Tuesday, February 28, 2017

SNAP vs Corporate Subsidies, typical $50k family

If you see a post claiming SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) costs a typical $50k/yr taxpayer only $36, those numbers are simply wrong. Long story short, the corporate numbers and other numbers are calculated using two different and incompatible methods, so they can't be compared. And, both sets of numbers are wrong, based upon flawed calculation methods.

"SO, my monies aren't going to pay corporate subsidies?"

Some are, but not anywhere near that amount. Corporate subsidies are AT MOST 8x as much as SNAP ($600B vs $75B). Of that $600B, only $87B are "direct subsidies", the others are various tax benefits, so we're not actually paying them anything. So, in reality, it's $87B in corporate subsidies vs $75B in SNAP, or about 1.16x as much. Even 8x is a far cry from the 108x shown in the meme. 1.16x is just over 1/100th the of the difference claimed in the meme.

The actual numbers for SNAP are very hard to calculate, because there are many different ways you can calculate them that have valid claims, and they all give different numbers. But using these methods, SNAP costs that typical $50K earner somewhere between $106/yr and $700/yr depending upon the method, with corporate subsidies costing 1.16x as much.

The other numbers are similarly wrong, and are at least 3x as much as shown in the meme/original article. They're not even close to accurate.

Further analysis using actual numbers for a $50k taxpayer:

"A married person with one child making $50,000 a year will pay exactly $3,820 in federal taxes. Of those, $2100 is allocated to Social Security, and $725 is distributed Medicare. This leaves a whopping $995 to be used to pay for programs administrated by the Federal government."
Even ignoring the problems I pointed out previously, the total taxes paid is less than the claimed $4,000/$6,000 in "corporate subsidies", so clearly, the numbers are nonsense.

Above quote from this article (site no longer works) which explains how the numbers other than the $4,000 were calculated. As I said, that methodology is grossly flawed, but it's sufficient to prove the meme isn't even close.

The $6,000/yr figure comes from another source, and has even bigger issues than the $4,000/yr claim.

Here's the original article where the $36 and other claims in the meme come from.