THE BLOG
01/18/2013 08:40 am ET

SCARY Charts, Unhealthy Food Stamps, And Welfare Reform: Morning Roundup

-- Report questions food stamps' nutritional value. The Chicago Tribune says that the National Academy of Sciences is worried that the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, does not help poor people eat healthily enough.

Also, this: "Panelists for the academy, an independent group of scientists who advise the federal government, also said benefits lag behind the increasing cost of food and the program penalizes beneficiaries with jobs."

That's interesting -- in 2010, the supposed slowness of food price inflation served as justification for using future food stamp budget allocations on other purposes. Not that it matters, since it's all but certain SNAP will be pared back as soon as Congress can get around to it, possibly at the end of the year.

-- Matthew O'Brien has found some scary charts about European unemployment over at The Atlantic. Before clicking ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough to look at scary charts.

-- The Democratic speaker of the Maine House of Representatives wants to make sure people receiving benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (welfare) "are ready for the workforce." (Never mind that that is already the entire purpose of that program.) The Kennebec Journal suggests the speaker's trying to sound as macho as Gov. Paul LePage (R), who got a standing ovation at the Republican State Convention last year when he said, "To all you able-bodied people out there, get off the couch and get yourself a job."

Remember when able-bodied people ruined the economy by sitting on the couch? Me neither.

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