Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

House votes to cut 700 million in food stamps...

Old 11-20-05, 11:55 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
House votes to cut 700 million in food stamps...

http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/news/sto...&w=RTR&coview=

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to cut $700 million from the food stamp program, despite objections from antihunger groups complaining that estimates show some 235,000 people would lose benefits.

The House bill, which also trimmed other social programs for the poor in an effort to reduce federal spending by $50 billion, was narrowly approved 217-215.

House and Senate negotiators now must write a final, compromise version of legislation to pare federal spending over five years. The Senate did not touch food stamps in its version of a $35 billion budget-cutting bill.

Food stamps, the major U.S. antihunger program, help poor people buy food. Some 25.8 million Americans received food stamps in a program run by the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Saxby Chambliss said through a spokesman that he was aiming for "zero" cuts in food stamps during talks with the House. As a committee chairman, the Georgia Republican would be a senior negotiator.

The final bill should abandon proposals to cut food stamps, urged Ellen Vollinger of the Food Research and Action Center. "In nutrition, the Senate did the right thing," she said.

Bread for the World, another antihunger group, said the prospect of food stamp cuts "will make Thanksgiving bleaker for hundreds of thousands of hard-working families." It pointed to government estimates that 38.2 million Americans live in "food insecure" households that have trouble buying enough food.

House Republican leaders say the cuts are only a sliver of food stamp spending that runs more than $35 billion a year. Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Roy Blunt said the cuts would focus the program on "the people you intended to help instead of just adding on at the edges."

In a statement, the White House said it supported the House "efforts to narrow overly broad exemptions from the food stamp program's eligibility limits." President (George W.) Bush proposed restrictions in February that are similar to the House-approved steps.

Under the House plan, roughly 165,000 people now automatically enrolled in food stamps when they get assistance from welfare programs would lose food stamps. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said these were mostly working families with children.

States would have the option to continue offering free school lunches to families cut off of food stamps. The Center on Budget said it was unlikely all states would do so.

The House proposal also would require 70,000 legal immigrants in most cases to wait seven years to become eligible for food stamps, rather than the current five years. That brings the total number of people affected by the plan to 235,000.

First, I hope this does not mean I will have more people late with rent.

Second, it is hard to believe this program is currently at 35 billion a year.

I have no problem with making legal immigrants wait 7 years instead of 5.

I would like to know what type of automatic increases the program has enjoyed and whether this is an actual cut or just a reduction in growth.

Also, I know several people who received food stamps when I went to graduate school. Several people went, and then encouraged others to do the same. It was tempting, but I couldn't bring myself to do it....and I didn't need it, but neither did they. It doesn't seem bad to try to tighten up who this is spent on. Full time students should not be elligible, imo.

More than anything, I think the Food Stamp program should be treated similarly to the WIC program, which only allows certain types of foods to be purchased. From their website:http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/

WIC foods include iron-fortified infant formula and infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut better, dried beans/peas, tuna fish and carrots. Special terapeutic infant formulas and medical foods are provided when prescribed by a phsyician for a specified medical condition.
I could see adding various meat, breads, etc. to that as well, but I think the food stamp program shouldn't be paying for Doritos, Twinkees, candy, pop, etc.

Thoughts?
kvrdave is offline  
Old 11-20-05, 11:58 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: QC, CA
Posts: 2,718
fox news spin ...

americans are obese, and the house voted to get fat america into shape by cutting down on the food..
nomaan is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 12:39 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201


I will say that my office deals with a lot of HUD section 8 housing, and I would bet that 75% are obese. I have no doubt that one of the factors is that food stamps can be used for junk food.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 01:04 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Ruler
 
General Zod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 21,400
I see the word "cut"...

General Zod is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 01:10 AM
  #5  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Democratik People's Republik of Kalifornia
Posts: 22,995
I see quite a few people in San Francisco selling food stamps for cash ($100 cash/$70 stamps exchange). Cops won't arrest them even if the exchange is happening right in front of them since it's a waste of time and money to arrest and prosecute these people.
Myster X is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 01:59 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
GreenMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,366
Originally Posted by kvrdave


I will say that my office deals with a lot of HUD section 8 housing, and I would bet that 75% are obese. I have no doubt that one of the factors is that food stamps can be used for junk food.
I don't see any issue restricting food stamps to reasonably healthy foods. But it would be pretty had to come up with a cohesive list of healthy foods. Maybe when food stamps have moved to some sort of electronic system someday you could come up with an approved UPC list or something.
With WIC it's a little easier because it is merely designed as a supplementary assist for pregnant women & children.
GreenMonkey is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 02:02 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,453
How about use Food Stamps for only meat, butter, juice, milk, and bread. I mean, those are the basics. If someone wants to buy 5 packages of Pinwheels and Nutterbutters, then great, go beg for money on the street or get a part-time job to pay for them.

Pop should also be removed from Food Stamps. It really is simple to disqualify these foods because grocery stores these days have their stock computerized in categories so if the US Gov came along and said they wanted certain foods excluded, it would take a week to input the flags (the same for alcohol and cigs) and they could update nationwide in a matter of hourse overnight.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 11-21-05 at 02:05 AM.
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 03:15 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
I don't see any issue restricting food stamps to reasonably healthy foods. But it would be pretty had to come up with a cohesive list of healthy foods. Maybe when food stamps have moved to some sort of electronic system someday you could come up with an approved UPC list or something.
With WIC it's a little easier because it is merely designed as a supplementary assist for pregnant women & children.
they are already in the form of a debit card and not the old style food stamps
al_bundy is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:23 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Originally Posted by Myster X
I see quite a few people in San Francisco selling food stamps for cash ($100 cash/$70 stamps exchange). Cops won't arrest them even if the exchange is happening right in front of them since it's a waste of time and money to arrest and prosecute these people.
California is way behind the times if they still have food stamps.

DVD Polizei How about use Food Stamps for only meat, butter, juice, milk, and bread. I mean, those are the basics.
The WIC program does that.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:26 AM
  #10  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
Is this a cut or a reduction in the rate of growth?
bhk is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:30 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Originally Posted by bhk
Is this a cut or a reduction in the rate of growth?
When those dollars won't buy what they bought last year - that's a cut.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:31 AM
  #12  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
When those dollars won't buy what they bought last year - that's a cut.
It isn't a cut if the resulting rate of growth remains above inflation (even by the above definition which I don't agree with).
bhk is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:34 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
I understand you right-wingers don't want to admit that you're taking food from the mouths of children in order to give further tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. At least I believe you ought to have the honesty to admit iti.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:36 AM
  #14  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
I understand you right-wingers don't want to admit that you're taking food from the mouths of children in order to give further tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. At least I believe you ought to have the honesty to admit iti.
Nice dodge(with some trolling to boot).
bhk is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:38 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Originally Posted by bhk
Nice dodge(with some trolling to boot).
It's not a dodge.

The Repubs cut domestic social programs in order to facilitate further tax cuts to the wealthy.

That's a fact.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:42 AM
  #16  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
The fact is that the higher income earners pay more of the tax revenue collected after the tax cuts than before.
Reducing the rate of growth from 7.9% to 7.2%(still 1 1/2 times higher than the rate of inflation) isn't a cut.
bhk is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:45 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
The fact is that the higher income earners pay more of the tax revenue collected after the tax cuts than before.
And you accuse someone of dodging.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:46 AM
  #18  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
And you accuse someone of dodging.
How is that a dodge?
bhk is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:50 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Read what the CBO estimates about how much the tax cuts will increase the national debt.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:53 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Duran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 8,177
Why are we giving food stamps to non-citizens?
Duran is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:54 AM
  #21  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
Read what the CBO estimates about how much the tax cuts will increase the national debt.
The tax cuts have increased revenue therefore that isn't what is going to increase debt.
bhk is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:55 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pleasantville - in black & white ;P
Posts: 5,970
Originally Posted by Duran
Why are we giving food stamps to non-citizens?
mosquitobite is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 07:59 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Why - because they pay taxes - one reason.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 08:32 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Have the Tax Cuts Boosted Revenues?

In 2001, conservative anti-tax activist Stephen Moore declared that “…the Bush tax cut will not lose $1.6 trillion as forecasters have predicted…the Joint Tax Committee always overestimates the revenue gains from tax rate increases and always overestimates the revenue losses from tax rate cuts.”[4] In retrospect, it is apparent that the Joint Tax Committee estimates were indeed off, but not in the direction that Moore and many other proponents of the tax cut predicted. Revenues have come in lower, not higher, than the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Tax Committee forecast.

TABLE 1: Projections and Shortfall



2005 revenues in billions of dollars

(1)
CBO's January 2002 Projection
2,342

(2)
JTC Estimate of Cost of Tax Cuts Enacted 2002-2004
111

(3)
Adjusted CBO Projection [(1) – (2)]
2,231

(4)
CBO’s New Estimate of 2005 Revenues
2,142

(5)
Remaining Unexplained Shortfall [(3)-(4)]
89


If CBO’s new revenue estimate of $2.14 trillion proves correct, total revenues in 2005 will still be considerably lower than CBO and OMB predicted in early 2002. Note that these 2002 revenue projections were made after the large 2001 tax cut had been enacted, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had occurred, and the economy had hit bottom. (The trough of the recession occurred in November 2001.) If CBO’s 2005 revenue estimate is correct and revenues run $85 billion higher than CBO predicted this March, revenues this year will still be $89 billion lower than the level of 2005 revenues that CBO projected in January 2002. See Table 1. (In making this comparison, we have adjusted CBO’s January 2002 projection downward to reflect the Joint Tax Committee estimates of the cost of all tax cuts enacted since then.) Not only have the tax cuts failed to pay for themselves, but revenues continue to come in well below prior expectations.

Indeed, far from confirming the view that cutting taxes increases tax receipts, the tax cuts enacted in 2001 were followed by three years in which the level of revenues fell short of official estimates. The recent growth in revenues simply means that the large revenue shortfall is not quite as severe as previously thought. While revenues in 2005 will be significantly higher than revenues in 2004, a point that proponents of the tax cuts have begun to trumpet, revenues in 2004 were at a stunningly low level — the lowest level as a share of the economy since 1959. [5] As a result, revenues will remain at a relatively low level as a share of the economy this year, 17.5 percent of GDP. And CBO’s new estimates show that if the recent tax cuts and current AMT relief are extended, after 2006 revenues will drop below their current 17.5 percent level and average only 17.1 percent of GDP over the ten-year period from 2006 through 2015. This would be lower than the average level of revenues in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s.



Temporary Factors Related to the Revenue Increase
Much of the recent upsurge in revenues appears to stem from temporary developments, not from tax-cut-fueled economic expansion. In fact, one of the causes of the sizeable increases in tax receipts between 2004 and 2005 is the expiration of a large tax cut.

A large business tax cut enacted in 2002 — the accelerated depreciation tax cut — expired at the end of 2004. This is producing a significant increase in business tax payments in 2005 — an increase estimated at $51 billion by the Joint Committee on Taxation when the provision was enacted. Revenues are rising in this case because a tax cut is no longer in effect. The expiration of the accelerated depreciation tax cut causes tax revenue from businesses to jump significantly from 2004 to 2005, and then jump again from 2005 to 2006. But the unusual increase in revenues cannot be repeated thereafter because the provision can expire only once. The future growth rate of business tax revenues will revert to normal, all other things being equal.[6]

Tax returns for 2004, which are filed in fiscal year 2005, appear to have included a substantial increase in capital gains tax payments, reflecting the increase in the stock market in 2004. The stock market now appears to have stopped rising; it has been flat in recent months. Capital gains revenues cannot be expected to continue increasing at the rate they did between 2004 and 2005. (See the box above, which cites an analysis of this issue by the investment firm Goldman-Sachs.)

An additional one-time boost in 2005 revenues is occurring because last fall’s corporate tax legislation allows businesses with foreign profits being held abroad to bring the profits back to the United States in 2005 only and pay taxes at a modest 5.25 percent rate, rather than at the normal corporate tax rate of 35 percent. This will increase revenues by several billion dollars (or more) in 2005, as corporations rush to take advantage of this windfall, but according to the Joint Tax Committee’s estimates, it will result in modest revenue losses in 2006 and thereafter.

To be sure, 2005 tax receipts are running higher this year than CBO and OMB projected earlier this year. But the greater-than-anticipated revenue growth comes mostly from increases in corporate income taxes and non-withheld individual income taxes, as CBO repeatedly stresses, not from increases in taxes on wages and salaries. If the tax cuts had been sparking a “supply-side miracle” by inducing people to work more or encouraging businesses to expand employment, then real economic growth, job growth, and withheld taxes would have significantly surpassed expectations, as well. Instead, economic growth and job growth have been modest, and CBO’s current estimates for 2005 economic and job growth are now very slightly lower than CBO’s January forecast. In addition, withheld tax receipts appear to be similar to CBO’s expectations.[7] [8]


No Evidence of Accelerated Long-Term Growth
TABLE 2

Average Annual Growth in GDP Since Recovery Began in Nov ‘01
3.3%

Average Annual Growth in GDP for First 3¼ Years of Recoveries Since World War II
4.7%

For tax cuts to lead to long-run revenue increases, they must raise long-run economic growth rates significantly. Both the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office have concluded, however, that the changes in the tax code enacted since the start of 2001 are likely to have only small effects on long-term economic growth and that these effects could as easily be negative as positive.[9] CBO and the Joint Tax Committee project that the tax cuts will generate little, if any, additional revenues through stronger economic growth and that the overall budgetary effect of the tax cuts thus will be one of large revenue losses.

Moreover, since the recession hit bottom in November 2001, real economic growth (economic growth adjusted for inflation) has averaged 3.3 percent per year. This is significantly below the 4.7 percent average growth rate for other post-World War II economic recoveries.[10]

With respect to employment, it took nearly four years for the number of jobs to rise back to the level they were at before the recession started. In no other business cycle since World War II has it taken so long for employment to return to pre-recession levels. Even this year, job growth has continued to lag well behind that in prior recoveries. When the recovery period as a whole is examined, the pace of job creation still falls well behind the pace of job creation in every other recovery since World War II. Among non-supervisory workers, moreover, average real wages have actually fallen since 2003 and in the second quarter of 2005 were at their lowest level since the close of 2001.

In fact, in another recent analysis we found that the current recovery has been less robust than average not only in terms of economic growth and job growth, but also consumption, investment, net worth, and wages. Only corporate profits have rebounded faster than usual.[11] Thus, there is little evidence that the tax cuts are significantly boosting economic performance.



Economists agree that cutting taxes reduces revenue
No reputable economist, liberal or conservative, has ever shown that tax cuts pay for themselves, and economists are virtually unanimous in concluding that tax cuts reduce revenue. This consensus holds even among economists who have served at high levels in the Bush Administration.

For example, N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the President Bush’s first term, wrote in his popular introductory economics textbook that there is “no credible evidence” that tax cuts pay for themselves, and that an economist who makes such a claim is a “snake oil salesman who is trying to sell a miracle cure.” [12]


Supply-Side Theory Has Failed Before

TABLE 3: Comparing the 1980s and 1990s

Avg. real per capita economic growth Avg. real per capita income-tax growth
1979-1990 2.0%
0.2%

1990-2000 2.0%
4.2%

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, OMB Historical Tables
In 1981, Congress approved major supply-side tax cuts that featured large reductions in marginal income-tax rates. In 1990 and 1993, by contrast, Congress raised marginal income-tax rates on the well off. Analysts thus can compare two decades with sharply contrasting tax policies.

There was no discernable difference in average economic growth rates between the two decades.
Even though rates of economic growth were virtually identical during these two decades, the growth in real income-tax revenue and total revenue was far higher in the 1990s (when taxes were increased) than in the 1980s (when taxes were sharply reduced).
The international evidence supports a similar conclusion. Based on a review of that evidence, Brookings Institution economists William Gale and Peter Orszag have concluded that “cross-country studies find very small long-term effects of taxes on growth in developed countries.”[13] Many studies find no effect whatever.

These results confirm common sense: large tax cuts result in reductions in revenue, tax increases result in increases in revenue, and the general effect of tax cuts on economic growth (beyond the temporary stimulus effects during an economic slump) tends to be slight, especially if the tax cuts are deficit-financed.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
classicman2 is offline  
Old 11-21-05, 09:10 AM
  #25  
Moderator
 
Geofferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: The Village Green
Posts: 39,178
The Laffer curve speaks volumes regarding taxes and revenues.

Last edited by Geofferson; 11-21-05 at 09:12 AM.
Geofferson is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.