Gwenyth Paltrow’s $29 a week for food misrepresentation

livinglieFrom CNN:

The amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits a person can get is based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Thrifty Food Plan. The plan estimates how much it costs to buy food, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

In this case, Paltrow will be spending just under $30 for groceries.

Patrow’s tweet above is the misrepresentation.  She uses the words “families” as if this is all anyone gets, but she would be wrong.  I’m not sure where the $29 comes from, and its possible that it’s just another number like the “1 in 5 raped on campus”  number that liberals still like to use. So I decided, instead, to see exactly the amount of benefits one is entitled to.

Looking at this page, there is a chart which shows the maximum monthly allotments for families of different sizes if you meet the eligibility requirements, same one referenced in the CNN article:

(October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015)

People in Household Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $   194
2 $   357
3 $   511
4 $   649
5 $   771
6 $   925
7 $ 1,022
8 $ 1,169
Each additional person $    146

I decided to do some calculations to see how close Paltrow’s claims were, and here’s what I got:

Fam Members Max Monthly Allot Wkly Ave per person Wkly Ave Allot Per Meal
1 $194.00 $44.65 $44.65 $2.13
2 $357.00 $41.08 $82.16 $1.96
3 $511.00 $39.20 $117.60 $1.87
4 $649.00 $37.34 $149.36 $1.78
5 $771.00 $35.49 $177.45 $1.69
6 $925.00 $35.48 $212.88 $1.69
7 $1,022.00 $33.60 $235.20 $1.60
8 $1,169.00 $33.63 $269.04 $1.60

This applies to the lower 48 states.  Alaska, Hawaii, and US territories have different numbers, but those numbers don’t decrease, so I’m using the base average here. The formula I used to calculate weekly allotment was to multiply the monthly max allotment times 12, then divide that number by 365 for the number of days in the year, then multiply that number by 7 to show what could be spent per week.  Column 3 shows how much a person would could be spent per week, and the average cost per meal, assuming 3 meals a day, is the last column.  The average family of four actually receives almost $8 per person per week more than what Paltrow has stated.

If you look at her tweet, she suggests that $29 is all a family can get. Obviously, she is wrong, but that’s not her intent.  The intent is to show that the program doesn’t go far enough to provide more nutritional meals to family members.  The $29 may be just a misrepresentation, which is the best light to look at.

Let’s also take a look at what she bought.  She chose food that might actually be more expensive in your store.  For example, she bought 7 limes, kale, cilantro, an ear of corn, whole grain brown rice, a bag of black beans, and an avocado.   Not sure where she is shopping at, but the limes, avocado, kale, and ear of corn are not offered everywhere, and depending on the year, are probably expensive.

Easily, you can substitute a larger bag of frozen vegetables for the corn, kale, and avocado and have a few more bucks to spend elsewhere and get more food.  You can also get white rice and canned beans, even as generic for cheaper than what she selected.  Unfortunately, people may be limited to what they can buy based on seasons and location.  This would be no different for families who struggle without being eligible for SNAP.

However, like all liberals, she misses the point.  While trying to act sympathetic to the needs of poor families, a liberal believes that the government can somehow do better for the plight of the poor.  Everyone agrees that we should do more to help the poor.  The difference is how to effectively address this issue.

Conservatives believe that its best handled in the private sector by promoting economic growth and limiting government interference.  Liberals, on the other hand, want the government to answer the call by taxing hardworking people and wealth redistribution, none of which has worked.

Obama has spent more money, doubled the national debt, and still, we have a poverty problem, the largest it has ever been.  And yet, these same Liberals believe Obama is a success?

Let’s look at it this way:  Obama and the Democrats took over in 2009.  Since then, more families than ever are on some kind of government assistance program, but the economy has not been able to lift those people into the security of the middle class.  While Paltrow can easily afford to buy good nutritious food, poor families cannot.  I would bet $29 though, they would rather have a good paying job where they can support themselves than rely on government assistance.

I wonder how many families Paltrow could feed if she gave a few million bucks to some of the poor families she thinks she’s going to help with her nonsense.

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