President Donald Trump’s latest assault on working families will hit exceptionally hard in the states that voted for him: More than half of the people who are set to drop access to food stamps under regulations proposed this summer reside in states that went for Trump in 2016.
One in every twelve people who receive food stamps nationwide will drop them under the policy — some 3.6 million people, according to a new analysis by Mathematica, the private policy analysis firm the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has relied upon for the past 40 years.
Mathematica found “34% of elderly Texans receiving benefits will lose them through this rule.”
Almost 400,000 people in Texas currently holding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would lose them. Another 328,000 in Florida, 200,000 in New York, 97,000 in Georgia, and 176,000 in Washington state face cuts, to name just a few standouts.
These families earn a little more than the statutory maximum income for SNAP eligibility. But that doesn’t mean they can afford to see even the modest food assistance they currently receive disappear from their monthly budgets.
“They’re making trade-offs between what bills to pay. Do they pay the rent, or get a car fixed so they can keep going to work, or keep the lights on?” Mathematica said. “We see those families cut back on food first. [BBCE] helps make sure that both the kids and adults in the family are able to eat.”
As Thursday’s state-level figures imply, the categorical eligibility smackdown is going to hit particularly hard in four states where very narrow Trump wins in 2016 shifted the electoral college irrevocably in his favor.
Trump won Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes last time. He’ll have dropped 118,000 Wisconsin residents off of food stamps by Election Day if the edict goes through as planned.
One in every nine people currently benefiting from SNAP in Michigan will be booted under the rule – roughly 165,000 men, women, and children in total. Trump won the state by just 10,704 votes last go round.
In Pennsylvania, which Trump prevailed by just under 47,000 votes, his food stamps cut will dump more than five times that many people off the food-aid rosters.
The inherent financial and elective self-sabotage is particularly surprising given that bipartisan majorities in Congress have regularly repudiated this precise policy, as recently as last year. The right-wing crusade against broad-based categorical eligibility has never won a preponderance of Republican hearts and minds.