As unemployment continues to rise, which has held steady above 8 percent during most of President Obama’s term. While consumers are spending more of their shrinking income on food, gas, and energy that also continue to rise, the government continues to increase their food stamp dependency. This temporary safety net created by the government, continues to be a lifestyle for many Americans. In addition to the economy continuing to flounder, and teeter on the edge of another recession, the government continues to support millions of Americans through what is suppose to be temporary safety net programs. The participation rate of the food stamp program increased by 3.3 percent in June, which is higher than it was over a year ago at this time, increasing the total number of participants to 46.7 Americans.
Bloomberg is reporting;
Food-stamp spending, which more than doubled in four years to a record $75.7 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2011, is the U.S. Department of Agriulture’s biggest annual expense.
The increase in the usage of food stamps during the Obama Presidency has been criticized by republicans, and specifically that famous quote from Newt Gingrich, “food stamp president” which he used in a debate during the republican presidential primary. Republicans continue to hammer President Obama over his massive deficit and debt, which is set to top 16 trillion dollars during the Democratic National Convention. In addition to the republicans stressing the importance of reducing spending, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are also on the campaign trail telling the American people how important it is to reform Medicare in order to save it for those who are currently on it, and those will will receive the benefits in a decade from now.
However, the opposition party, the Democrats, have suggested during the Obama presidency that President Obama has done a great job handling the economy that he was “handed.” Democrats have also said that the stimulus package that was passed in 2009, was not large enough and that is why the economy is still growing at such an anemic rate. On Sunday, President Obama’s surrogates were on the talks shows, stressing the importance of the job growth that President Obama has done, and that without his leadership the economy would be in a much worse situation than it current is, if it was not for his choice decisions. Democrats also believe that one reason why there are so many Americans on the food stamp and welfare programs, is because of the past “failed” policies that the republicans used, and are currently offering to move the country in.
Bloomberg has also reported that;
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is betting the new U.S. economy is the same as the old one as he lays out arguments for more stimulus to revive it.
One thing is clear, both parties agree that 8.3% unemployment is unacceptable. 23 million Americans unemployed and under-employed is something that both parties are completely happy with. The current economic situation frustrates both republicans and democrats and each party realizes they must deal with. This election cycle is about a choice, and both parties believe that their economic policies will be the best choice for America. November 7th 2012, will be tell us which party the American people agree with, but for now, there are still many Americans without jobs, and living off of the government support systems. The problem remains many Americans are hurting and America’s national debt is now over 16 trillion dollars and climbing, and America is still looking for an answer to the fiscal crisis at hand, and America will make that choice November 6th 2012.