Who Supports SNAP Cuts?

From reader Hans, commenting on the advisability of the reductions in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) expenditures, effective today:

You ax nothing from the recipient and everything from the tax slave…

Apparently, in this mindset (in addition to the not-so-subtle subtext), children, the elderly and the disabled should be “contributing”. I’m waiting for the Workhouse and Poorhouse [1] [2] Act of 2014 to come out of the House.

 

Update, 2PM Pacific: From USDA:

 

  • 76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits.
  • SNAP eligibility is limited to households with gross income of no more than 130% of the federal poverty guideline, but the majority of households have income well below the maximum: 83% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 100% of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013), and these households receive about 91% of all benefits. 61% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 75% of the poverty guideline ($14,648 for a family of 3 in 2013).
  • The average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of $744; net monthly income of $338 after the standard deduction and, for certain households, deductions for child care, medical expenses, and shelter costs; and countable resources of $331, such as a bank account.
  • The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $133.85, or less than $1.50 per person, per meal. [xi]
  • Only 57% of food insecure individuals are income-eligible for SNAP, and 26% are not income-eligible for any federal food assistance.
  • The average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of $744 and net monthly income of $338.
  • SNAP rules limit eligibility to households with gross income under 130% of poverty and net income at or below 100% of poverty. While categorical eligibility allows states to set a higher gross income limit, only 1.5% of SNAP households in 2010 had monthly net income above 150% of the poverty line, so the policy has not made SNAP available to large numbers of households with incomes above the federal gross income limit of 130% of poverty.
  • SNAP rules limit eligibility to households with assets of no more than $2000 ($3250 for households with a senior or disabled member). The average SNAP household still has assets of only $331.Additionally, the SNAP asset limit of $2,000 has not been adjusted for inflation in 25 years and has fallen by 48% in real terms since 1986.
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59 thoughts on “Who Supports SNAP Cuts?

  1. Steven Kopits

    So, the battle has been joined regarding capex cuts in the oil and gas business.
    Simon Henry, CFO of Shell, weighs in here, calling for a long-term view in the oil and gas business:
    http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/129889/Shell_CFO_Spending_Cutbacks_Will_Damage_Oil_Industry/?all=HG2
    Of course, Henry’s boss, Shell CEO Peter Voser stated earlier that Shell would be discontinuing forward production guidance and focusing on quarterly cash flow growth.
    Thus, we have something of a battle emerging for the philosophy to guide the oil and gas business. Both Voser and Henry share the same view, but Voser is more pessimistic about the oil business’s ability to deliver the goods, hence the reluctant acceptance of a more short-term focus.
    The IOC capex debate is where the real action in the economy is going to take place. Whether SNAP recipients need the program will depend on whether they have a job, and whether their productivity is increasing. That in turn depends highly on whether the oil business can find a way to increase production efficiently.

  2. c thomson

    Please Professor Chinn – let’s skip the intermediate stuff about Dickensian workhouses and get right on to forcing children to do piece work in underground coal mines. So evil…
    Alas, still no mention of whether food stamps are to be available in unlimited amounts to unlimited numbers of people forever or whether as a nation we need have some strategy to deal with our overproduction of human inadequates.
    This is another example of how we would all gain by having a national system of sniveling rooms for liberals. In these liberals could cringe and snivel and avoid all thought about any possible change – like the true conservatives liberals are.
    They would sit together dreaming mimsy fantasies about FDR and JFK and being back in the sociology faculty lounge at Madison or Brown.
    The rest of society could get on with thinking about answers – not perpetual handouts.

  3. bmz

    Kopits: No, Republicans made sure that the oil and gas industry will not act to significantly reduce unemployment. The 2010 and 2011 Natural Gas Acts would have created energy independence and millions of new jobs by employing our huge gas resources as a transportation fuel. However, as they have done with every other attempt of the Democrats to reduce unemployment, the Republicans filibustered them.

  4. Anonymous

    Unconditionally deriding a negative derivative implicitly assumes the current level is correct. You have not provided any support for that position. Although crude, Hans could implicitly be saying that there is too much fraud in SNAP and a reduction simply saves taxpayers money. See the report on EITC from Treasury. Supporting a reduction in this fraud/operational risk does not imply that you do not support the principle on which EITC was founded or that you “hate poor people” or something – as you immediately leap to in your response.

    Treasury report:
    http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201340024fr.pdf

  5. randomworker

    OK. I will go next!
    No, I am not in favor. It’s small potato(e)s.
    If you want to reduce spending you need to attack Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Defense. Not even Mike Lee would dare go there.
    But I still am unsure why you would want to reduce spending at this time anyway.
    Happy Friday!
    randomworker

  6. Ricardo

    Okay Menzie it is time to step up. Give us the average income of those added to the SNAP rolls each month Obama has been in office so that we can judge if you are feeding the rich or the poor? The world had real starving people. Why do you ignore them? Even the poorest in the US can afford more than those in Ethiopia. Why are you so heartless!!

  7. Salim

    The SNAP benefits were increased as part of a “temporary, targeted, and timely” stimulus. They’re counter-cyclical transfers, which Keynesians generally believe have positive effects and act similar to counter-cyclical government purchases. (Per Oh & Reis, much more research needed on the equivalence).
    If liberals oppose the end of the temporary SNAP boost, after 4 or 5 years, should conservatives ever believe them in the future when they ask for Keynesian stimulus?
    We’re playing a repeated game with non-common priors and non-common preferences. If liberals fight to make this and other “temporary stimulus” measures permanent, will they get more or less support for temporary stimulus in the future?
    (You can flip this around on conservatives and tax cuts. If conservatives had fought to make the payroll tax cuts permanent, would it have taught liberals not to agree to tax cuts in future recessions?)

  8. benamery21

    c thomson: ‘Human inadequates’?
    Do you mean the sociopaths who think we should increase food insecurity while cutting taxes on capital?

  9. bmz

    Random: Medicare and Social Security are not problems.
    The Social Security trust fund, together with payroll taxes, is sufficient to cover program benefits for more than the next 20 years. Moreover, assuming no additional funding, currently scheduled payroll taxes can provide benefits equal to those now provided, even adjusted for inflation, for the indefinite future. Given all the real economic problems we truly must address now, there is no legitimate argument for even considering Social Security modifications until the economy is fully back on its feet and long-term costs and revenues can be more accurately projected.
    The Medicare trust fund was actually “going broke” when Pres. Obama took office, due in large to changes pushed through by the Bush administration. At that time, the trust fund was projected to be exhausted by 2016. However, the ACA (“Obamacare”), rather than taking the much vaunted $716 billion out of Medicare, actually added that amount to the Medicare trust fund; which is now projected to last until 2024. In one fell swoop, two thirds of the Medicare shortfall was eliminated. Eliminating the remaining one third could be even easier; for example, The Senior Protection Plan contains $385 Billion in Health Care Savings Without Harming Benefciaries, http://www.scribd.com/doc/112712580/The-Senior-Protection-Plan.

  10. benamery21

    I support reducing the cost of SNAP benefits … by increasing incomes among those currently eligible.

  11. Jonathan

    The racial dimension to this is real: people want to believe SNAP, etc. are ghetto programs for minorities. They do go more to them than their share of the population but most recipients are white. And many are rural and are hardcore GOP voters. Same with disability issues. Makes me wonder how this debate changes when the Democratic President isn’t colored.

  12. tj

    Which is worse?
    (A)Making SNAP recipients pay a few dollars more per month for food.
    (B) Exposing 93 million Americans to having their health insurance cancelled and replaced with Obamacare.
    Bob Laszewski, in a revealing blog post, wrote about the cancellation of his own health coverage. “Right now,” he wrote, “I have ‘Cadillac’ health insurance. I can access every provider in the national Blue Cross network—about every doc and hospital in America—without a referral and without higher deductibles and co-pays.”
    But his plan is being canceled. His new, Obamacare-compatible plan has a $500 higher deductible, and a narrower physician and hospital network that restricts out-of-town providers. And yet it costs 66 percent more than his current plan.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/31/obama-officials-in-2010-93-million-americans-will-be-unable-to-keep-their-health-plans-under-obamacare/
    It turns out that Obama knew millions of Americans would lose their health coverage, the details were posted by administration in the Federal Register! However, Obama didn’t let that stop him from promising dozens of times across mutliple years that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Period.”
    Now millions will be paying more for insurance. Yes, some of it might be better coverage, but the fact remains, more spending on healthcare for millions of consumers means less to spend on everything else. It’s no wonder the loony left is leaving no stone unturned as they try to find new ways to blame the right for a stagnant job market and stagnant economy.
    “The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of the Register.
    the administration projected that “40 to 67 percent” of individually-purchased plans would lose their Obamacare-sanctioned “grandfather status” and become illegal,
    You can’t lie to that many people and not pay a price at the polls. Obamacare just might end up delivering the worst thing imaginable for Democrats/Progressives – Conservatives controlling both houses of congress in 2014 and a conservative in the White House in 2016! Oh the horror!! The lame duck presidency is beginning early!

  13. Steven Kopits

    Bmz –
    The Republican opposition to the nat gas act revolved around yet another round of large subsidies for vehicle manufacturers and filling station owners.
    The proposed $7500 subsidy was too much, in that the payback period is then too long. What the manufacturers could use is a $2,000 subsidy with the condition that an NGV vehicle would have to sell for the same price in a showroom as a gasoline-powered one. But that wasn’t the proposal on the table.
    No subsidies, then or now, would be necessary for the filling infrastructure.
    But, hey, if the Democrats want to be constructive, what about
    – approving Keystone XL
    – making sure Shell doesn’t walk out of Alaska
    – permitting revenue sharing from the outer continental shelf with the states
    – allowing fracking in New York state
    – allow more drilling on Federal lands
    There’s lots to do in energy.

  14. bmz

    Kopits: “The proposed $7500 subsidy was too much, in that the payback period is then too long. What the manufacturers could use is a $2,000 subsidy with the condition that an NGV vehicle would have to sell for the same price in a showroom as a gasoline-powered one. But that wasn’t the proposal on the table.”
    That is pure Republican rhetoric–you have no support for any of those allegations.
    “No subsidies, then or now, would be necessary for the filling infrastructure.”
    Again, no support. The only thing that is keeping natural gas vehicles from becoming the dominant form of transportation is price and filling infrastructure(What other reasons would anyone have for not buying a vehicle that costs half as much to fuel).
    “making sure Shell doesn’t walk out of Alaska
    – permitting revenue sharing from the outer continental shelf with the states
    – allowing fracking in New York state
    – allow more drilling on Federal lands”
    Again, pure Republican rhetoric–there is no support that anything you allege above would produce significant jobs or energy independence(I agree with you about Keystone, however).

  15. Steven Kopits

    BMZ –
    Re: subsidy. That statement comes straight from a senior staffer at the time on the House Energy and Power Subcommittee.
    Infrastructure: That was one of the findings of a project we conducted in conjunction with the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in 2010. This is a topic which has interested me for some time, so I organized a project at the university.
    Shell and Alaska: see my article on the topic in the upcoming issue of Oil & Gas Journal.
    Sharing with the states. Per my discussion today with IER in DC, who sponsored the bill on the matter a few years back. Revenue sharing will likely prove critical to keeping Shell in Alaska.
    Drilling on Federal lands. See this article: http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2013/06/10/fossil-fuel-production-on-federal-lands-at-a-ten-year-low/

  16. 2slugbaits

    tj It turns out that Obama knew millions of Americans would lose their health coverage, the details were posted by administration in the Federal Register! However, Obama didn’t let that stop him from promising dozens of times across mutliple years that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Period.”
    You only get to keep it if the insurance company and/or your employer decide to continue offering it. A lot of people were going to lose their insurance even if Obamacare had never happened. One of the reasons health insurance became a political issue was because people were being dropped from plans under the pre-ACA status quo. If you didn’t know that junk insurance plans would not be allowed under the ACA, then you weren’t paying attention. The example you cited was a case of some guy losing his “Cadillac” plan. Duh! Again, Obama said many times that “Cadillac” plans would go by the wayside. And that’s a good thing. There is no reason why taxpayers should subsidize plans that drive up healthcare costs, which is exactly what “Cadillac” plans do.
    One way to help the income inequality problem is to make the labor supply curve more elastic. And lo and behold, guess what? Obamacare does exactly that! Obamacare loosens ties to employer-based health insurance and gives workers greater employment mobility. That’s a good thing for workers’ wages and for society because it makes it easier for workers to move into jobs that earn a higher marginal product. Single-payer would be even better, but Obamacare is at least a step in the right direction.
    Now millions will be paying more for insurance.
    You forgot to mention that many more millions will be paying less. Look, there’s a pattern here. If you live in a red state with a GOP governor, then you may very well end up not doing very well under Obamacare. Don’t blame Obama; blame your stupid governor. Most of the blue states with blue state governors who embraced state exchanges and Medicaid expansion will do quite well under Obamacare.
    It’s no wonder the loony left is leaving no stone unturned as they try to find new ways to blame the right for a stagnant job market and stagnant economy.
    Kind of a stupid comment since most of Obamacare hasn’t even gone into effect yet.

  17. gofx

    @2slugbaits. Your statement,”….some guy losing his “Cadillac” plan. Duh! Again, Obama said many times that “Cadillac” plans would go by the wayside. And that’s a good thing. There is no reason why taxpayers should subsidize plans that drive up healthcare costs, which is exactly what “Cadillac” plans do.” is astounding on two aspects. First, you so cavalierly dismiss a voluntary transaction between to entities like stepping on a bug is truly Orwellian. He doesn’t need that plan. Let’s look at the things you have in your life and we’ll decide, then if you have too much or what “you don’t need”. Just like the old Stalin apologists. Gotta break a few eggs to make the omelet, right? Secondly, your ending phrase “..why taxpayers should subsidize plans that drive up healthcare costs…” is EXACTLY what Obamacare plans do!!. Those plans force people to purchase more insurance than they want. Obama is forcing you to by HIS Cadallac Plan!

  18. 2slugbaits

    gofx “Cadillac” plans are not voluntary transactions between two and only two parties. “Cadillac” plans are heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Those plans also drive up healthcare rates overall. Your statement makes about as much sense as two teenagers telling a cop that their pink slip drag racing down a busy boulevard was only a voluntary transaction between two people and the cop should just let them finish the race.

  19. 2slugbaits

    Randall Parker I’m afraid I don’t see any pundit skills in your future. You don’t seem to know much about economics either. The SNAP program doesn’t make cheap food cheaper, it’s an increase in effective income and makes healthier food affordable. Healthy food is a “normal” good and as people’s effective income increases they will demand more of it. They will also substitute away from cheaper food. It’s poverty that causes people to eat cheap food, not an excess of income. The SNAP program fights against obesity. Here’s a list of the kinds of foods that the USDA allows for purchase under SNAP:
    http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/eligible.htm
    I don’t see junk food on the list of allowable purchases.

  20. Rich Berger

    How much of GDP should go to welfare programs? Why should the government do for people what they can do for themselves? Also, any welfare program is subject to fraud (see EITC and SSI) and is at war with productivity. How to avoid disincentive effects? Also, when a program does not achieve results (Head Start, war on poverty), when do you terminate it?
    Liberals do not want to answer these questions. Instead, the mere existence of open-ended welfare programs is evidence of their big hearts, their “liberality”, even though they are paid with other peoples’ money – preferably, money from the “rich”.

  21. Jeffrey J. Brown

    bmz: “The Social Security trust fund, together with payroll taxes, is sufficient to cover program benefits for more than the next 20 years.”
    It’s always nice to have visitors from Fantasy Island.

  22. dilbert dogbert

    This one wins the internet’s trophy of the day for non sequitur of the day:
    “Since obesity is a big killer I am puzzled why liberal Democrats want to make food cheaper for obese poor people.”
    What you want? Obama to loose the jackbooted food police on the fat?
    May be it should be (@stupidfuturepundit)?

  23. High School Observer

    M,
    If the LA Metro area is like other areas of the country your numbers are highly biased.
    This is related to your SNAP numbers.
    In LA there are high proportions of students enrolled in the free lunch program but do not utilize the program. A majority purchase their lunch rather than take the free lunch. From what can be casually observed a large proportion possess expensive smart phones. The common belief among students is that most of their parents have unreported cash income. If it is half as extreme as it appears, it would not be difficult to document and quantify this. It just takes a researcher who wants to find out.

  24. 2slugbaits

    Rich Berger How much of GDP should go to welfare programs?
    How much do you think goes to welfare programs? But if you want to cut welfare, perhaps a good place to start would be the farm program that feeds fatcat GOP Congress critters who are bilking the taxpayers for millions while they rail against “strapping young bucks” buying T-Bones with food stamps, and whose mothers drive Cadillac’s to the beauty parlor.
    Why should the government do for people what they can do for themselves?
    I see. You mean folks like kindergarten aged kids who can do for themselves. Or 85 year old grandmothers. That’s the demographic that makes up almost all of the SNAP program. But since you’re big into doing things for yourself, how about if you give up your tax deductions and credits that help pay for your health insurance, your interest mortgage, your retirement savings, your kids’ college education, etc. My sense is that you don’t have any problems with welfare for middle and upper-middle class families, but it’s a different story when it means welfare for people who don’t look like you. Am I wrong?
    any welfare program is subject to fraud
    So are tax advantages for unearned income. Shall we eliminate those as well?
    at war with productivity. How to avoid disincentive effects?
    Hungry bellies don’t do much for productivity in the classroom either. The EITC requires people to work, so I’m not sure how that hurts productivity. Oh I see, you mean the high marginal tax rates that EITC families face when they make too much. Yes, you’re right there. I know…let’s flatten the effective tax rate for those families. Wasn’t that something that Bush #43’s economic advisor suggested until he was told to shut up? And SSI provides a safety net that allows people to invest their personal savings into projects with a higher social return but also greater risk. So you think it would improve productivity if people only invested in ultra-safe assets? Because that’s what you’d get if you abolished SSI.
    when a program does not achieve results (Head Start, war on poverty), when do you terminate it?
    I work for the DoD, so I know a thing or two about open ended programs that do not achieve positive results. Funny that you don’t hear red state senators like Jeff Sessions or Richard Shelby calling for cuts in attack helicopter programs in Alabama that are falling flat on their face in terms of performance and reliability. But we hear plenty from those two about all of the jobs that will be lost if some of those programs are cut.
    High School Observer Have you ever observed what makes up those free lunch programs? The intent of those programs is more to help Big Ag industries in red state Midwest farms than it is the students. Lots of high fructose syrup laden corn starch based products with lots of calories, plenty of fat and no nutritional content. Then people like you wonder why the kids are high on sugar all day during class.

  25. tj

    2slugs
    If you didn’t know that junk insurance plans would not be allowed under the ACA, then you weren’t paying attention.
    So tell me, was Obama not paying attention, or was he purposely deceiving America when he said “if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Period”.
    Obamacare loosens ties to employer-based health insurance and gives workers greater employment mobility
    Except for the millions that don’t have a job.
    The example you cited was a case of some guy losing his “Cadillac” plan. Duh! Again, Obama said many times that “Cadillac” plans would go by the wayside.
    (The quotes indicate the guy was using sarcasm. Personal observation – lefties have trouble detecting sarcasm and humor.)
    You forgot to mention that many more millions will be paying less.
    Those millions were already factored into the forecasts. It turns out the millions with cancelled policies who will pay more were anticipated but Obama and the forecasters never mentioned them. And guess what? They come from every state and every political party.
    Kind of a stupid comment since most of Obamacare hasn’t even gone into effect yet.
    You missed the point. The left has to paint a picture of blame today, so that when the data comes out over the next year, the picture will be clouded by a series of events with marginal economic impact relative to the economic train wreck that obamacare will create.
    Obamacare is written so that even minor changes to a policy eliminate the grandfathered status and opens the policy to cancellation. We never heard about that either.
    Obama and the left have lost all credibility. There is a clear pattern of deception. Benghazi was caused by a video, the IRS targeting was attributed to a couple of workers in the Cincinnati office, and now, “if you like your policy, you can keep it. Period”.

  26. benamery21

    bmz: Mr Brown’s slant on this is somewhat different than the usual ideologue. While I don’t see society taking care of our elders as unsustainable either, and am a fierce advocate of OASDI (no Grand Bargain, damn it), his reasons for knocking its sustainability are not the usual cant. I generally agree with his reasons, if not his conclusions. Faced with inevitably declining average per capita fossil fuel energy in the developed world, something will give. Making sure a decent minimum isn’t that thing, is work worth doing, though I can see why some consider it a forlorn hope in the military sense. Once more into the breach, dear friend.

  27. gofx

    @2slugbaits. Brilliant statist “logic” by comparing a legal act (purchasing insurance) and an illegal act (drag racing). Followed by even more with essentially “I support banning these plans because I believe they are taxpayer susidized and drive up costs, and I want to replace them with plans that are taxpayer subsidized and drive up costs.”

  28. Rich Berger

    I noticed that Mr. Slug did not answer my questions, but they are not answerable without revealing the fundamental defects in liberalism. Anybody else want to take a stab?

  29. 2slugbaits

    tj Some people are a little slow and may not have been paying close attention, so for those slow learners Obama probably should have been even more explicit than he was. Junk policies didn’t count as policies in the first place.
    Except for the millions that don’t have a job.
    Don’t the exchanges make it more likely that the unemployed will be able to find work?
    It turns out the millions with cancelled policies who will pay more were anticipated
    Says who? Sean Hannity? Almost everyone of those horror stories has turned out to be false after journalists went back and actually checked. One of Hannity’s guests eventually admitted to never having actually checked the exchange prices…she just heard on Fox that she would be paying more. Turns out she was wrong. Another one currently had a junk policy for which she paid a lot of money and got almost no coverage. The LA Times has been running stories debunking the Fox News myths about Obamacare. Here’s one you might enjoy:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-debunked-20131030,0,5675347,print.story
    You have no credibility on Obamacare. For some deep seated psychological reason it’s been your own personal Moby Dick since day one. You were wrong about Obamacare leading to more part-time employment (even the WSJ now admits that meme was all wrong). You were wrong about Obamacare raising insurance rates (check the Kaiser Foundation numbers). And now you pretend to feel sympathy for those who are losing their worthless junk insurance. Inevitably any change was going to create some winners and some losers. Obamacare creates many times more winners than losers. Look what you’re left trying to defend. You are defending the old system where it was okay to prey upon the vulnerable with worthless insurance plans that offered useless coverage and could be cancelled after the first claim. You’re left defending a system that tethered employees to the current employer. You’re still trying to defend an insurance business model that can only make money by selecting subscribers who don’t need the policy. And yet you give us these crocodile tears about those poor uninformed Fox News viewers who might be forced to buy a better policy with real coverage that cannot be cancelled…and all for the same price, or in most cases for less money. Your position on Obamacare is not only absurd, it’s morally outrageous.

  30. benamery21

    High School Observer: You know who has a nice tablet? My 90 y.o. SNAP collecting Granny, whose 4-figure income is definitely not undeclared cash. See, with the tablet I gave her, she can download books without getting out and about since she gave up driving last year. Plus, she can zoom to create ultra-large print so she can still see to read.
    My brother-in-law worked for a large cell carrier repairing cell phones for less than $10/hr at one point. He had several dozen family members on nearly free cell service thru his company at one point (there was a 50 person limit).
    Want to bet that most of those smartphone-wielding teenagers don’t have a car or a land line or a PC? You know who tend to have relatives working at crap jobs for cell companies, with concomitant perks?
    Access to information is a basic human right. That’s why we support libraries, rural telephone/internet service, and if I were to get my way: subsidized smartphones and cell/data service for the poor.

  31. anon2

    @rich berger: “How much of gdp should go to welfare programs?”
    Good question. How much goes to corporate welfare? Don’t you agree that corporate welfare should be cut first?

  32. benamery21

    I note Mr. Berger assiduously avoiding acquiring a clue.
    How much of GDP should go to correcting the immoral results of imperfect market operations? It depends on the size of the problem created by the market.
    Why should the government do for people what they can do for themselves? The government is the people.
    Any welfare program or other market activity is subject to fraud. Yep. That’s why we have cops and courts and why I support jailing bankers and other such crooks.

  33. tj

    2slugs
    You are a good foot soldier for your leader. You use the same tactics; strawmen and deception. Well done.
    This gets monotonous, but once again I’ll go line by line and dismantle your erroneous assertions and conclusions. I apologize to other readers for the length of this post, but I can’t let 2slugs deceptive, inaccurate and misleading statement go unchallenged.
    Some people are a little slow and may not have been paying close attention, so for those slow learners Obama probably should have been even more explicit than he was. Junk policies didn’t count as policies in the first place.
    Really? C’mon. The bill was thousands of pages and left many of the details to HHS to fill in after the bill was passed. We had to pass it to find out what was in it, remember? Obama knew the only chance to get his legacy bill passed was to mislead Americans into thinking that they could keep their insurance if they liked it. “Period”. There are literally dozens of times he stated that Americans could keep their current insurance. The average American, left and right, took him at his word. For you to argue that they should have known what was in the bill, is pure lunacy and you know it. America and Americans are in deep trouble when you can’t trust your president to tell the truth.
    Don’t the exchanges make it more likely that the unemployed will be able to find work?
    Yes, and it also makes it more likely that unemployment duration will increase, and many will drop out of the labor force to and rely on subsidized insurance.
    Says who? Sean Hannity? Almost everyone of those horror stories has turned out to be false after journalists went back and actually checked.
    You cite one story to support your claim that “almost everyone of those horror stories have turned out to be false.” Nice attempt to deceive, just like your leader. “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance. Period.”
    You were wrong about Obamacare leading to more part-time employment
    My point is that Obamacare creates incentives for employers to reduce hours and shift workers from full time to part time status. The study Menzie cited looked along the part time/ full time margin in aggregate. That study was biased by large employers who already provide coverage. I suggested the study should have looked at employers near the 50 FTE threshold. Menzie essentially agreed, but said the data didn’t exist. If you want to point me to a study that does that, then I’ll be happy to read it.
    You were wrong about Obamacare raising insurance rates
    If you live in a red state with a GOP governor, then you may very well end up not doing very well under Obamacare. Don’t blame Obama; blame your stupid governor. Most of the blue states with blue state governors who embraced state exchanges and Medicaid expansion will do quite well under Obamacare.
    Laughable again. Talk about lack of credibility. You are just like Obama. You ignore facts then make statements intended to deceive. Why did you ignore this line from the Kaiser study you cited above when you knew that very study refuted your claim about red state blue state differences in rates?
    “There is no clear political pattern to these premiums,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan research organization. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) “Some conservative, anti-Obamacare states have lower-than-average premiums, and some pro-Obamacare states have higher-than-average premiums.”
    Note also that the study you cite, is based on premiums for 27 year olds. For crying out loud! Do you think a 27 year old is anywhere near representative of the average health care enrollee? Deception again.
    From the Kaiser study you cited –
    “While the administration said the rates show that the new plans will offer consumers affordable coverage, there are caveats. The study used weighted averages, for example, which do not reflect what any one consumer might pay. In addition, many of the highlighted rates in the report are for 27-year-olds, who are on the lower end of the premium cost scale”
    The “nonpartisan” results are based on a bunch of optimistic assumptions. Let’s wait and see how they actually turn out. The recent slowdown in the growth rate in premiums was due to economic activity, not Obamacare.
    Obamacare creates many times more winners than losers.
    Perhaps it will, but the number of losers is turning out to be far greater than Obama promised.
    You are defending the old system where it was okay to prey upon the vulnerable with worthless insurance plans that offered useless coverage and could be cancelled after the first claim. You’re left defending a system that tethered employees to the current employer. You’re still trying to defend an insurance business model that can only make money by selecting subscribers who don’t need the policy.
    This is a strawman and a typical strategy of the Great Deceivers that populate the left. Show me where I defend the current insurance model. If you don’t like the loonie leftist policy then you want to throw grannie off the cliff, etc. Priceless! Where do you get this stuff? Is there a manual?
    Your position on Obamacare is not only absurd, it’s morally outrageous
    My position on Obamacare is that it’s a flawed policy. It didn’t receive the debate in Congress it deserved because Reid flushed it through the Senate, while Obama bought off the last few votes with guess what – more deception! My position is that health care and entitlements are broken. Obamacare is a flawed solution. It has a few good pieces, but the flaws will turn it into the greatest policy blunder in U.S. history.
    You are hopelessly blinded by your crush on Obama and his ideology. I’m not sure why I waste my time correcting your deceptive tactics. I guess I hope that their are others who read this blog that might benefit from having someone point out the deceptive and misleading statements that permeate the leftist narrative.

  34. benamery21

    Hey, tj. If anybody believes you just want to make better policy, they probably have deeds to a bridge or two. Your clowns had the chance to pass a healthcare plan you liked after you shot down Clinton’s. You had a Republican controlled House and Senate for years under Dubya. You chose not to do anything about it, even though access to healthcare was getting worse every year, at the same time that it imposed burgeoning costs on American business unmatched elsewhere in the developed world. You had a chance to provide constructive input during design of the ACA. You chose not to do that. If you guys ever get both houses and the presidency again, make whatever improvements won’t get you thrown out on your ear. In the mean time, pardon me while I laugh unreservedly at the idea that you’re really all about optimal policy.

  35. Robert hurley

    2slugs:
    I admire your perseverance. But you cannot convince these ideologues with facts and research. Although many of them are intelligent, they have closed minds; so there is no dialogue, and exchanges deteriorate into name calling

  36. c thomson

    “dedication to the truth”? Who on earth believes that modern American politics – ‘cuz that is what this is about – has anything to do with the truth?
    Our politics are more like Beer Pong but with higher stakes.
    Always remember that the ultimate decisions are made mostly by venal blow-dried scum – that the rest of us elect.
    Enjoy.

  37. tj

    Personal attacks. Typical and expected.
    Some of you seem to think I’m a big Bush fan and/or a tea partier. Bush was a mentally challenged Progressive.
    The Tea Party is too far to the right.

  38. Ricardo

    Why aren’t SNAP payments means tested? If someone has 4 cell phones, 3 tvs, and 2 cars should they be receiving food stamps?

  39. Menzie Chinn

    Ricardo: Do you even read the posts before putting fingers to keypad? See the second bullet point in the post. Suppose I had a job, had those assets, then suddenly lost the job. Should I sell off the cars that we use to drive to work, get rid of the cell phones we use to do our work (which might be our only phone, no landline), before applying for SNAP to feed the kids? That seems to me your plan.

  40. the ghost of Chief Kessler

    Bush was a mentally challenged Progressive.
    Well except for the war crimes, maybe not.
    Amen.

  41. gene

    OK, let’s brake this down. Snap inadvertantly supports which market? The agricultural market through subsidies given to the consumer with a certain financial standing. So one way to actually not touch the program is to decrease direct agricultural subsidies to farmers but that’s not on the table, why? Big interest. As many others have pointed out there are other programs to cut fat out much more so than snap like medicare or the defense. The problem is that the number of snap recipients is for the most part a reaction to the market. I would like to know how many people on snap earn minimum wage. You can act like a snob and say well if they got a college degree maybe they’d be better off. My answer to that is comparison with the US in 1950s 1960s. For some reason someone working in the factory (not high skilled labor) could easily afford a house and an average living. Now that same factory worker is making what 10-12 dollars an hour, my question is how the hell is someone supposed to afford to live on that salary. Declining real wages are a prime reason that social programs will continue to grow in the number of recipients. Remember though that real wage decline is a conservative measurement because inflation doesn’t account for housing prices or energy prices. So really snap is not the solution and neither the problem it is a reaction. The problem is declining real wages and the increased prices. Some of these increased prices we pay only in America, I call it the American tax. Example we pay more for college textbooks, same exact copy with different problem sets as the international version. Sometimes we pay as much as three four times as the cost of the international version. Healthcare procedures often times cost more to perform in the states even when you calculate both private and public spending. The American tax makes it even harder for upward mobility especially with declining real wage. We are really living through the massacre of the middle class in America, and with it our main consumer, which effects our consumer market (a little more than 60% of our GDP). For people that say that we’d rather give this money to real starving kids in Ethiopia, you are stupid, niece, and a snob. People making under $20000 a year. Next time you have some time check out what a two bedroom three bedroom apartment costs in rent in your area. In mine it’s about 1300-1900 for a cheap apartment. That’s almost the whole income right there. In Ethiopia they can build themselves a house for under $3000 with land included, can someone do that in the US? Ethiopia is starving because of the free food the developed nations are sending there for free because its giving no incentive for farmers to grow there own food.

  42. Anonymous

    If you want to reduce spending you need to attack Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Defense. Not even Mike Lee would dare go there.
    But I still am unsure why you would want to reduce spending at this time anyway.
    Posted by: randomworker at November 1, 2013 11:33 AM
    But then Menzie would trot out some stat about all the poor and eldery on medicare and medicaid and how we would be evil to cut it.
    And cutting spending at this time? What about when we never cut spending and eventually have another recession, which, then we won’t be able to cut spending either. So when will we cut?

  43. Anonymous

    “children, the elderly and the disabled should be “contributing”
    Given that this group compromises 55% or so of the population and will continue to increase… uh, explain how this is sustainable.

  44. Anonymous

    Do you mean the sociopaths who think we should increase food insecurity while cutting taxes on capital?
    Posted by: benamery21 at November 1, 2013 12:14 PM
    Reminder-
    Capital provides the food security. If you tax capital you’ll get less of it, and ultimately less food.

  45. Anonymous

    bmz
    “The Social Security trust fund, together with payroll taxes, is sufficient to cover program benefits for more than the next 20 years. ”
    What about after that when it’s my turn? Are you saying who cares about anyone younger than 45?

  46. Anonymous

    You can’t lie to that many people and not pay a price at the polls. Obamacare just might end up delivering the worst thing imaginable for Democrats/Progressives – Conservatives controlling both houses of congress in 2014 and a conservative in the White House in 2016! Oh the horror!! The lame duck presidency is beginning early!
    Posted by: tj at November 1, 2013 01:07 PM
    It would be incredible irony.

  47. Anonymous

    2slugs
    “You only get to keep it if the insurance company and/or your employer decide to continue offering it. A lot of people were going to lose their insurance even if Obamacare had never happened.”
    I knew reading this comment it would be you. This is a preposterous lie. Those companies only cancelled those policies as a direct result of complying with Obamacare. Get real.

  48. Anonymous

    You forgot to mention that many more millions will be paying less.
    2slugs
    yeah, at the expense of the middle class. THANKS!

  49. Anonymous

    @rich berger: “How much of gdp should go to welfare programs?”
    Good question. How much goes to corporate welfare? Don’t you agree that corporate welfare should be cut first?
    Posted by: anon2 at November 2, 2013 03:19 PM
    There is no such thing as corporate welfare because corporataions don’t owe anything to the govt.

  50. Anonymous

    “How much of GDP should go to correcting the immoral results of imperfect market operations? It depends on the size of the problem created by the market.”
    you think imperfect politicians can correct imperfect markets?

  51. benamery21

    I think SNAP is a positive, if suboptimal, response to the immorality of the market we have, yes. I would prefer less suboptimal solutions, of course, such as reducing the NEED for SNAP. One way to do that would be to spend some of the free money the world market is currently giving the U.S. government to invest in badly needed and lasting public goods, thus reversing the unprecedented drag of the public sector on the economy in this recovery. I have provided other options in other comments.

  52. Randall Parker (@futurepundit)

    Hi 2slugbaits,
    I can not tell whether your response to me is serious or sarcastic. I will quote from the link you thoughtfully provided:

    Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items

    Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items

    So SNAP can be used to buy junk food.

    Watch what poor fat lower class people buy in supermarkets. Also, ever wonder how lower class people find the money to go to McDonald’s? One way is to use SNAP for grocery store purchases. Leaves more money for unhealthful eating.
    Some cheap foods are good for you. Others are bad. I see lots of poor people eating lots of junk food even when they have other choices. They are obese. They have a surplus of food.

  53. benamery21

    Lower class? Like coach or steerage? Or like someone confidently asserting that kids and old people have too much food and should be grateful to the folks who want to starve them for their own good?

Comments are closed.