The below is a good essay on food stamps. It is indeed a program which is rife with fraud and one which is ripe for massive reform. Yes the structure of food stamps contributes to obesity, and by extension very expensive diabetes and other diseases. Why would government, the taxpayers, subsidize the purchase of Mountain Dew for instance? I suppose it’s a nice treat but its daily use is probably not advised. Yet taxpayers pay to subsidize the consumption of Mountain Dew.
As the taxpayer subsidizes the consumption of soda it also subsidizes the bottom lines of the soda companies. And it is here that we see the core of the issue. Mountain Dew has lobbyists.
Food stamps are regular welfare, but they are also corporate welfare.
Americans are getting fatter. The share of adults who are “overweight” or “obese” rose from 56 percent in the late 1980s to 70 percent today. The Centers for Disease Control says that obesity is linked to a wide range of serious health problems. The agency calls obesity an “epidemic,” and the federal government has launched many initiatives to tackle it.
Indeed, the government takes obesity so seriously that it funds a $78 billion program for people to buy any type of food they want at 250,000 retail stores nationwide. The program subsidizes 46 million people to buy items such as “soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream.”
Wait a minute. I’m confused—how will that help reduce obesity?