The Department of Homeland Security prepared for food stamp riots due to the November cuts to the program.
DHS spent $80 million on a horde of armed guards to protect the IRS and other government buildings in New York from rioting food stamp recipients.
One in seven Americans will be affected by the food stamp cuts.
U.S. food stamp cuts taking effect Friday are one of two stimulus safety-net programs ending, an economist said. The other is extended unemployment benefits.
The so-called food stamp cliff, affecting nearly 48 million people, or 1 in 7 Americans, “may be more of a sidewalk curb,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief U.S. Economist Michael Feroli told The New York Times in an email.
“The bigger cliff, which I’m surprised people aren’t talking about, is emergency unemployment benefits Jan. 1,” he said.
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, financed by the federal government for states that met certain unemployment and state benefit thresholds, was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — commonly referred to as the Recovery Act, or the stimulus.
It was a temporary increase in the maximum amount of food stamp benefits people could get monthly as part of Washington’s response to the Great Recession.
The EUC program extended unemployment benefits to jobless workers beyond the normal maximum of 26 weeks up to 99 weeks at first and later to 73 weeks.