Republicans Are Trying To Ban Poor People From Buying Steak And Seafood
A Republican lawmaker in Missouri has introduced legislation to limit what poor people on food stamps can buy. The law plans to ban purchase of cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood or steak via food stamps.
The junk food purchases make sense because that is the goal of food stamps after all: nutrition assistance. Seafood and steak however is sending another message. Seafood is generally believed to be nutritious and the definition of “steak” is so broad it could mean any “flat cut” of meat from chuck steak (which is cheap) to ribeye.
From Washington Post:
“It just seems really repressive,” said Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University and author of the book Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America. “I don’t see how it makes any sense to ban some of these foods. Fish is something that should really be in your diet. And steak, what does that mean in this context?”
Currently, a household of one can qualify for up to $194 dollars a month, or fewer than $7 dollars day, as part of SNAP, according to the Department of Agriculture.
It doesn’t take too much math to figure out that foods like lobster aren’t exactly within a recipient’s budget. And it’s also hard to draw conclusions based on a single purchase. What if that family that was purchasing a more expensive cut of meat had subsisted on cheaper canned goods for the past month in order to afford it?
Rick Brattin, the Republican who introduced this legislation, believes that poor people shouldn’t be able to buy “luxury items” with their EBT card — because you know, they’re poor.
This is such poor logic based on single item purchases. What if a family saved up during the month eating the cheapest things so they can splurge on a good cut of steak for someone’s birthday?
The post continues:
“More than anything else, I think this is about controlling people,” said Rank. “We should be treating people who are in poverty the same way we treat everyone else.”