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‘Stimulus’ food stamps may be a place to start

May 8, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

During the three years of Barack Obama's presidency, enrollment in the food stamp program has increased from about 33 million people to more than 46 million. Now, members of the House of Representatives are looking for ways to trim some fat from our swollen federal budget, and are considering repealing increases in monthly food stamp benefits Obama implemented three years ago, as part of his economic stimulus scheme.

Reversing Obama's tactics would save about $8 billion over the coming year. The idea is to reduce food-stamp allotments by, for example, $60 per month, for a family of four. Bear in mind the average family of four receiving food stamps gets approximately $500 worth right now.

Even Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said, "We know that cuts have to be made." But then she appears unwilling to make them during an election year. House Republicans' plan for reducing waste in the budget will, indeed, mean some pain for those who got used to Obama's expanded spending over the past three years. But it is important to remember much of his stimulus push was meant to be temporary - in some cases, literally until after he faced another Election Day.

Congress should disregard such attempts to buy votes and get down to business trimming the budget. Food stamps may not be the most popular of targets, but they are as good a place as any to start making the difficult decisions Obama has forced them to make.



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