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Food stamp plan recipe for failure

The farm bill proposed in the House makes massive changes to SNAP, effectively reducing benefits to those in need while imposing additional, often wasteful, requirements.

The bill’s authors claim the cuts to SNAP will be offset by requiring able-bodied, unemployed adults to enroll in work training programs in order to receive benefits so they will be more likely to find a job. This includes those who are simply between jobs and don’t need additional training. But the bill only calls for about $30 per person per month to be spent on these programs. Mathematica Policy Research estimates the necessary cost for such a program to actually work to be over $3,500 per person over that same time. This bill, underfunded as it is, is not likely to help people find jobs, while it is guaranteed to take food off the table for struggling families.

I urge Representative Kristi Noem as well as Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds to reject the proposed changes to SNAP and instead support a bill that strengthens protections for poor families and provides the necessary resources to get the unemployed back to work.

David Paul


New arena won't add to city's debt

In response to a letter to the editor on the new arena plan, I offer the following comments. The sign on the Ice Arena is to welcome those using the promenade and Memorial Park. In case you haven’t noticed, there is a huge digital sign on the corner of Omaha and Mount Rushmore Road highlighting civic center events.

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 As to funding, no “bail out” will be needed for the civic center is supported  by sales tax, not real estate tax. The cost is $130 million with $25 million already in hand. Did you compute the interest on your home or car before you bought? We all have paid interest – it is the cost of doing business. And like the first bond, the new one most likely will be paid off in less than 30 years. 

 Building a new arena is an investment for the future and progress of Rapid City and its citizens. We are a destination area. People come to attend events at the civic center and visit the Black Hills. My wife and I have ushered at the civic center since it opened and know the true value it offers the citizens and economy of our city. Be smart, vote yes.  

Dick Kahler

Rapid City

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