While the federal government pays for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), states are responsible for determining who is eligible for the program and for covering at least half of the administrative cost of enrolling them.
The Trump regime has apparently decided, however, that states should no longer be allowed to determine who is eligible.
Some states automatically enroll residents in the SNAP program if they participate in other assistance programs that indicate that they're eligible, but the Department of Agriculture wants to rewrite the rules to place new restrictions on who can be enrolled.
The new rules will push up to 3 million people out of the program according to the Trump regime's own estimates.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said state governments “have misused this flexibility.”
“We are changing the rules, preventing abuse of a critical safety net system, so those who need food assistance the most are the only ones who receive it,” he added. [...]
The Trump administration rule would rein in states’ ability to enroll recipients earning more than 130% of the federal poverty guidelines -- in most cases capping eligibility to an annual income of $32,640 for a family of four. Households are also limited in most cases to $2,250 in countable assets, such as cash or money in bank accounts.
States with flexibility? Gasp!
This is bad policy and not just because it's inhumane and will likely lead to families with small children losing what little benefit they received.
It's also bad policy because food stamps are the most stimulative spending program in the federal arsenal, with each $1 spent on food stamps resulting in $1.73 in economic activity according to Moody's Analytics.
The Trump regime estimates that kicking up to 3 million people off the SNAP program under the new rules will result in $2.5 billion in savings per year, but that also means economic activity at grocery stores and producers will drop by over $4 billion.
The SNAP program is more of a stimulus program than a welfare program and, if you asked them, I doubt the average farmer would tell you this is a good time to kick 3 million people off the program; not while Trump's trade war is ongoing.