Tag Archives: SNAP

The genius of Trump’s food stamp proposal: You’re not supposed to like being on food stamps, by Dan Calabrese

Trump’s trying to take the fun out of being on the dole. From Dan Calabrese at theburningplatform.com:

If I was on food stamps, I wouldn’t like this either.

I think that’s the point. If you can’t afford to buy your own food and you need the government to provide it for you, then you get it on the government’s terms. That’s usually what happens when someone else is supplying your needs. Don’t like it? Take every available action to get off food stamps and achieve independence, at which point you can buy whatever you want at the grocery store with your own money that you earned.

Until then, enjoy your Harvest Box:

• Under the USDA America’s Harvest Box proposal, all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participating households receiving $90 per month or more in benefits will receive a package of nutritious, 100-percent U.S. grown and produced food. Approximately 16.4 million households, or about 81 percent of SNAP households would be impacted by this proposal.

• The amount of food received per household would be scaled to the overall size of the household’s SNAP allotment, ultimately representing about half of their benefits. SNAP participants would receive domestically-sourced and produced food in lieu of a portion of their SNAP benefits.

USDA would utilize a model similar to that currently used to distribute USDA Foods to other nutrition assistance programs to provide staple, shelf-stable foods (such as shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, ready-eatcereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables) to SNAP households at approximately half the retail cost.

• This proposal creates a new approach to nutrition assistance that combines retail-based SNAP benefits with delivery of USDA America’s Harvest Boxes supporting the President’s leadership on Buy American. This proposal is cost-effective, enhances the integrity of SNAP, and provides for states’ flexibility in administration of the program.

• The remainder of the household’s benefits will still be provided via the current Electronic Benefit Transfer card.

The Department of Agriculture estimates the change would save taxpayers $129 billion over 10 years by switching to defined packages that would presumably have a predictable, consistent cost. I’m guessing it would actually save a lot more than that precisely because people would hate being restricted to the Harvest Boxes, and at least a significant percentage of them would respond to the added incentive to improve their situations.

To continue reading: The genius of Trump’s food stamp proposal: You’re not supposed to like being on food stamps

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What the Headlines about Tesla, Snap, and Twitter “Earnings” Should Have Said, by Wolf Richter

Truth is the first casualty of war and earnings reports. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

How can the media be so gullible – and pliable? I don’t know either.

When Snap reported “earnings” this week – in quotes because it was its biggest loss ever – media headlines were euphoric, from TechCrunch(“Snap shares skyrocket on first earnings beat with revived user growth”) to The Wall Street Journal (“Snap Climbs Back Above IPO Price After ‘Shocker’ Earnings”).

The theory was that Snap had reported “better-than-expected earnings.” Thanks to these headlines, over February 7 and 8, Snap shares skyrocketed 48% to $20.75, though they have fallen off somewhat since then.

So here are some modest suggestions as to what the headlines should have been, based on Snap’s “earnings” report:

Snap losses surge 106% to $350 million in Q4, and 570% to $3.4 billion for the year, the most ever.

Snap lost more money than it generates in revenues; what is it doing with all this money?

Snap burned $820 million in cash in 2017, but still sits on $2 billion from investors and can keep going at this cash-burn rate through 2019, so no problem.

Snap Q4 loss soars to $350 million, on $286 million in revenues. Stop and think about that for a moment.

Losses are ballooning faster than revenues, and from a larger base, which is the road to financial perdition, but no problem for analysts.

Twitter also reported earnings this week, and the media headlines showered it with love, from The New York Times (“Twitter Has Good News for Once: Its First Quarterly Profit”) to CNBC (“Twitter rockets more than 20 percent after the company reports first-ever net profit”).

Twitter’s shares jumped 27% on the announcement, after they’d already soared 60% over the past year on takeover hype that never materializes but keeps getting trotted out time and again to pump up shares. Since the spike following the earnings announcement, shares have declined 10%.

So here are some suggestions for headlines to describe Twitter’s situation:

Twitter 2017 revenues shrink 3.4%, Q4 revenues inch up 2%, as company embarks on Cost-Cutting as strategy

Twitter makes $91 million in Q4 profit after gutting R&D and sales and marketing expenses, which might explain revenue stagnation. But still loses $457 million for the year.

Twitter cuts $68 million from R&D and $71 million from sales and marketing expenses in Q4, trying to shrink itself to growth. Good luck.

Even the ceaseless promos from President Trump and the media circus around his Twitter actions fail to boost Twitter’s revenues.

No other company has ever gotten this much constant and free promo from any White House, but Twitter still can’t make it work.

To continue reading: What the Headlines about Tesla, Snap, and Twitter “Earnings” Should Have Said

You Mean They Were Stealing, Right? by Karl Denninger

It’s never theft when you receive money from the government, right? From Karl Denninger at theburningplatform.com:

Isn’t it funny how when the government actually expects you to work for your handout, or at least be working toward being able to work, there are suddenly a lot fewer people who “need” help?

Alabama began 2017 by requiring able-bodied adults without children in 13 counties to either find a job or participate in work training as a condition for continuing to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

According to AL.com, the number of those recipients declined from 5,538 to 831 between Jan. 1 and the beginning of May – an 85 percent drop.

So 85% of the people who were getting SNAP (food stamps) didn’t need them or weren’t willing to either work or try to learn some useful skill in order to keep the benefits?

That would mean they didn’t need them, by the way.

Think this is a one-off?  Nope.  George saw a 58% reduction in one block of counties and a 62% in another block.

Let this sink in folks: Somewhere between half and more than 80% of the people getting SNAP either did so fraudulently in the first place because they didn’t need it or they’re unwilling to do anything productive to keep them.

Whatever you reward you get more of.

Reward people sitting on their ass….. and they will.

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/07/15/you-mean-they-were-stealing-right/

Startling Look At How Much Money Food Stamp Recipients Spend On Junk Food, by Tyler Durden

Neither fruits nor vegetables made the top twenty-five of what food stamp recipients buy, but soda pop (1), frozen snacks (9), and frozen pizza (13) did. Poor nutrition leads to poor health, and treatment of that is often on the taxpayer dime, too. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A new study just released by the USDA, offers a very detailed look at exactly how participants in the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” (SNAP, aka Food Stamps) spend their taxpayer-funded subsidies. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the amount of money spent on soft drinks and other unnecessary junk foods/drinks is fairly staggering. But, we suppose it’s a nice taxpayer funded subsidy for the soda industry…so score one for Warren Buffett and the Coca Cola lobbyists.

Per the study, nearly $360mm, or 5.4% of the $6.6BN of food expenditures made by SNAP recipients, is spent on soft drinks alone. In fact, soft drinks represent the single largest “commodity” purchased by SNAP participants with $100mm more spent on sodas than milk and $150mm more than beef.

Soft drinks were the top commodity bought by food stamp recipients shopping at outlets run by a single U.S. grocery retailer.

That is according to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program.

By contrast, milk was the top commodity bought from the same retailer by customers not on food stamps.

In calendar year 2011, according to the study, food stamp recipients spent approximately $357,700,000 buying soft drinks from an enterprise the study reveals only as “a leading U.S. grocery retailer.”

That was more than they spent on any other “food” commodity—including milk ($253,700,000), ground beef ($201,000,000), “bag snacks” ($199,300,000) or “candy-packaged” ($96,200,000), which also ranked among the top purchases.

To continue reading; Startling Look At How Much Money Food Stamp Recipients Spend On Junk Food