Maine’s governor has had enough of watching tax dollars promote unhealthy lifestyles, and is laying down a challenge to the Obama administration over money SNAP recipients spend on candy and sugary drinks.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage had sought a waiver to allow Maine’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) — formerly known as food stamps — to remove candy and sugary drinks from the items SNAP benefits can be used to purchase.
The Obama administration rejected his request. LePage then fired off a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
“It’s time for the federal government to wake up and smell the energy drinks,” he wrote. “Doubtful that it will, I will be pursuing options to implement reform unilaterally, or cease Maine’s administration of the food stamp program altogether. You maintain such a broken program that I do not want my name attached to it.”
He said the administration preached a double standard — one for children in school and another for adults on assistance.
“The Obama administration goes to great lengths to police the menus of K-12 cafeterias, but looks the other way as billions of taxpayer dollars finance a steady diet of Mars bars and Mountain Dew,” LePage wrote, adding that rates of obesity and diabetes have risen in Maine.
“I can think of only one reason why the federal government would refuse to eliminate junk food from the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) menu: special interests,” he added, calling his proposal “a common-sense proposition.”
“Beyond the health effects of the federal government’s corrupt food stamp policy is the tragedy of billions in wasted taxpayer dollars that buy candy and soda through a program that was originally designed to reduce hunger. Maine taxpayers see it every day at the grocery store and they are sick and tired of watching their hard-earned money go down the drain,” said LePage.
h/t: Fox News