July 4, 2013

Charles Lane [“Abolish food stamps. There’s a better way,” op-ed, July 2] attempted to address astonishingly reasonable Republican proposals to cut at least $20 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The expenditures in the program ballooned by $21 billion in the past five years because of our recession. It seems reasonable to pull back now that our “recovery” is underway. Republicans are not advocating draconian cuts but staging cuts over 10 years that are equal to the program’s growth in the past five years.

Democrats, of course, want no part of this. The food-stamp voter is an important constituent and must be protected. 

Mr. Lane thinks he has a solution: Just do away with food stamps entirely, moving the SNAP budget from being a political football and into mainstream programs that already exist to serve the poor. Like magic, the problem is solved, with the added benefit of further beefing up our programs for the poor. 

Except the actual cuts of $20 billion are not addressed.

Moving the SNAP budget to other programs would be typical sleight-of-hand politics. It does nothing to address the fact that it is time to reduce food-stamp spending to pre-recession levels over the next 10 years.

David Beers, Bethesda