of $800 billion. What comes to about a 2.5 percent decrease in the overall projected expenditures of the food stamp program known as SNAP. After all of that technical gibberish, the bottom line is a $20 billion cut is a $2.5 billion cut in the increase. $20 billion spread out over ten years is not something that is going to be noticeable.
Last year, the House Agriculture Committee passed a bill that included $16.5 billion in cuts to food stamps. As a result, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated, 2 to 3 million low-income people would no longer receive food assistance. The legislation touted by King would go even further.
Food stamps are an essential part of the American safety net and keep millions out of poverty. In 2011, SNAP lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty, nearly half of whom were children, despite the fact that most recipients receive less than $1.50 per meal on average.