Proposed welfare cuts are starting to hit the U.S., with two states that couldn’t be more different getting in on the action.
In both Maine and Missouri — as “blue” and “red” as they come, respectively — lawmakers are looking at limiting the extent of items that welfare recipients will be able to buy.
The Riverfront Times reports that in Missouri, lawmakers are wanting to eliminate energy drinks, soda, cookies, chips, steak, and fish from the list of items that are approved for purchase using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The act, to amend chapter 205 of Missouri statutes, says in plain English at the end, the following.
“A recipient of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits shall not use such benefits to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.”
Turning the page to Maine, State Sen. Roger Katz in February introduced legislation that, if passed, would limit the items that a welfare recipient could buy. In Katz’ bill, the program would be only for foods that were deemed “nutritional.”
It isn’t known whether it would ban all of the same foods as the Missouri bill, but you can lay money on the fact that there would be no junk food or energy drinks allowed.
“This bill just says — look, if we’re going to be giving taxpayer dollars to people appropriately they should use it to buy nutritional foods,” Katz said.
“Here’s the deal — the food stamp program is the supplemental nutritional assistance program — I’ll emphasize the word nutritional.”
Critics of the bill — some fellow lawmakers who voted against Katz’ bill when he first introduced it in 2013 — ask the question, “Who’s to say what is and isn’t nutritional?”
Others have blamed Katz and his Missouri counterparts of too much government intrusion into the lives of citizens. But to reiterate what Katz said above, the bill’s supporters retort that the government has a right to such intrusion if it’s the one funding the purchases.
Recently, the Inquisitr reported on similar welfare cuts being discussed in the U.K. The U.K. law would eliminate the purchase of sugary snacks and treats, a law that opponents say directly penalizes the obese.
What do you think about the proposed welfare cuts that are making their way around the U.S., readers? Should welfare recipients be restricted in what food and drink items they use the SNAP program for, or is it a clear case of government overreach? Sound off in the comments section.
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