How often have you walked by a store to see a sign prominently displayed in their window reading “We Accept EBT,” as if it was a badge of honor?
In Obama’s America, seeing storefronts display such signs became common, as food stamp usage increased by 10.7 million individuals. It’s gotten so absurd that such a sign was spotted at an AutoZone store. Why? Who knows.
President Donald Trump wants to reduce those numbers substantially, already proposing a “work for welfare” system for the program, as the Department of Agriculture suspended the work requirement for food stamps during the past financial crisis. It’s been up to the states to individually reimpose their work requirements, and those states that did have quickly seen the number of able-bodied adults on food stamps tank faster than Jeb! Bush’s presidential campaign.
Now President Trump wants to penalize businesses that take pride in accepting food stamps.
The White House proposal to overhaul the U.S. food stamp program — and the deep cuts it would make has sparked public outrage on both sides of the aisle. But there’s another change tucked into the proposal that businesses say caught them off guard — and could wind up costing them more than $2 billion.
That provision is a new fee that the White House wants to charge retailers that accept food stamps, which is now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The Office of Management and Budget said the fee would be assessed when stores sign up and would require renewal after five years. The budget office said the amount would depend on the size and type of retailer, but the president’s budget estimates that the fee would generate $2.4 billion in revenue over the next decade.
An OMB official described the fee as “modest” and “reasonable,” emphasizing that some large retailers redeem a billion dollars or more in food stamp benefits each year.
Beyond the new fee, the Trump administration is proposing $191 billion in cuts over the next decade to the food stamp program. The U.S. budget office said the reductions would come from tightening the work requirement to qualify for the benefits, but said the details would be left up to individual states. The administration also expects states to make up some of the lost funding.