Written by Richard Rider, Chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters
Here is a wonderful example of media bias in a San Diego Union-Tribune “news” story. It’s a New York Times article decrying a modest proposed “Trump” food stamp (SNAP) eligibility reform.
Given that it’s a New York Times article, arguably it is by definition biased. But more important for me, it’s printed in the local U-T. And doubtless printed in hundreds of other papers across the nation—plus it serves as the basis for scores of bleating TV stories. It’s defined as news, but the Times doesn’t even bother to name the author/reporter.
Start with the U-T headline: “Nearly 700,000 set to lose Access to Food Stamps.” That’s a big number, until you realize that 36,400,000 people now receive the SNAP food subsidy. That’s a tepid reform that at most affects only 1.9% of current recipients. Nowhere is this fact mentioned.
The reform is limited to able-bodied adults without minor children. It does not include people over age 49 (the age limitation is not included in the article). Also, it exempts people with “a disability”—a loosey-goosey designation in itself. Again, not mentioned in the story.
This reform also applies only to long term SNAP recipients, most can score this benefit for three months simply by being unemployed. Of course, that’s not mentioned in this story.
There are potential exemptions for areas with over six percent unemployment. Need I point out that this fact was not revealed in the New York Times propaganda piece?
The sensible government rationale for this reform is that in this booming labor market, such unemployed SNAP recipients should be able to find a job and get off this welfare benefit. That is mentioned in the article, followed by welfare pimps claiming that too many such people can’t find a job.
But most important is what the New York Times fails to mention is that there are two other ways one can qualify for food stamps. Either participate in a work training program 80 hours month, or “volunteer” to work a few hours (the number is undefined) a month in community service—largely useless jobs like picking up trash or raking leaves. It’s in the regulation, but apparently no one bothered to read the damn thing.
Now, if someone is so high, or drunk, or crazy that they can’t pick up trash, then they probably can’t figure out how to qualify for SNAP benefits in the first place. If they can figure it out and they meet the other requirements, then they likely can pick up trash.
Note that the inference is that all 700,000 will lose their SNAP benefit, through no fault of their own. That’s false. They will lose their benefit only if they fail to take advantage of any ONE of the following three options:
1. Get a job.
2. Enter a work training program.
3. Pick up trash.
Okay, okay, option “three” may include various “community service” jobs. In addition to picking up trash, they may be able to rake leaves, clean sidewalks, remove graffiti, etc.
By the way, if you think my New York Times example is an aberration, Google “SNAP reform” and limit your search to the last 30 days or so. Granted, many use the article as the basis for their own story, but that’s no excuse for these gross misrepresentations by most of the media.
Will this program really save taxpayers money? Let’s look at a real-world example. In Maine, when they required able-bodied single adults to work, get job training, or perform 26 hours of community service a month, 80 percent of those bums (yes, bums) decided not to receive their food stamp welfare rather than comply.
How can 80 percent of these “needy” people turn down free food for a little labor? I suspect that closer analysis would show that most of these 700,000 single able-bodied adult SNAP recipients are working—off the books. Millions of Americans work for cash, including (but not limited to) drug dealers, prostitutes, burglars, robbers, panhandlers, handymen, nannies, maids, gardeners, and many others. They really do have a better option than performing public service gigs.
Maine’s stunning fiscal success upsets progressives. Which tells us a lot about progressives.
People don’t starve in America. Millions do suffer from malnutrition, but that’s usually their choice—fast food, starches, and empty calories.
This bad judgment is now encouraged by the relatively new “charge it” feature on the SNAP card (EBT). The DC government idiots allow SNAP recipients to use their benefit at fast food joints—low-quality food at much higher prices (compared to grocery store items). Arguably, the fattest demographic in America is the poor.