Food stamps have been in the news lately, as recipients are facing some minor scheduled cuts in the government program. The politically correct term these days is SNAP, which stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It should also be pointed out that we don't really see food stamps any more. It is more like a credit card that bills the taxpayer.
Here is one article on the cuts that food stamp recipients are facing. I realize how naive I was about this whole thing. I knew that the number of recipients had grown substantially over the last ten years and was now close to 50 million Americans. But I had no idea the amounts that people were receiving.
A family of four can get a maximum payment of $668 per month. This is set to decrease to $632. I really had no idea it was this much. I thought it was a supplement. I didn't realize that food stamps paid for people's groceries in their entirety, all year long.
At $632 per month (the reduced amount), that still leaves over $150 per week for a family of four. That is over $20 per day. As long as you are not buying individual meals and not buying expensive meals like steak and lobster, then this should cover most or all of your food expenses. It is easy to realize why non-recipients get so aggravated at the massive welfare.
I realize that you can't buy alcohol or cigarettes with food stamp money. But this really doesn't matter. Money is fungible. If someone pays for their beer and cigarettes separately, it doesn't mean that these things are not being subsidized. The person could have used the money spent on beer and cigarettes and put that towards food, instead of using government violence to collect the money.
I realize that there are all different kinds of government welfare. I would certainly rather see a food stamp program than a war overseas that kills innocent people. I would rather see a food stamp program than funding the drug war that destroys people's lives and causes higher crime rates. I would rather see a food stamp program than sending money to dictators in foreign countries.
I have sympathy for some poor people (even though that doesn't justify using force). But there are many poor people for which I have little sympathy. I suppose my only sympathy is that they were brought up by terrible parents, or maybe one parent. They grew up with bad examples and a terrible school system that taught them how to be leaches on society.
I do have sympathy for poor people who work hard. There are many hardworking people, both poor and middle class, who find themselves struggling. They are in a bad system where the government makes their lives extremely difficult. Government regulation, massive government spending, and Federal Reserve inflation all make us poorer and make our lives harder than they should be.
I think there is going to come a time when the middle and upper classes say "enough". They don't want to seem uncompassionate, but there will come a time when they will be pushed over the edge and will demand a reduction, if not a stop, to the massive government welfare.
The food stamp program is symbolic of government welfare. It causes resentment on both sides. It creates dependency on one side and anger on the other. And then the dependent side gets angry when their plunder is reduced by about 5% per month.
The non-recipients are still a large majority in this country. There may be 47 million Americans on food stamps, but there are over 250 million who are not. The 250 million can put a stop to it at any time.