Adam Schiff and AOC take on food stamp rule, get it wrong

Adam Schiff and AOC take on food stamp rule, get it wrong

Did someone send out a list of talking points for Democrats to use when attacking the Trump administration’s new food stamps rule without first reading the rule? I’m not sure how else to explain what happened yesterday. Within the span of two hours Thursday both Adam Schiff and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez published similar criticisms of the new rule. Here’s Schiff’s take:

Schiff only had to read to the second paragraph of the story he linked to know that this rule change doesn’t impact children:

The rule, which was proposed by the Agriculture Department in February, would press states to carry out work requirements for able-bodied adults without children that governors have routinely been allowed to waive, especially for areas in economic distress.

The story goes on to note that there are two other proposed rule changes which haven’t been approved yet. One of those would restrict states from making children “categorically eligible” for free school lunches. However, even if that rule is approved, families can still apply for the free lunches. If they qualify under the asset test, their kids will receive the free meals. The difference is that they won’t be deemed eligible for them automatically. So Schiff is, at best, being very misleading.

But if Schiff stretched the truth, AOC pulled it like taffy. Here’s her tweet less than two hours later:

Almost 190,000 people have liked that tweet and nearly 50,000 have retweeted it but, again, that’s not how the new rule works. AOC and her fans only had to read to paragraph four of the NBC News story she linked to know that what she’s saying isn’t true:

The USDA rule change affects people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled. Under current rules, this group is required to work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a 36-month period to qualify for food stamps, but states have been able to create waivers for areas that face high unemployment.

The new rule would limit states from waiving those standards, instead restricting their use to those areas that have a 6 percent unemployment rate or higher. The national unemployment rate in October was 3.6 percent.

Her error was pointed out to her on Twitter:

Not everyone was this polite about it of course:

But AOC never admits she was wrong about anything. Today she’s right back to teaching mode:

It’s nice to see that AOC believes there is such a thing as “absurdist bureaucracy.” Hopefully someone will remember this tweet when she proposes the Department of Cow Flatulence.

Maybe these rules will create a burden for some people who really do need help. Perhaps we’ll need to make additional changes to the safety net to help people who have mental issues. But AOC should acknowledge that the current system also creates a burden…on taxpayers. The rule change is expected to save $5.5 billion over 5 years. That’s nothing compared to the cost of the Green New Deal of course, but it’s still a lot of money. And as a matter of principle, able-bodied people who get up and work every day shouldn’t have to spend $1 billion per year to fund able-bodied people who don’t.

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