The Biden administration’s push to increase food stamp benefits is responsible for at least a 15% rise in grocery prices, a new government watchdog report says.
The Department of Agriculture (DOA) in 2021 announced revised nutritional standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides benefits that help people in low-income households to purchase food.
The maximum SNAP benefit is determined by the number of people in the household and the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (a basket of foods identified by the Department of Agriculture as providing a nutritious diet) for a group of that size.
Biden’s DOA bypassed Congress and expanded the program by 27% on average — the largest permanent increase in the program’s history, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) found.
That resulted in overall spending on the program to more than double between 2019 ($4.5 billion) and 2022 ($11 billion), according to an FGA study released Thursday.
Food prices on average are expected to increase 5.8% over 2023, according to the DOA’s website.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the expansion is projected to cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion over the next decade because the increased spending on food stamps has fueled a rise in grocery prices and contributed to high inflation.
“USDA cooked their books to hike food stamp benefits by 27% — the largest permanent increase in program history. And they bypassed Congress to do it,” Jonathan Ingram, vice president of policy and research at the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), told Fox News.
“Data show the Biden administration’s overreach led to massive spikes in grocery prices. They’re feeding inflation, not stopping hunger.”
World Bank retail scanner data after the recession of 2008 found food prices go up 1% for each 12.5% hike in per-capita food stamp spending, CBO said.
Labor Department data showed that margarine and eggs increased in price by more than 50% between December 2019 and March 2023. Frozen vegetables prices rose by 36%.
FGA estimated that more than $193 billion in taxpayer funds could be retrieved if Congress repealed Biden’s food stamp expansion.
Food stamp spending likely will be a key issue when Congress works to reauthorize the Farm Bill, which sets a range of spending that includes food benefits.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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