SNAP cuts would hurt workers, children, state budget and economy
Posted September 06, 2017 in Press Releases
Low-paying industries are growing fast in Ohio, with eight of the state’s top 13 occupations paying median wages low enough for workers supporting a family of three to qualify for federal food aid. Ten percent of all Ohio workers — more than 500,000 people — participate in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). They work at places like Target, Kroger and the Cleveland Clinic.
Both the House Budget Committee and President Trump have proposed federal budget plans that slash funding for SNAP and shift huge costs onto the states while cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations. Trump’s proposal would cut SNAP by $193 billion over 10 years, which would cost Ohio $4.2 billion during that time. The House proposal is vague, but based on their 2017 proposal, it would cut SNAP by $150 billion nationally with $125 billion in cost shifts to states through a block grant, according to a report from Policy Matters Ohio.
“If these cuts go through, Ohioans will suffer,” report author and Policy Matters Policy Fellow Victoria Jackson said. “Last year nearly 15 percent of Ohio households struggled to feed all their members at some point. If Congress cuts SNAP, CEOs of companies like Wal-Mart will pay lower taxes at the expense of many of their employees.”
Federal law already requires childless, working-age, able-bodied adults to work at least 20 hours a week to receive SNAP. More than two-thirds of SNAP recipients live in a household where at least one member works, according to the report. People living in designated high unemployment areas may receive a waiver from the work requirement. Under the Trump and House Budget Committee proposals, the waiver would be restricted further and SNAP recipients would face harsher work requirements.
Data also shows that SNAP helps bolster the state economy, especially in distressed economies with high unemployment. For every dollar invested in SNAP, the economy generates $1.70. Ohioans spent $2.4 billion at 9,644 retailers that accepted SNAP last year.
“Since 1964 the federal government has provided food aid to try to prevent hunger in America,” Jackson said. “This has kept children and adults in all of our communities fed. Changing that now, when we are richer than we’ve ever been as a country, would be shameful.”