WASHINGTON — In an effort to combat food stamp fraud, which costs each American nearly $3 per year, Republicans have announced plans to slash Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by $40 billion over the next ten years. The proposed legislation will generate nearly a pumpkin spice latte’s worth of savings per capita: savings which Washington plans to pass directly on to citizens in the form of tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy.
Although 1 in 7 Americans currently receives SNAP assistance, popular opinion may be with Congress. According to newly-laid off network engineer Bruce Bailey: “I didn’t have enough for a double-whip latte express mociato yesterday. And I realized, somewhere, some homeless vet is eating a day-old bagel on my dime. It pissed me off.” Bailey then ran to apply for food stamps before the new legislation is made law and he is denied SNAP payments under the new rules prohibiting ‘able-bodied’ adults from receiving the benefits.
Congressmen have been vocal about their proposed legislation. Senator Ted Cruz, whose home state of Texas has been receiving more food stamps due to a requested waiver, reflected on the bill’s origins: “I always keep a Bible close at hand, whether I’m in my office or on the road. One of my favorite parables is the one in which Jesus says that he’d rather let a thousand innocent people perish than help one guilty soul. That’s why we want to deny benefits to disadvantaged people: it’s the Christian thing to do”
The legislation, which could remove 3.5 million Americans from the SNAP program, represents a major achievement for several individuals in Congress. However, the bill is not without its critics. Representative Paul Ryan lambasted Cruz: “What is this, amateur hour? I put together a budget that cut $135 billion from food stamps, AND managed to lower taxes for the richest Americans. The Hunger Games is actually based on my budget!”