In the ongoing moral panic over what poor people choose to spend their resources on, Missouri Republican Rick Brattin has introduced a bill to the state legislature that would prevent anyone from using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits “to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.”
What’s wrong with that? Why should poor people be allowed to eat certain foods?
Human beings are pretty resourceful, and while a cookie ban will certainly annoy lots of poor families and make their lives worse, it’s unlikely to materially impact cookie consumption or improve public health.
What it will do is increase the amount of food stamp fraud, giving politicians more opportunity to complain about food stamp fraud and to cite food stamp fraud as a reason to cut the program.