June 2, 2023

When It’s Not About the Box

Pres. Trump’s recent budget proposal came out, and this time around it included a proposal to replace some of the SNAP money that people are getting with a box of food that’s chosen based on governmental factors:

Under a proposal in the president’s budget many participants in the program would be given half their benefits in the form of a “Harvest Box” full of food preselected for nutritional value and economic benefit to American farmers. The cache of cheaper peanut butter, canned goods, pasta, cereal, “shelf stable” milk and other products would now be selected by the federal government, not by the people actually eating it.

Glenn Thrush, NYT

While Ann Althouse wonders whether Trump is simply attempting to troll people or whether it’s a creative way to think outside the box by thinking about a box, I think it’s another persuasion play.

I believe this is one of those times where Pres. Trump is trying to get you to think “past the sale.” Discussions on this topic have all delved into what SNAP cards cannot buy, how much money is in there, and whether or not people are using SNAP cards for what their intended– and this proposal makes the sale that they are not by getting you to discuss whether the box is a good idea, or what idea would work in its place. Sure, there’s discussion as to whether the government knows best about how to feed people, allergies and everything, but that keeps the focus on what the program is supposed to be for and the idea that it’s being abused so that real change may end up being possible.

We’re more than a year into his Presidency, and he’s done this numerous times. You would think we’d be able to recognize it by now.

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