- Accuracy in Media - https://www.aim.org -

Change to Food Stamp Rules is a ‘Mass Starvation Plan’

President Trump, who “doesn’t give up when he can’t get his cruel agenda through Congress,” [1] responded to Congress’ refusal to act on reforms he called for to the food stamp program by enacting his “mass starvation plan,” [1] according to the mainstream media.

The plan is a change to the policy [2] on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Currently, able-bodied adults without dependents can receive food benefits for only three months in any three-year period unless they work at least 20 hours per week.

States with high unemployment can waive those restrictions [2] and grant exemptions to up to 15 percent of their food stamp population if unemployment rates are at least 20 percent over the national average.

The new rule [2] would allow states to allow people to collect food stamps without working if unemployment exceeds 7 percent. It also requires the waivers be granted only for single jurisdictions (as opposed to entire urban areas) and for one year only – which means food stamp officials can’t create stockpiles of eligible recipients under the 15 percent rule.

For the first time in American history, there are more jobs than people looking for them [3]. Unemployment among African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans [4], women [5] and other minorities are at or near historical lows.

But a technical change to a rule over who can get food stamps – one that effects fewer than 800,000 able-bodied adults in a nation of 330 million people – amounts to slow-motion genocide, according to some media outlets.

“After Congress passed the $867 billion farm bill last week without the House’s ‘cruel’ and ‘shameful’ provisions to tighten work requirements for [SNAP], the Trump administration is pushing to impose such restrictions through changes at the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” wrote [1] Jessica Corbett at Common Dreams under “’Mass Starvation Plan’: Trump USDA to Push Work Requirements for Food Stamps That Congress Left Off Farm Bill.”

“New this morning, the Trump administration wants to force hundreds of thousands of struggling Americans to work to get food stamps. The Agriculture Department unveiling a proposal that would expand work requirements in the food stamp program known as SNAP. … Congressional Democrats are slamming this plan and they are questioning whether the president can even legally do it.”

Her comments were in a video embedded in CNN’s story [6], headlined, “Trump plans to make more people work for food stamps.” The story included one quote in favor of the move – from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, saying lifting helping people lift themselves out of poverty was a “central theme of the Trump administration” and that the rule “restores the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population, while it’s also respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program.”

The rest comes from two leftist groups [6] – the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities and the Center for American Progress.

It’s not fair to tighten work requirements because people “cannot control their hours in today’s labor market,” Rachel West, director of poverty research at the Center for American Progress is quoted [6] as saying.  

“That volatility, combined with the challenge of documenting one’s hours, will result in many folks losing their benefits,” CNN wrote. [6]