In an effort to de-stigmatize the prospects of going onto or being on welfare, the Democrat-controlled Congress of 2008 renamed the federal Food Stamps program “S.N.A.P.” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.)
SNAP benefits now cost American taxpayers $74 billion annually and under Barack Obama’s watch, the number of Americans on SNAP/Food Stamps grew to all-time record-setting highs of nearly 50 million, up 70 percent from when he took office.
Researchers with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, which oversees the program through its Food and Nutrition Service, decided to look into the shopping carts of Americans who rely on SNAP and find out where your money is going and guess what? In their recently released report the number one grocery purchase by users of SNAP is sugary sodas and energy drinks.
Thus another blatant bit of liberal hypocrisy rears its head.
In their never-ending quest to control lives and dictate consumption habits, liberal havens like San Francisco, Boulder, Oakland and others have all recently voted to pass additional add-on taxes on sugary drinks. From Business Insider:
“Residents of Boulder, Colorado and three cities in the Bay Area — San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, California — all voted to implement taxes on sugary drinks on Tuesday. The California initiatives will tax sugar-sweetened beverages at a rate of 1 cent per ounce, while the Boulder tax will be 2 cents per ounce.
On Thursday, Illinois’ Cook County — which encompasses Chicago and its suburbs — passed a similar penny-per-ounce tax that also includes drinks with zero-calorie sweeteners, such as diet soda.”
In 2012 New York City’s hyper-liberal mayor Michael Bloomberg added to his tales of infamy when he tried to keep large-sized sodas out of restaurants and other eateries only to have his “I will control you!” move smacked down in a court of appeals.
Thus, on the one hand we have liberals trying to ban sugar-laden drinks but on the other, fighting tooth and nail to protect welfare benefits, extend the amount of time people can be on welfare and even setting goals of increasing the number of people on welfare rolls; welfare benefits those same people are using to purchase the very drinks that liberals are trying to do away with!
Per the study, SNAP households spent 9.3 percent of their grocery budgets on sweetened beverages. That’s more than what non-SNAP households do. About 5.4 percent of food expenditures made by SNAP recipients is spent on soft drinks alone. Soft drinks represent the single largest “commodity” purchased by SNAP participants with $100 million more spent on sodas than milk and $150 million more than beef!
If you’re on welfare would you rather have a steak, a burger, or a Red Bull? According to the study, the latter.
The end-of-the-line here is that federal income tax-paying Americans are officially funding a subsidy for the soda industry. We are, indirectly, bloating the bottom lines of Pepsi Co., Coca Cola and the rest. Money is being funneled to them by our dollars first being extracted from our pockets by the IRS; laundered through the Dept. of Agriculture; then handed down into the Food and Nutrition Service to be distributed to our neighbors as EBT (electronic benefit cards) to be spent at grocery and convenience stores on soft drink products.
That is an elaborate, though legal, laundering scheme and a perfect example of how big-government inefficiency results in corporate cronyism. No doubt Coke and Pepsi’s lobbyists are paid very well.
[Note: this article was written by Derrick Wilburn]