A person making $50,000 a year pays 10 cents a day in taxes for food stamps
If you were to ask 100 people how much they believed a married person with one child would pay in taxes, you'd likely get 100 different answers. Following that, if you asked them to explain the breakdown of where that tax money went, specifically to SNAP (formerly the food stamp program), it would be fair to assume nearly all would be unable to muster a coherent response.
Many people might be surprised to learn that the average contribution to the food stamp program is a little over 10 cents, or one thin dime, a day. Let's look at the numbers.
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. That money is broken down below in its entirety:
- National Defense $247.75 / 24.9%
- Health care -- $235.81 / 23.7%
- Job and Family Security -- $190.05 / 19.1%
- Net Interest -- $73.63 / 8.1%
- Veterans Benefits -- $44.77 / 4.5%
- Education and Job Training -- $35.82 / 3.6%
- Natural Resources, Energy, and Environment -- $19.90 / 2.0%
- Immigration, Law Enforcement, and Administration of Justice -- $19.90 / 2.0%
- International Affairs -- $15.92 / 1.6%
- Science, Space, and Technology Programs -- $9.95 / 1.0%
- Agriculture -- $6.96 / 0.7%
- Community, Area, and Regional Development -- $4.98 / 0.5%
- Response to Natural Disasters -- $3.98 / 0.4%
- Additional Government Programs -- $78.61 / 7.9%
The category needed for examination is "Job and Family Security", which comprises 19.1% of all of the $995 paid in. In the future I will examine other categories in more detail. The breakdown of the $190.05 is listed below:
- Unemployment insurance -- $22.88 / 2.3%
- Food and nutrition assistance -- $36.82 / 3.7%
- Housing assistance -- $19.90 / 2.0%
- Earned income, Making Work Pay, and child tax credits -- $32.84 / 3.3%
- Supplemental Security Income -- $18.91 / 1.9%
- Federal military and civilian employee retirement and disability -- $43.78 / 4.4%
- Child care, foster care, and adoption support -- $5.97 / 0.6%
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- $6.96 / 0.7%
- Railroad retirement and additional income security -- $4.98 / 0.5%
As is evidenced above, despite a person paying $191.05 for "Job and Family Security", only $36.82 of that is going towards "Food and nutrition assistance."
Therefore, a married person with one child who makes $50,000 a year will pay $36.82 in taxes to ensure the food stamp program is fully funded. But wait, there is more. That $36.82 is not only for food stamps. Indeed, that money is allocated to two other programs that include the school lunch program, and the special supplemental food program for women, infants and children. Keep in mind, this comprises the totality of the costs associated with the program including administrative.
The breakdowns for how the $36.82 is allocated is not readily available, but do the math.
$36.82 divided by 365 days = 10 cents a day.
Consider the context. A person who is paid $50,000 a year earns, on average, $136 every 24 hours. Meaning that in a little over six hours, in the example where a person is paid for every hour of their life in perpetuity, that person would be able to pay for their entire yearly contribution to ensure that hungry people are fed.
By the way if you are curious as to what percentage 10 cents is while being compared to $136 a day the number is: 0.0735%
All of this information, and more, is freely available to the public and can be found on The White House's official website.