SNAP people will starve and you won’t get your IRS refund on time. Wa-Po does its best to stir panic.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 18: People wait in line for CAMBA's Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry on February 18, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The non-profit agency assists low-income residents and those affected by food stamp cuts. Currently the food pantry sees up to 4,500 individuals per month with the numbers rising. As Congress prepares to cut billions of dollars more from the food stamp program, food pantries around the country are preparing for an influx of those needing their assistance. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The government shutdown is doing more than just forcing Democrats to decide once and for all whether they truly care about border security; it may also be forcing those Americans currently subsisting off the country’s widely abused food stamps program to get a job — as well as forcing those Americans who spend, spend, spend to slow down and learn how to save their money.

A report by The Washington Post published Friday revealed that 38 million Americans who currently rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to eat are facing “severe reductions” in their unearned benefits because of the ongoing government shutdown.

“Congress has not allocated funding for SNAP beyond January, and the program’s emergency reserves would not cover even two-thirds of February’s payments,” the Post lamented.

“Lawmakers last year appropriated $3 billion into a ‘contingency’ fund for SNAP. USDA officials would not comment on the status of the $3 billion, but if all of that money is still available, it would cover just 64 percent of February’s obligations.”

The report also revealed that Americans slated to receive refunds during tax season may face delays in receiving their money from the Internal Revenue Service.

“Early last year, as part of its contingency planning for possible government shutdowns, the IRS said it would not issue any tax refunds during a shutdown,” the Post noted.

This is bad news for those Americans who haven’t been saving their money.

The government usually doles out more in food stamps over the course of a month than it would cost to end the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, 2018.

Days earlier a House Republicans had passed an omnibus spending bill that included $5 billion to fund a wall along the southern U.S. border. Because of obstruction by congressional Democrats, the bill remains perpetually stalled. The government entered into a partial shutdown as a result.

President Donald Trump has made it clear he won’t sign any spending bill that excludes funding for the wall. Democrats have likewise assured their base that they’ll “never” fund the wall.

According to the president, the blame for the shutdown, therefore, lies solely with the Democrats. While polling data initially showed that the public felt otherwise, that appears to be shifting.

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight reported Friday that according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted during the last week of December, a higher 51 percent of Americans disapproved of congressional Democrats’ handling of the shutdown. Only 49 perfect felt similarly about Trump.

“That might indicate that blame is shifting from who caused the shutdown in the first place … to who is now preventing it from being resolved,” the site concluded.

The blame seems to be falling on Democrats, who appear willing to do anything to stop the shutdown except fund a wall that would improve border security and reduce illegal immigration.

During a presser Friday, the president said he’s willing to hold out on his position for years.


“I am prepared, and I think I can speak for Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate. They feel very strongly about having a safe country, having a border that makes sense,” he said when asked whether he’s willing to keep the government shutdown for years.

“Without borders, I’ve said it many times, we don’t have a country. I hope it doesn’t go on even beyond a few more days. It really could open very quickly. I told them that bring who you want. We have three people. You can ideally bring three, but you can bring six, you can bring nine, you can bring twelve.”


The latest report suggests that the Democrats have more to lose than the Republicans by keeping the shutdown going. While it’s unfortunate that some Americans may see their food stamp benefits reduced, conservatives have long argued that welfare programs such as SNAP breed dependency.

As such, the fact that the government shutdown might engender a reduction in benefits has actually provoked approval from some conservatives on social media:

They were not wrong to note that the U.S. is currently teeming with job openings.

And since the food stamp program is mostly supported by Democrats, it’s not necessarily wrong to predict that Democrats may become far more willing to negotiate come February.




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Vivek Saxena


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