I hope never to have to go on food stamps. However, the program has been a lifeline for many here in New Jersey and across the nation. For others though, it’s become a way of life, and one can’t deny that there have been abuses of the program. With the federal deficit being as high as it is, so cuts are in order.

Youtube screenshot

Question to you is…Do you feel there should be cuts in the Food Stamp program like many Republicans are pushing for?

The 1,000-page “farm bill” being debated in the Senate is somewhat of a misnomer. Four of every five dollars in it — roughly $80 billion a year — goes for grocery bills for one of every seven Americans through food stamps.

Republicans say Congress could cut the cost by $2 billion a year by just closing a pair of loopholes that some states use to award benefits to people who otherwise might not qualify.

The program has swelled from 28 million to 46 million participants and its costs have doubled in the past four years. The recession and slow recovery have increased the number of people unemployed over the same period from 8 million to 12 million.

Democrats led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are resisting a proposal by Agriculture Committee leaders in both parties to trim a modest $250 million from the program each year by cracking down on abuses. They say that would deprive about half a million households who would lose an average $90 a month in food aid.

Another member of Congress points out the federal government now spends twice as much on food stamps as it does on fixing the nation’s roads and bridges, and SNAP is now the government’s second-largest federal welfare program, following Medicaid.

The Agriculture Department, which runs the program, says the average monthly benefit per person as of last November was $134.15. As for helping the economy, it calculates each dollar in benefits generates $1.72 in economic activity, including 16 cents for farmers who grow the food.

It’s scary to think the number of people that depend on the food stamp program each month.

Couple that with the rising cost of food, and one can be led to believe that there is no way cuts to the program can be made.

However, when some food stamp recipients are seen driving away from supermarkets in fancy cars and not using manufacturers’ coupons or store coupons, somewhere along the line, you have to conclude that priorities, somewhere along the line, are out of whack!

Ask any supermarket checkout person….they’ll tell you!

Posse Poll:

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM