Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

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mike
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby mike » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:23 am

temporal1 wrote:
mike wrote:
ohio jones wrote:Wait ... we pay the water bill for those in need (separate program, of course) AND pay for their bottled water? :?
I had a customer for years who bought bottled distilled water using food stamps, for her dogs, which didn't like her tap water.
there’s a viral petition for that. :-|
SNAP for pets
https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/01/ ... hases.html


Wow. I guess it really shouldn't be surprising these days.

There is nothing to prevent people from buying food meant for human consumption and feeding it to their pets. I believe it happens fairly frequently. I know people will buy deli meats for their dogs.

That reminds me of what Max said about food banks/pantries. Our local food bank distributes a large amount of food, and one of the things that qualifies you as a recipient is possessing an EBT card. It is a privately funded food bank which often is so flush with food donations that they share with other banks.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:28 am

mike wrote:Well, as we can see for ourselves, a certain amount of tax money really is going to luxury or junk food. The "food parcel" would be one way to address some of that; but so would restricting SNAP benefits to certain foods. For example the WIC program already does that. Either way it would be more of a control on how tax dollars are used toward their intended purpose.


One thing I don't yet understand is the relative purchasing power of SNAP versus the new program. Will it be harder to feed a family with the new program, easier, or about the same? If there's a difference, how much of a difference?
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Bootstrap
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:51 am

Some more questions. From what I can tell, this program is called "USDA America’s Harvest Box", but it does not include fresh fruits or vegetables or even frozen fruits or vegetables, only canned. Is that correct? Would there be fewer healthy choices under this program?

I would expect reducing bureaucracy and increasing efficiency to be important goals. At first glance this looks like it would require more bureaucracy and it's not clear to me that it would be more efficient at allocating food. Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to simply specify what kinds of food SNAP pays for, like we do with WIC?

Are there reasons to believe that the harvest box approach would reduce dependency? Help me understand what goals this program is designed to meet.
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mike
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby mike » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:20 pm

Bootstrap wrote:Some more questions. From what I can tell, this program is called "USDA America’s Harvest Box", but it does not include fresh fruits or vegetables or even frozen fruits or vegetables, only canned. Is that correct? Would there be fewer healthy choices under this program?

I would expect reducing bureaucracy and increasing efficiency to be important goals. At first glance this looks like it would require more bureaucracy and it's not clear to me that it would be more efficient at allocating food. Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to simply specify what kinds of food SNAP pays for, like we do with WIC?

Are there reasons to believe that the harvest box approach would reduce dependency? Help me understand what goals this program is designed to meet.


From what I read, the goals are to save money, meet the nutritional goals of SNAP, and reduce fraud.

Anything new requires new bureaucracy. Somebody has to manage it. Purchasing food at wholesale rates and giving it directly to beneficiaries, rather than giving the funds to beneficiaries to purchase products at full retail, could cut the program cost. I assume that's where they intend to save the $214 Billion over 10 years.

I don't think that this new program would reduce dependency, or that it is intended for that. A way to reduce dependency would probably be to have some incentives or programs to help people find better employment, and thus no longer need to be on the program.
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Heirbyadoption
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby Heirbyadoption » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:32 pm

mike wrote:
Bootstrap wrote:Some more questions. From what I can tell, this program is called "USDA America’s Harvest Box", but it does not include fresh fruits or vegetables or even frozen fruits or vegetables, only canned. Is that correct? Would there be fewer healthy choices under this program?

I would expect reducing bureaucracy and increasing efficiency to be important goals. At first glance this looks like it would require more bureaucracy and it's not clear to me that it would be more efficient at allocating food. Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to simply specify what kinds of food SNAP pays for, like we do with WIC?

Are there reasons to believe that the harvest box approach would reduce dependency? Help me understand what goals this program is designed to meet.


From what I read, the goals are to save money, meet the nutritional goals of SNAP, and reduce fraud.

Anything new requires new bureaucracy. Somebody has to manage it. Purchasing food at wholesale rates and giving it directly to beneficiaries, rather than giving the funds to beneficiaries to purchase products at full retail, could cut the program cost. I assume that's where they intend to save the $214 Billion over 10 years.

I don't think that this new program would reduce dependency, or that it is intended for that. A way to reduce dependency would probably be to have some incentives or programs to help people find better employment, and thus no longer need to be on the program.

So essentially they are reinventing the wheel and creating additional/new bureaucracy in speculatory hopes of saving some money and accomplishing the goals SNAP is failing in? This strikes me as being more a political gimic than an effectual improvement attempt, honestly.
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby mike » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:52 pm

Heirbyadoption wrote:So essentially they are reinventing the wheel and creating additional/new bureaucracy in speculatory hopes of saving some money and accomplishing the goals SNAP is failing in? This strikes me as being more a political gimic than an effectual improvement attempt, honestly.


Any new changes are risky. But doing the same old thing has its own problems. I can imagine there was a huge degree of skepticism when food stamps were first introduced.

Actually they debated the issue of excluding certain foods such as soda and luxury foods back in the 1960s when the program was beginning. Obviously those concerns lost the debate. https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/short-history-snap The history of the program looks like an interesting read.

If these proposed changes actually get to the point of being debated in Congress, I imagine we will hear all these old issues come back up.
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Hats Off
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby Hats Off » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:54 pm

After a quick look at Mike's grocery lists, there are few items on them that we would buy. I would love to browse the store sometime and try a few of those "luxury" items.
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:10 pm

mike wrote:If these proposed changes actually get to the point of being debated in Congress, I imagine we will hear all these old issues come back up.


One of the things that has gotten lost in the last few decades is the idea of starting from the goal, laying out various possible solutions, and debating them over time to come up with a policy.
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby Josh » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:11 pm

It’s apparent government can’t really do anything without a ton of people not liking it.

In this case, giving food away to hungry people attracts criticism.
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mike
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Re: Trump Budget Swaps Food Stamps for '100 Percent American' Food

Postby mike » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:06 pm

Hats Off wrote:After a quick look at Mike's grocery lists, there are few items on them that we would buy. I would love to browse the store sometime and try a few of those "luxury" items.


To be honest, my family does not eat at all like many of my customers do. Many people spend a huge portion of their income on eating foods that a generation or two ago would only have dreamed of. Produce is one food area where modern technology and infrastructure allows us to live in luxury, eating freshly grown products from across the country and even other countries year around. Candy, nuts, snacks, prepared and luxury foods are all relatively non-essential. And yet there is where a lot of retailers make their money. There is little money to be made off grocery staples.

What I mean is there is little to be made from selling a $2.50 bag of flour. But take that flour and make a pastry or loaf of bread, you can make much more. Not much profit in selling a package of fresh ground beef. But if you take that beef, season and cook it and put it in a roll as a specialty hamburger, you make a handy profit.
Last edited by mike on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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