New Data from the US Department of Agriculture Reveals 1.5 Million Fewer People are Collecting Food Stamps Under President Trump
According to new statistics from the US Department of Agriculture, food stamp enrollment has decreased by nearly 1.5 million people since President Trump’s inauguration.
Specifically, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, dropped from 42,691,363 in January to 41,203,721 in July, 2017—decreasing by 3.48 percent under President Trump.
Furthermore, enrollment has been decreasing steadily month-to-month:
- January to February – 408,956
- February to March – 95,152
- March to April – 521,295
- April to May- 176,527
- May to June – 178,648
- June to July – 236,417
There are a few reasons for this decline that include overall improved economic performance, which has led to increased employment, and the increase of seasonal employment (there are more seasonable jobs available in summer than winter, so it is not abnormal to see decreasing enrollment during the period).
But perhaps the biggest factor is President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. Contrary to what you may have been told, under certain circumstances, illegal immigrants can be eligible for food stamps—the program is administered on a state-by-state basis.
In fact, some states actually prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens. This is done through the way the benefits are calculated. Here’s an example of this system in action:
Let’s look at the system as applied to two similar families who live in adjacent houses; both have incomes of $2,400 a month, both have the same assets, both families consist of a working male, his stay-at-home spouse, and their stay-at-home toddler. The only difference is that one of the men is a native-born citizen and the other is an illegal alien. Everyone else in the two households is a citizen.
OK, so far. Now let’s walk through Alice’s special mirror, and see how the government handles the situation. It sees the three-citizen family as three people and says that $2,400 a month is too high an income for food stamps. It looks at the other family and sees it as a two-member family, because the man is an illegal, and then — here’s the key — the government decides that only two-thirds of the family income should be counted, and that $1,600 is not too high for a family of two, hence the family with the illegal alien in it gets food stamps and the other family does not.
It goes without saying that this is a patently unfair way of calculating benefits, and it strongly disadvantages American families.
On the bright side, we can expect enrollment in SNAP to continue to decline, as President Trump has proposed cuts to the program to roll out in the 2018 federal budget, and asks that states match some 20 percent of the funding allocated to the program.
The President also requests that states expand work requirements for able-bodied adults collecting food stamps—no work, no welfare. This would go a big way to solving the problem of chronic program abuse.