Sunday, October 24, 2010
What with the obesity epidemic raging, the explosion of ridiculously high calorie food options and the increasing socialization of food support, FREE FOOD is a logical proposal. Hey, Mr Obama, Hawaiian born leader of the free world, give this a minute. It'll beat what your going to have to do with the Wikileaks scandals. Yes there will be more than one of those, so let's do something productive instead.
It is reported that 1 in 8 Americans receive the benefits of food stamps. A mere 12.5%. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/22/food-stamp-usage-soars-am_n_772287.html In addition, access to food stamps has become more easy with the arbiter becoming income level only. "Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed by The Associated Press shows that 30 states have adopted rules making it easier to qualify for food stamps since 2007. In all, 38 states have loosened eligibility standards." Since 12.5% of red-white-and-bluers already partake, why not everybody?
All of the states have food stamp programs. "State program names vary since Congress changed the official name of the Food Stamp Program to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) in 2008. States may use either name or a name of their choosing. Twenty-five states have chosen to use the new name, while 10 continue to use “Food Stamp Program.” Among the names used by the other 16, the most popular is “Food Assistance Program,” used by 7 states. Three states use “Food Supplement Program”, and six have other names." http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=618
In order to apply for food stamps, it is useful to have access to a computer and to be able to use one. As an example, New Jersey residents face this, http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dfd/programs/foodstamps/ Go ahead dig into that. Just how many bureaucrats are living off of food stamp determinations, distributions and other administrative duties? After playing with this, a simple answer jumps up.
To begin with, accept the fact that "food stamps" should only be used for what can be considered staples or good nutritional items. This list might include vegetables, fruits, bread, cereal, milk, eggs, yogurt, white meat, rice etc. NO JUNK FOOD! Of course, the list of foods is flexible and would likely lead to the usual red-blue fights, but compromises would win the day. The foods on the list would be able to sustain adequate, good nutrition. Each person holding a social security number would be eligible for a weekly FREE allotment of these staples. That's right, FREE.
Mr Obama might say, "My fellow Americans (forget about the naysayers who claim Obama is not an American, Hawaii is part of America), as of this date, there will no longer be hunger in our great country..." Somewhere in this speech he will use the word "folks" at least four times.
In order to pay for this adventure the following adjustments need to be made:
1. ALL other food and beverage items (alcohol included) will be assessed a 12% federal tax. All food purchased in commercial and other ways is taxed too. This tax can be adjusted to cover the costs of the FREE FOOD.
2. ALL of the state food stamp bureaucracies will be eliminated. The FREE FOOD program needs to be federal in order to be fair and equal for all Americans.
3. There will be no more "stamps". All you need is a social security card
and a swipe to get FREE FOOD. At some point social security cards will need to become chip embedded and plasticized (like modern credit cards) to function properly.
4. Farmers' subsidies would accordingly be altered. No more paying these producers for NOT growing corn and wheat and vegetables and fruit. No more support for dairy limitations. The new support structure would encourage more production, making the actual costs of "good" foods less. Such subsidy tweaking would eventuate in a more efficient, cost effective system.
The FREE FOOD program isn't really free. The funding comes out of all of the other less basic and/or less healthy and/or more glamorous food alternatives. It is hoped better, less fatty food choices would be made. There should be no income cut offs or other considerations for eligibility. If an American holds a social security number, that American is eligible. Simple. It stands to reason that most of the tax burden for the program will fall on those who exercise more luxurious, less healthy food options. Fair enough.
Once implemented, FREE FOOD would eliminate poor nutrition, malnutrition and much of the "poverty" in the United States. Obesity may become less prevalent. Instead of being so concerned with winning public office and holding public office and re-winning public office, politicians of all stripes need to stop campaigning so much and begin to do what's in America's best interests. The FREE FOOD program is one such consideration.
FREE FOOD, indeed! Exercise programs will be next.
And so it goes.