Last week, Congress passed a bill out of the House with drastic proposed cuts to SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and our tea-party-influenced House delegation has been very proud to support such a measure.
The economy is rebounding, unemployment rates are decreasing - these folks don’t need help - right? Well, if you read Ryan’s post last week highlighting findings from the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, you saw that while jobs are coming to Mississippi, they are not high-paying, or even well-paying, but low-paying. Median wages in Mississippi are dropping while the poverty rate in Mississippi is increasing. People are still not able to make ends meet.
Unfortunately, cutting benefits doesn’t just mean there will be less food on the table. According to one study, over 1100 jobs in Mississippi could be lost if the proposed SNAP cuts are passed. The Center for American Progress last year estimated that at a $7.2 billion cut (10%), 1,151 total jobs in the food industry could be lost in Mississippi. These jobs include retail workers at grocery stores, food manufacturing and agriculture, trucking and warehousing. However, the proposed cut is $39 billion over the next ten years, and the number of people in Mississippi needing benefits has increased since this was published (and in every year since the recession), giving us years of future unemployment to look forward to in Mississippi.