business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal has a story about how “the Trump administration is pushing to rein in spending for the food-stamp program by nearly $130 billion over a decade, representing a 20% reduction of its current annual budget of $63 billion … This and other proposals from Republicans intend to overhaul the nation’s food-stamp program as lawmakers begin renegotiating the Farm Bill, a sprawling $900 billion piece of legislation that allots about 80% of its funding to nutrition assistance and is set to expire at the end of September.”

Lawmakers pushing for the changes say that they reflect what they believe will be an improving economy, offering more opportunity to low-income Americans and allowing them to move off food stamps. There is a debate about how many people would be affected by the cutbacks, with Democrats saying it could be as many as a million and the GOP saying it will be fewer.

However, food retailers are concerned about any such changes, worried that they will lose sales at a time when they can ill afford to do so because of increased competition and resultant tighter margins. Walmart, the story says, generates about $13 billion in annual sales through the program, and in fact is where 18 percent of food stamps are used annually.
KC's View:
I have to wonder how many retailers would argue against such a government program if it did not affect them directly.

I also would suggest that if the GOP is right and hundreds of thousands of people are able to get off food stamps, they actually should have more money to spend in supermarkets, not less. so maybe this wouldn’t be all bad.

If the GOP is wrong, however, it will leave a number of retailers with lower sales and a number of people without the support on which they count.

So, there’s an economic question here, as well as an issue of compassion for the less fortunate folks in our society.