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From Front Lines to Welfare Lines, Soldiers Told to Get Food Stamps

Yet more victims of Bidenomics.

Inflation induced by the White House is now driving our nation’s soldiers to collect welfare, a pitiful commentary on the Biden administration’s national security policies. Billions of dollars are being sent to Ukraine while America’s troops must apply for food stamps. The image of young US soldiers on the front lines in combat with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards, AKA food stamps, in their pockets is a shameful indictment. The Department of Defense (DOD) failed to account for the burden the president’s funding priorities would have on service members and their families. However, the impact of inflation should not have been a surprise.

“After dismissing congressional concerns for months, Pentagon leaders recently issued guidance to troops on how to cope with inflation eating their paychecks. Army leaders suggested soldiers and their families consider going on food stamps or talk to an Army-provided financial adviser,” Mackenzie Eaglen and John Ferrari, fellows at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “SNAP is a US government program that provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an electronic benefits transfer card that can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores. Service members and their families may be eligible,” Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston told the troops in an August message.

Food Stamps Are the Army’s Solution to Skyrocketing Bidenflation

Grinston did what was necessary to take care of his troops within the constraints of the huge and complex Army bureaucracy. But why was it necessary? The military, as Eaglen and Ferrari explained, was caught unprepared, and recommending food stamps was a ready government solution. And America’s young service members, especially those with families, need help. Liberty Nation’s resident economist Andrew Moran explained August inflation increases were highest in commodities most important to feeding and caring for military members. Moran reported how much more consumers had to pay compared to the same time last year:

  • Bread: +16.2%
  • Uncooked ground beef: +7.8%
  • Ham: +9.2%
  • Chicken: +16.6%
  • Eggs: +39.8%
  • Milk: +17%
  • Fruits and vegetables: +9.4%
  • Coffee: +18.7%
  • Butter: +24.6%

The items Moran lists don’t include luxury foods such as filet mignon or caviar, just staples.

DOD Priorities Should Include Troops

GettyImages-1321868652 food stamps

(Photo By Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

So, what could the Biden administration do to ease the impact of its inflationary policies? Well, it didn’t have trouble addressing the cost escalation in the defense industry. “The Defense Department is opening the door to inflation relief for defense contractors working under fixed-price contracts in an effort to potentially ‘address acute impacts on small business and other suppliers,’ according to a new high-level memo,” Defense News reported. The Sept. 9 document is from John Tenaglia, Defense Department principal director, defense pricing and contracting, whose responsibility involves cost considerations and contracts. Of course, ensuring the flow of services, weapon systems, and equipment is critical to sustaining US military capability. But shouldn’t as much effort be focused on making sure the troops and their families have basic food security as part of the standard pay and allowances?

The Defense Department has within its budgeting authority to request an emergency supplemental appropriation to increase service members’ subsistence allowance to cover the Joe Biden inflation increase. The US Armed Forces are the bulwark against America’s enemies. It is too easy and unfair to fall back on a bureaucratic welfare program. America’s irreplaceable soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines, and Guardians are not welfare cases — and should not be treated as if they were.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.

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