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View Diary: Montana becomes fifth state to block food stamp cuts (30 comments)

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  •  Not sure why we are celebrating this (1+ / 0-)
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    Aunt Pat

    This is actually what they wanted.  They want this program shrunk/killed at the Federal level so states can either fund it themselves or just go without (like many of the Red state will do).

    Plus, this is not free money, these already cash-strapped states are diverting other funds to close this gap.

    I mean I am all for keeping the food stamp program, don't get me wrong, but this is a painful (and overtly Republican) way of doing it.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:26:59 AM PDT

    •  I'm just happy that (19+ / 0-)

      $2 million in nutrition assistance for Montana families isn't going to be disappearing. I get what you are saying about the bigger picture but hunger is immediate and painful.

    •  That's not what's happening (24+ / 0-)

      The states are kicking in some additional cash to get the people who qualified for SNAP and LIHEAP benefits to keep getting those benefits.  The way the law was written if someone gets $1 in benefits from LIHEAP they automatically would qualify for SNAP.  The Farm Bill raised that threshold to $20.  Essentially what the states are doing is kicking in the difference so they get up to $20 and qualify for both.  The states aren't really paying all that much out $24,000 for Montana is not that much when you consider their budget is probably in the billions.

      At least that's my interpretation of it. Maybe someone else can correct me if I'm wrong.    

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:49:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's an example from Montana. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DisNoir36, benamery21

        The article estimates that making the minimum heat assistance amount $20 per year rather than $1 will cost Montana $24,000.  About 12,800 people in Montana receive a standard utility deduction as a result of their LIHEAP payment -- so that multiplied by $20 gets you to that $24,000 figure.  

        The average household participating in SNAP in Montana in 2013 received monthly benefits of about $270 a month.  So the amount of SNAP benefits these Heat and Eat households qualify for per month is 144 times the total state cost per year.  Not exactly rocket science for these states.  Figure that nearly every dollar received is spent on food in the state.  So if one dollar in 144 is then received in taxes (either sales tax or income tax paid by the store or its employees) the state comes out even.  

        •  Er, $20 * 12,800 is $256,000. (0+ / 0-)

          Playing around with the numbers, to deepen the context of this expenditure:

          If 12,800 people receive this benefit, that means that the average increase is about $1.88 (well, $1.875).

          Now, this includes in the average those getting over $20, for whom the increase would be $0. I don't know how many people that is. Let's say for the sake of argument half, i.e., 6,400 people, already get $20 or more -- that would mean the remaining half getting under $20/mo. would see an average increase of about $3.75.

          If 25% of recipients get less than $20 as it stands, meanwhile, then the average increase would be about $7.50 for those folks.

    •  Most of the southern red states don't provide heat (4+ / 0-)

      Heating assistance seems to be a northern thing - I didn't even know about it until this whole issue blew up.  I've lived in Georgia my whole life.

      Maybe some folks in the mountainey areas have a similar program, but we're far more likely to need help in the summer with an AC bill where I am.

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:21:32 AM PDT

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      •  LIHEAP is federally funded (1+ / 0-)
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        it is only state administered.  Note that 'heating assistance' is shorthand for a program which also provides cooling assistance in some locales.  Here is a link to Georgia's program, which serves ~216K low income families per year:

        Note that SNAP wasn't cut in GA, this last go 'round, only in the states participating in a policy called 'heat and eat' which is basically a way of reducing paperwork to get more federal dollars into poor folks' pockets.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:41:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, Rs wanted this at the state level. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know how that is a bad thing. States can try this stuff just like they can experiment on drug legalization. We have a Constitution that leaves this up to the States to decide.

      The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

      by Common Cents on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:57:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand your point, Wisper, but when it comes (0+ / 0-)

      to feeding or depriving those in need, I will always opt for the feeding component. Yes, it is so true that the Repubs/
      Baggers will snicker behind their closed office doors but who cares?

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