President Donald Trump’s proposal to send Harvest Boxes to poor families in lieu of food stamps is "highly inefficient" and would result in a "bureaucratic nightmare," a policy analyst for the National Taxpayers Union Foundation wrote in USA Today Monday.
"The administration’s proposal would create a bureaucratic nightmare that would increase costs and force-feed Americans in a one-size-fits-all system," NTUF associate policy analyst Andrew Wilford wrote.
"Unfortunately for recipients of assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the approach solves the nonexistent problem of welfare recipients being able to choose their own food," he added.
The Trump administration says it could save money by getting better prices for millions of Americans and reduce the amount of food stamps issued. Wilford estimated the Trump plan would save $13 billion a year but would require an "entire administrative apparatus" to oversee it.
"Assuming 16.4 million packages sent out 12 months a year, about 197 million Harvest Boxes would have to be sent out annually," he wrote. "That's almost a third of the amount of packages Amazon handles in a given year. It's difficult to see this as a more efficient system than simply crediting money to an Electronic Benefit Transfer card," Wilford wrote.
“The Trump administration should scrap this poorly conceived idea and instead focus on meaningful reform,” he concluded. “Taxpayers and benefit recipients would benefit from a better defined pathway to work for SNAP recipients and program integrity reforms. Neither would benefit from an inefficient and expensive system that tells Americans what to eat.”
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