Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize sugary sodas

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

How much sugary soda pop is purchased with food stamps? Good luck trying to find out.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture — the federal agency that administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps — doesn’t give out that information. Estimates range from $2 billion a year (a 2010 Yale University study) to $4 billion (a 2010 Center for Science in the Public Interest).

If even the lower estimate is true, it’s no wonder that soft drink makers spend millions of dollars each year lobbying against efforts to

Read more »


Food stamps: No SNAP for buying sugary soda pop

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Should “nutrition assistance” money – food stamps – be used to buy items that have no nutritional value whatsoever and often make people sick?

We’re talking chips, cookies, sugary sodas and other junk food associated with Americans’ disturbingly high rates of obesity, diabetes and other conditions that help kill people and drive health costs higher.

Those conditions are more prevalent among the low-income – and they’re the ones who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That program (formerly called food stamps) provides funding assistance through cards that look like regular credit cards.

Increasingly, health experts and some lawmakers are saying that SNAP money should have some strings attached – like no junk food. Read more »