Food Stamp Cuts: Justified or Unjustified? Essay

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Recent cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Aid Program (S.N.A.P.), also known as the U.S. Food Stamp Program, have become extremely controversial. Whether Congress was wrong to reduce funding to the program remains a question. There are two principles that may be used to represent each side of this debate. The difference principle will be used to represent those who believe the program cuts were unjustified and the harm principle will be used to represent those who believe the program cuts were justified. Those who are against the cuts to the Food Stamp Program can argue that under the difference principle, Congress was wrong to reduce funding. The difference principle, created by John Rawls, states that an inequality in a society, such as …show more content…

The harm principle was created by an English philosopher and writer named John Stuart Mill. The principle states that a government should only intervene to prevent someone from harming another. A harm is defined as an action in which someone causes someone else to lose something of value. Hunger in the U.S., according to the harm principle, is not a harm. Food insecure people are not hungry because others are taking away their food; they are hungry because they cannot afford or do not have access to food. Because hunger is not a harm, the government should not be intervening in the situation. Congress is not justified in using people’s tax dollars to create a Food Stamp Program, however they are justified in cutting the funding to the program. By cutting S.N.A.P. funding Congress is also not inflicting any direct harm to people. Congress is not taking away money that the program’s recipients already had; it is making a cut in the money that the recipients would receive. Since there are no harms being done in the hunger situation, either by Congress or by people in the U.S., Congress’s actions were justified. In my opinion Congress was wrong to cut S.N.A.P. benefits. Although Congress did not inflict any direct harm to the beneficiaries of S.N.A.P, it did inflict indirect harm. This is a moral problem because people who depended on money from the program will not have enough money to eat

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