(Natural News) The administration of President Joe Biden just approved the single largest increase in the budget of food assistance programs in 45 years. This 27 percent increase in aid puts even more strain upon taxpayers whose incomes have already been devastated by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdowns.
The increase in food assistance benefits is likely because of the recent inflation of food prices. But Biden and other government officials have officially denied the existence of any significant inflation. They argue without evidence that the increase in food prices falls “within the range of normal economic fluctuations.” (Related: Yes, prices for food are rising steady as inflation in the Biden era starts to run rampant: Here’s how we know.)
Boost to food stamp funding to go into effect on October
On Monday, Aug. 17, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the increase in funding for its longstanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps.
The funding boost is meant to replace a temporary increase to food benefits passed during the height of the pandemic. This temporary increase of about 15 percent is set to expire next month.
This temporary expansion of food assistance was instituted as a result of the lockdowns that began in early 2020. These lockdowns led to a massive downturn in the economy. This in turn led to widespread unemployment and more people being forced to rely on food assistance programs like SNAP and other unemployment benefits to survive.
The boost to food stamp benefits will go into effect on Oct. 1. According to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The increase in assistance will affect roughly 42 million people who are currently on food stamps.
Before the pandemic, the USDA said the level of food assistance each person on food stamps received per month was about $121. The increase will raise this by an average of $36.24 per person per month, or $1.19 per day.
The increase is based on a reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan. This is the index that tracks and calculates the cost of 58 different categories of grocery items people need to provide their families with budget-conscious and supposedly nutritious meals.
“A modernized Thrifty Food Plan is more than a commitment to good nutrition – it’s an investment in our nation’s health, economy and security,” said Vilsack.
“Ensuring low-income families have access to a healthy diet helps prevent disease, supports children in the classroom, reduces healthcare costs and more,” he added. “And the additional money families will spend on groceries helps grow the food economy, creating thousands of new jobs along the way.”
Food stamps put unnecessary pressure on taxpayers – but it doesn’t have to be this way
Food stamp enrollment swelled because of the lockdowns. The number of people enrolled in SNAP has increased by more than 15 percent since Feb. 2020, just before the first economically devastating lockdowns.
Vilsack claimed without evidence that providing people with taxpayer-funded food assistance can help reduce poverty. He further claimed that food stamps are extremely beneficial for Americans.
“The pandemic sort of shocked people from thinking, ‘I would never be involved in the SNAP program.,'” he said.
Vilsack did not acknowledge the fact that the economically devastating lockdowns forced a lot of people out of work. This led to them signing up for food stamps. This chain of events put even more pressure upon taxpayers who were able to retain their work and needed their income to support their families during the pandemic.
There are multiple ways to get people off food stamps and lessen the unnecessary pressure it causes for taxpayers.
Writing for the pro-free market think tank the Foundation for Economic Education, James Whitford, who runs a charity movement, said that he believes the government should add work requirements to SNAP benefits.
Adding this requirement to food stamps would put as many as 1.3 million unemployed people relying on government assistance to get back into the workforce.
For evidence, Whitford pointed to Missouri. In 2016, the state added work requirements for its food stamp program. This led to more than 85 percent of able-bodied adults without dependents who relied on food stamps to drop off the welfare program. These people then doubled their incomes by getting new jobs.
Whitford pointed out how the government actually wastes money for every job it creates by funding SNAP.
One government report found that giving SNAP a billion dollars in funding creates $13,560 jobs. These jobs pay an annual salary of just under $52,000. This means the government spends almost $74,000 for every job it creates.
To deal with this overspending, Whitford believes the government should allow churches and other private charitable organizations to step in with providing people with assistance.
He pointed to a study that found that private charities spend just $0.50 for every dollar the government spends in addressing similar social needs.
“While the government-mandated remedies simply move money around, we know the human creativity of the market creates real growth,” argued Whitford. “Let’s stop settling … and begin searching for real solutions.”
NationalDebt.news has more information on how government welfare programs are detrimental to the economy and the average American.