How Anderson County Republicans Get Government Wrong by Eric Keller

Chuck Fleischmann, John Ragan, Terry Frank, and all other elected Republicans in the county believe that all government is always incompetent and private business will always be more efficient and effective.  This belief creates a trust in privatization and no tax increase for any reason.  They are wrong on many fronts and I will present one of them now. 

SNAP is a Federal/State run program which provides a minimum amount of food to those in need.  It is EBT (electronic benefit transfer card) which is good only for certain food items and not for such things as alcohol and tobacco products.  The administrative overhead for this program is 7% which is remarkably low for any private or public run program that can be compared to this one.  This means 93% of the allocated money goes to food costs with a low usage error rate. 

One narrative from the Anderson County Republicans is SNAP creates dependency.  Lazy people get on SNAP so they don't have to work.  This is wrong.

The chart below shows number of SNAP recipients in Anderson County beginning with the Great Recession and ending in 2015. In July 2017, there are 12,120 recipients in Anderson County.  A quick time-series regression test (SNAP participants from 1989 to 2017) conducted by the author shows a strong association of unemployment with SNAP participation in Anderson County. Anderson County median household income, party control of US presidency, and poverty rate in Anderson County play a statistically insignificant role in SNAP usage.

 Data source: Tennessee Department of Human Resources

Data source: Tennessee Department of Human Resources

The Anderson County Republicans are wrong.  SNAP participants are driven by unemployment and, as jobs appear, SNAP usage declines.  The Federal/State Government works when people in Anderson County are in crisis and does not create systemic dependency.

So, just to be very clear.  The data clearly shows the SNAP is a successful, low-cost, well-run Federal & State program.  The deliverance of food to needy families in crisis means all benefit. Anderson County, when employment rises, will have productive metal workers, healthcare workers, educators, and all other occupations that bring prosperity to Anderson County.

The Republican Party of Anderson County is wrong.  Numbers are numbers and facts are facts.  The Anderson County Democratic Party believes in good governance and fair taxation to create a healthy government.  Government is not the enemy.  Sloppy thinking is.  

Next election- vote for good government.  Vote Democrat.

Eric Keller2 Comments