The Center for American Progress released a report this week showing that the massive tax cuts Republicans gifted to the top percentile of America’s wealthy in 2017 would be more than enough to pay for the entirety of the U.S. food stamps program.
According to estimates from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the richest 1 percent of households, those with incomes higher than $607,090, stand to receive a total tax cut of more than $84 billion in 2019 alone.
To put this number in perspective, in 2019, the total cost of nutrition assistance benefits paid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—which will support 39 million individuals—is expected to be only $58 billion. SNAP is the nation’s largest food assistance program, helping 1 in 8 families—and 1 in 4 American children—afford to put food on the table.
The money lost to tax cuts for just the top one percent of households would be enough to fund SNAP for almost a year and half.
The Center for American Progress also notes that Republicans will now turn to slashing SNAP funding in an effort to pay for those tax cuts.
[C]ongressional Republican leaders have made it clear that they plan on partially paying for the 2017 tax law by cutting assistance programs that benefit families in need, as well as flagship programs—such as Medicare and Social Security—on which the middle class relies. The House majority is already moving to cut SNAP in its 2018 Farm Bill, which if passed, would cut nutrition assistance for more than 2 million people.
While the revenue generated from taxes on wealthy individuals does not directly pay for SNAP benefits, comparing the tax cuts for the top 1 percent with the relatively modest cost of providing nutrition to families in need highlights the misguided priorities of the current administration and congressional majority.