NC Budget and Tax Center

Taking Food from Millions of Americans Threatens Economy

The U.S. House proposal to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, previously known as food stamps is likely to be voted on next week.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report last week showing just how devastating and reckless these cuts will be.  The proposal would deny SNAP to between 4 to 6 million low-income people, many who are children, seniors and families that work for low wages.  In North Carolina, roughly 165,000 adults could be impacted.

In an economic recovery where there is one job opening for every three unemployed workers, SNAP is providing a temporary support to those struggling to find work.  The reality is in years past SNAP has consistently tracked the business cycle, increasing when the economy is in a downturn and declining when improvements occur.  No less will be true now—so today families struggling need an effective and efficient tool to put food on the table.


  1. Alex

    September 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    There’s only one problem with your theory Alexandra. It’s five years later , and there is no improvement. In fact, the number of recipients increases every year as folks learn how to beat the system. We now have over 50 million people receiving some form of food assistance with no end in sight.

  2. NoGOPinNC

    September 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    The corporate bootlickers would rather have the taxpayers support families rather than force corporations to pay a living wage…simple just keep blaming workers while giving away tax dollars to predatory employers….that’s the American way right?

  3. gregflynn

    September 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    The number of Americans receiving food stamps as reported by the United States Department of Agriculture, as of the latest data released on September 6, 2013, is a total of 47.76 million. It has been about that for the past 12 months so the numbers have leveled off. They are not increasing and have not exceeded 48 million.

  4. RJ

    September 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    The % of the population on SNAP is the better way to measure it, as population increases lead to larger absolute numbers. The % increase was mainly from fall ’08 to fall ’11, from about 10% to about 15%. It’s leveled off since then. Here’s a cite for y’all:

    So those are the facts, and now for the editorial: the % is way too high for a rich country like the USA, but until the economy produces demand that produces jobs that’s what we’re stuck with. “Tightening the belt” ain’t gonna produce demand or jobs.

    So, Alex, please consider an improving economy as the end in sight, though our state and federal politics are helping prevent improvement.

    Also, Alex, please humor me with a citation to evidence of folks beating the system to get those lavish SNAP monies. Maybe you consider those folks in LA and in MS to have gamed the system to get SNAP after Deepwater Horizon blew a valve and destroyed their livelihoods. They sure were lucky duckies, turning a way of life into $150/month for groceries…

  5. Alex

    September 11, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    From a recent article on food stamps :

    Experts say that independently-owned dollar stores and bodegas in low-income areas are where SNAP fraud runs rampant, not the mega-retailers like Wal-Mart (WMT), that get a large payout from SNAP. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 82% of SNAP benefits are redeemed at supermarkets and superstores. The remaining 18% of SNAP beneficiary stores is where the majority of scams take place.

    Read more:

    Looking at the numbers, we have gone from 28 million participants in 2008 to over 46 million in 2012 which is a huge increase. Spending has gone from $37 billion to $78 billion in just four years. What is remarkable is the economy and unemployment have improved somewhat , but the numbers have never gone down.There are numerous convenience stores here in Raleigh that turn the stamps into cash, and have never been closed down. With most of our new jobs being part-time low wage positions, I doubt the program will ever get smaller.

  6. Doug Gibson

    September 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    So Alex, are you saying that the number of beneficiaries increases because people learn to beat the system and get benefits they don’t need, or are you saying fraud has increased as the program expanded during the downturn? You seemed to be saying that beneficiaries were the fraudsters in your first comment, and now you’re saying that when you said “folks” you really meant “businesses.”

    And do you have a citation for your “numerous convenience stores here in Raleigh” claim?

  7. Alan

    September 12, 2013 at 9:05 am


    Your article is from Fox Business, hardly a reputable and trustworthy source of information.

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