That low rumbling sound you hear this week is the growling of Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan's stomach. Pocan is partaking in the "SNAP Challenge"--buying only the amount of groceries for himself that someone on Food Stamps would be able to purchase. As Pocan is telling anyone with a camera or a microphone, that would be just $31.50 a week--or $1.50 a meal. (I don't know if Pocan's boyfriend is also partaking in the challenge--as that would double the amount the household can buy.) The Congressman says his goal is to show that it is almost impossible to "live" on Food Stamps--and that Republicans are evil people for wanting to REDUCE THE INCREASE in the program's budget as part of the new Farm Bill.
Pocan is partially correct, it would be darn near impossible to live on Food Stamps. But what he seems to be forgetting is that Food Stamps aren't supposed to represent your entire grocery budget. The "SNAP" in "SNAP Challenge" is the acronym for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program--the "official" government name for Food Stamps. Please note the use of the word SUPPLEMENTAL.
Webster's defines supplemental as: Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole. Food Stamps are intended to "add to" a person's personal grocery budget--not to serve as someone's entire food budget. If that is what is was supposed to be it would be called the COMPREHENSIVE Nutrition Assistance Program. The expectation of the Food Stamps program has always been that you spend some money on food--and Uncle Sam will help you out a little bit to put more in the refrigerator.
Actually, the word "Supplemental" appears in a number of big entitlement program titles. Medicare is actually Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance--while Social Security provides some beneficiaries with Supplemental Security Income. Nowhere in the titles of those programs does the word "Comprehensive" appear. Yet Democrats continue to claim that Food Stamps, Medicare and Social Security should pay out at levels that require no outlay at all from recipients. And it's why they partake in publicity stunts like the one Congressman Pocan is trying this week--to show how "little" is provided to those on the dole. All the time, failing to mention that those receiving the benefits have always been expected to put a little of their own skin in the game.
We've known for some time now that those on the left can't handle basic math by the way they expand entitlement programs without ways to actually pay for them and failing to balance budgets. Now we know that we need to get them dictionaries along with calculators.