There’s a certain amount of muttering that the government shutdown – prompted by Trump’s insistence that he really, but just really, wants a great big wall – will start to affect the distribution of SNAP benefits, food stamps to you and me. This isn’t going to happen, the fix will be in long before that happens. No, I’m not insisting that the government shutdown will be solved by February although I fully expect it to be so. Rather, that those worrying abut babbies running out of stale crusts and government cheese are rather missing the way the system works. They simply don’t shut down those parts of government that will lead to rioting on the streets, sure, they may be politicians but they’re not that damn stupid.
Look at what they actually do shutdown. So far it seems to be no rangers in the National Parks and the bureaucrats not getting paid. Not something that greatly concerns – the latter perhaps a cause for celebration instead – the average sixpack drinker in the streets. This is thus somewhere between overblown and politically motivated rubbish:
Millions of Americans receiving food stamps could face having their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) disrupted if the government shutdown—which entered its third week on Saturday—continues into February. The partial government shutdown that began last month currently affects approximately one quarter of U.S. government departments, including the Department of Agriculture which supervises SNAP at the federal level. The program has not been allocated funding from Congress past this month, and although Congress has set aside $3 billion as emergency funds, the amount isn’t enough to cover all recipients of food stamps throughout February. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of food stamps average $4.8 billion per month.
On the face of it this looks terrible, those babbies are going to be hungry. Except note that bit about emergency funds. Congress can – and will – put aside more such if it looks like the shutdown is going to continue. Not that it will by my reckoning but no, they’re not going to leave the poor starving because that would be an actual and visible sign that government isn’t working. Which isn’t the point of all this at all.