Hey Wall Street Journal, 1975 Called And Wants Its Food Stamp Editorial Back
Listen: the Wall Street Journal has come unstuck in time.
We sure hope there's some way to report a dangerous bit of time going all wibbly wobbly to the Doctor, or perhaps to Marvel's Time Variance Authority, or at the very least to some Rocky Horror Picture Show enthusiasts, because there's a hell of a Time Warp over at the Journal. This week, the sober conservatives at the Journal put their heads together and cranked out an editorial decrying food stamps that appears to have dropped out of a wormhole from the mid-1970s, only with names, events, and dollar amounts updated for modern times.
Just look at this lede, for Crom's sake:
What a telling juxtaposition. Amid the throes of its Afghanistan retreat, the Biden Administration on Monday announced a giant food-stamp expansion. Democrats are shrinking the U.S. military footprint around the world so they can expand the welfare state at home.
I have to admit, the events of this weekend had me thinking back to 1975 myself, but that took the form of re-watching the Oscar-nominated 2014 PBS documentary Last Days In Vietnam, about the fall of Saigon and all the South Vietnamese allies the US abandoned, not the era's rightwing freakout over Welfare Queens.
You want proof the editorial came straight from the mid-'70s? It doesn't even use the modern name of the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), even once. It's "food stamps" all the way through.
Also, the editorial's absurdly wide lapels give it away. Get a haircut, hippies!
Still, pretty wily of those Democrats to increase slightly the monthly amount that families in poverty will be be able to get, and to time the new SNAP benefit to coincide with the disastrous collapse of the Afghan government that no one saw coming. So why does the WSJ have a hair up it's leisure-suited ass this time?
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is increasing benefits by an average of 27% over pre-pandemic levels under the guise of updating its Thrifty Food Plan. This is the basket of foods that the government uses to determine benefit size, which averaged $130 per person monthly before the pandemic. Benefits are adjusted annually for food inflation.
Progressives complain that the basket hasn't changed since 2006 despite the government's changing nutritional standards, which recommend people eat more lean protein, fruits and vegetables and whole grains—all of which tend to be more expensive. Ergo, USDA is now sweetening the average benefit by a whopping 27% over pre-pandemic levels.
A "whopping" 27 percent increase over $130 per person comes to $35.10 a month. Talk about living high off the hog! We suspect most Wall Street traders might have a spot of difficulty feeding themselves for a month on $165.10. Haha, we are joking of course. That wouldn't even get you a decent dinner at most of the better places in New York, and why would any financial genius eat anything less?
We think rich people have problems with percentages, really. Just yesterday we wrote about that poor billionaire who's "suffering" because his rental-property profits are down 15 percent due to the eviction moratorium.
In any case, the WSJ guys are very angry about the prospect that low-income Lucky Duckies will have a little extra coming to them in SNAP benefits, if they manage to qualify, especially because the food basket is now upgraded to reflect the costs of "more protein and dairy, which happen to be food products whose prices are increasing most." How crafty of those poors, to sneakily get nutrition that happens to be costlier at this particular stage of our weirdass pandemic economy.
Besides, the editorial moans, poors aren't even eating the nutritious foods the increased benefits will cover, because they are bad people! You see, government data show that "food-stamp recipients spend about 20% of their allotment on sweetened beverages, desserts, salty snacks and candy."
This is clearly the result of poor character and general shiftiness, because the editorial doesn't mention that neighborhoods with high poverty are usually "food deserts" that tend not to have any grocery stores, but are rich in convenience marts that sell crap.
The editorial closes with the usual boilerplate moaning about how Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs have failed to reduce poverty, and in fact have only "encouraged government dependency, which is the Democrats' political goal." And by god, they will not be fooled into electing George McGovern, you can bet your bottom dollar.
There's even a very familiar nostalgic gripe that the Democrats plan to expand welfare programs for the undeserving, "which they plan to pay for by raising taxes and cutting defense." Gosh, that sounds familiar! We'll have to check tomorrow's WSJ to see if the editorial board thinks we should buy the new B-1 bomber and extend our oil deals with the Shah.
Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU. Keep us in salty snacks please, if you are able!
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.