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Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands the speaker's gavel to incoming House Speaker John Boehner after Boehner was elected Speaker on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. REUTERS
When Nancy Pelosi handed the gavel to John Boehner, food stamp benefit cuts became a near certainty.
The abrupt drop in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits that will kick in on Nov. 1 wasn't supposed to be abrupt:
The plan had been to leave the increase in place until inflation caught up through annual adjustments to SNAP benefit levels, which had been expected to happen in 2015. But congressional Democrats essentially raided the cookie jar, using the future planned spending to offset the cost of priority legislation in 2010. They said at the time that they would put the money back before any decrease could take effect, but they have not kept their promise.
When Democrats pulled money out of SNAP to help states save public sector jobs and to provide afterschool meals for children, they didn't realize how big the 2010 Republican wave would be. Once it was Speaker John Boehner, not Nancy Pelosi, there wasn't an awful lot they could do to replace the money, what with House Republicans fighting to cut food stamps further, not replace missing funds. But that's the sort of thing you have to plan for. And the fact that SNAP benefits were one of the main places the money was taken from is to Democrats' shame. Now, the mistakes of 2010 are coming home to roost—again—and it's going to be people struggling to put food on the table who pay the price—again.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It depends on income though right? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, Larsstephens
  •  Strategic Planning is not a strong suit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    Gambling on destroying one program to save another never works. Next time, hopefully 2014, maybe sooner, we can prevent this from happening again.

  •  Also target the fillibuster here (5+ / 0-)

    The reason why Dems had to raid SNAP was that conservative Dems and people like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe insisted that they needed offsets to vote for critical extensions to enhanced unemployment benefits.

    If you had a majority-rule Senate in 2010, a lot of these choices don't have to be made (and we probably get EFCA, some form of a public option, a climate bill, a stronger Dodd-Frank bill (with things like a transactions tax), a bigger initial stimulus, a transportation bill in 2009 that looks a lot better than the 2012 one, more infrastructure investment , the DREAM act ---

    --- and much reduced losses for the good guys in 2010. )

    --- this isn't necessarily to excuse the choice or say SNAP cuts are OK (they are not good policy and hurt lots of people) but to recognize that political institutions constrain choices.

    All this is not to suggest that 2009-2010 weren't incredibly productive years for good policy -- they were historic, but that damn fillibuster stopped a heck of a lot more.

  •  3,997,000 Texans will have less food for XMas (8+ / 0-)

    Texas has the 2nd most people on SNAP in the country behind California.  New York is third.

    Shamful.  SNAP needs to be increased not cut.  Have you checked out the food increases lately.

    Great chart here from CBPP

    November 1 SNAP Cuts Will Affect Millions of Children, Seniors, and People With Disabilities

    First drop in food assistance ever.  Can we thank Boehner for not stopping this?

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:29:48 PM PDT

  •  The poor are not among the Very Serious People. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Choco8, JeffW, shanikka

    So buck 'em. Why do you think we keep hearing "reform Social Security" as THE option to save it rather than JOBS AND NOTHING ELSE MATTERS from the Dem Centrists all the time?


    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 07:04:43 PM PDT

    •  The same reason we don't hear that eight million (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kstenbch

      additional Americans appeared between 2010 and 2013, and thirty six million appeared between 2000 and 2013, for none of which additional Americans have the Republicans figured that anything at all is necessary  in the way of goods and services provided by government. Certainly not raising taxes or getting rid of giveaways to pay for anything. After all, actually paying for things limits the debt known as the deficit. Their notion is that more Americans should not require more revenues than have been required in past times, such as the 1950s, to meet their needs, Except of course, Red states which have historically taken more than they pay in, but those states are full of Real Americans, who deserve it, and the others, especially the two coasts, down as far as DC in the East, should be paying tribute the the Reds for the privilege of being here.  

      And they also have not figured into their thinking that baby boomers are coming but that they will also be going, as the first baby boomers will be ninety in 2036 and eighty in 2026, which means that from that date on the numbers will drop. So the Seventy Five Year plan is not necessary in the way they are contemplating.Their seventy five year pension plan was, after all not to keep the plan solvent, but to kill the Post Office with debt so that Fed Ex and UPS may prosper.

      And keeping their budget deals is not required anyway because a whole lotta Americans are not Real Americans in their estimation anyway, and the particular Republicans who are bitching the worst were not there when the deals were made or objected to them, so that such deals are flat out not binding. Including the SNAP deal under discussion here.

      And, of course, no alternatives, Plans B, are required in the event that any program is eliminated. It hasn't crossed their minds that malnourished children will not necessarily grow up to be productive workers, good soldiers, factories driving their goods on public roads and over public bridges,  or any of the other things the nation needs. Or that the failure to create and educate same might affect the actual fact of whether the US is  what it is in their imaginations despite any acts they do or fail to do, the 'greatest nation in the world.'

      •  So are Republicans forcing us to NOT talk about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J Orygun, kstenbch

        JOBS as the number one conversation to have? One we pursue with a kind of mono-mania. After all, it's what 3/4, 4/5 voters (including majority Repubs) count as THE most important thing going.

        We seem to keep working on their assumption that 'deficit is god' and nothing else should be discussed; or as an afterthought if at all.

        Instead of emphasizing our Program to get America to Work again. Which we don't really have. Which would likely change the makeup of Congress, if there's anything that possibly could.

        Why is that?


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 10:35:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  False assumption that more Americans requires (0+ / 0-)

        raising taxes beyond the increase in tax revenues that comes with having more taxpayers.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 06:41:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Think budget, what the gummint spends. And cutting (0+ / 0-)

          the services that individuals get, while the population rises. Revenue and expenditure are different things, but think also about the mania for tax cuts for those who do have serious money. And when you cut revenue because you cut taxes, then there will be less money to serve more people.  SS for example has the problem that it has about 10% less of workers than it once had, 82% or so rather than 90%, paying in, while the number entitled to benefits rises both for retirees and for survivors, that's widows and kids.  

  •  My wife had to draft the notice about this.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Ice Blue, dinotrac

    ....to all recipients in our state. And work with community organizations and non-profit agencies to get ready for this.

    Sucks.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 07:05:32 PM PDT

  •  Can anyone tell me why I can rec some people only? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    It started a couple of hours ago.

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 07:06:53 PM PDT

  •  SNAP will probably be cut more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    in the new farm bill, if the conference committee can even come up with a bill. One of the House conferees on the farm bill is Steve King. From a report on a debate in Sept. 2012:

    Some of King’s strongest comments in the debate came on the proposed farm bill, which is languishing in Congress. King said a responsible farm bill should include cuts to the food stamp program and improved monitoring of it.

    “We had a fella that bailed himself out of jail with his EBT card, his electronic benefits transfer card,” King said. “We have tattoo parlors advertising in neon lights saying they’ll tattoo you, and you can pay for it with your food stamp card. We have to do something about this.”

  •  "they have not kept their promise." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, JeffW

    Throw that onto the pile of unkept promises.  Politicians of any stripe are like backseat f**ks, anything to get laid, won't know you in the morning.  And don't stand near that pile, it's getting dangerously high.

    “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

    by CarolinNJ on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 07:39:09 PM PDT

  •  what can I do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md

    to help offset the effects of this cut? Is there somewhere I can make a donation that would help?

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 08:42:27 PM PDT

  •  Cutting out food for poor people is the Scrooge of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md

    all Scrooges.  Next come the twins,  Ignorance and Want.  From these comes the end of human society, The Four Horses of the Apocalypse.  Actually, it isn't as bad as all that yet, but what we have is people subjected to "food anxiety'.  they become vigilent about their next meal and they slip back easily into a hunt for food which begins to take up more and more of their  resources of time,  money and psycho-emotional capitol.  The tank becomes near empty and begins to sputter for fuel, oxygen and proper blood flow.  Constriction will occur as the conditions deteriorate.  This is where individuals can become isolated because they are consumed with a disregulated sense of priority.  Often they drink or use durgs continuously and medical care is non-existent.  Just stupor and disconnect from connection to work, family, friend, neighbors.  Isolation leads to preventable death often with a long interval before death and discovery of the corpse occurs.  There are 7 billion people in the world and yet so many of us die alone, totally isolated from human comfort, caring, support and healing.  Is this the price we must pay for dazzling technology which opens up a virtual universe of information in cyber space, as we lay in our bed alone with the soul's sickness of isolation unto death..  

  •  Ouch. That story coming out while healthcare.gov (0+ / 0-)

    still festers doesn't do a world of good for Democrats' claims to competence.

    Fortunately for them, their scariest opponents in 2014 and 2016 are likely to be Repubicans.

    Here's a big hint:

    Don't pull a 2010.
    Do some good stuff.
    Don't make people cease to care who they vote for so long as its not you.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 06:39:24 AM PDT

  •  The motives are baffling. Don't Walmart and McD's (0+ / 0-)

    rely on public assistance to keep wages down? I always look for some hidden economic agenda behind the 'Pub's hairbrained stunts. But this time all I can come up with are these possibilities:

    1. "The best defense is a strong offense". The 'Pubs keep attacking entitlements just to keep the debate away from revenue increases.

    2. The religious right wants government out of the charity business... which is, as we all know, the exclusive, perpetual, god-given domain of churches. Food Stamps do an inadequate job of shaming the recipients and denies the churches access to souls that need to be saved.

    3. The confederate wing of the GOP doesn't want the government to take money from white people and give it brown people.

    4. The libertarian wing of the GOP believes that public assistance prevents people from being properly incentivized to seek employment.

    Hell, maybe it's "all of the above".

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:30:53 PM PDT

    •  I missed the obvious: Hostage-Taking. (0+ / 0-)

      Food Stamps are the next "hostage". Just as the 'Pubs leveled threats against unemployment benefits in 2010, they don't care about the nominal issue as much as they want leverage to get something else... low tax rates on capital gains, or whatever.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:48:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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