As Congress debates cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) as part of the farm bill, the Winning Words Project has a great new piece up about one of the major beneficiaries of the program: Walmart.
The article quotes a recent speech by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who is concerned that the food stamp program is not benefiting “the right people.”
But in reality, the article points out, even many Americans with full-time jobs are not paid enough to get by, and rely on food stamps to help feed their families. The Winning Words Project has an answer for Senator Sessions:
…of course the benefit isn’t going to “the right people,” or being “spent wisely,” because it’s going to line the pockets of billionaires and their billion-dollar corporations!
Walmart is a prime example. In 21 of the 23 states that have disclosed information, Walmart had the largest number of employees on the public rolls of any employer (unsurprising given that the average full-time Walmart associate makes about $15,500 a year). And just last month, Walmart agreed to a settlement in which it will pay $4.8 million to current and former vision center managers and asset protection coordinators whom the company had wrongly denied overtime pay. And across the country, Walmart has fueled its rapid expansion with more than $1.2 billion in tax breaks, free land, infrastructure assistance, low-cost financing, and outright grants from state and local governments.
Meanwhile, the company is regularly first or second on the Fortune 500. And members of the Walton family—who own half of Walmart—have a combined wealth of over $100 billion, much of it from their holdings in Walmart. In fact, this fiscal year they’ll take home about $2.7 billion in dividends from their Walmart stock. This means that the Waltons make in three minutes what the average full-time associate at Walmart makes in a year.
So who’s really getting a government handout? It looks like taxpayers are supplementing Walmart associates’ wages so that the Walmart 1% can save money and live better.