Foodstamps, Foodstamps, …

In the “awwwwwwwwwww” department, a woman who argued with a grocery store manager about what is and is not paid for (with our tax dollars) by foodstamps was, she claims, humiliated by the store manager. You simply won’t believe this. A woman argued, while in the check-out line, about what was and was not paid for by foodstamps. The disputed amount was $10. When the manager relented, the woman said, “‘See, I told you it was covered by food stamps.” The manager responded, “Excuse me for working for a living and not relying on food stamps!”

The unbelievable part is that the grocery store manager was transferred to another store. Equally unbelievable is that the woman, in an interview with a local TV station, had the nerve to say that she wanted an apology.

Here is something else you won’t believe. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) personnel have met at least 151 times with officials from the Mexican government “to discuss nutrition assistance programs as well as to provide program updates.” USDA and Mexican officials met to promote nutrition assistance programs among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America. The Mexico-U.S. Partnership for Nutrition Assistance Initiative, created in 2004, has, according to the USDA website, the mission to “increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”, or foodstamps. And the USDA is currently advertising for more participants, including on Spanish language soap-operas, a program to overcome pride and self-reliance, guidance to state and local governments, and foodstamp enrollment parties.

Today there are a record number of US citizens receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the current name for foodstamps. Nearly 1 in 6 people living in the US are now on foodstamps. The increase in foodstamps pre-dates the Obama administration, as this chart shows. But Obama certainly perfected the increase. Under the eight years of Bush, spending grew from $19 billion to $39 billion. But in only four years under Obama, the spending has grown to $85 billion, more than double Bush’s highest year. Further, Obama has spent more ($290 billion) in four years than Bush spent ($237 billion) in eight years.

Newt Gingrich, on January 16, 2012, in Myrtle Beach, SC, said that “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” At the time Gingrich said that, he was incorrect. According to the USDA, foodstamp recipients grew under George Bush by 14.7 million people, while foodstamp recipients grew under Barack Obama by 14.2 million people. Gingrich was incorrect in January. But what about now? The most recent figures I can find are for June 2012. As of June, there were 46.7 million people receiving foodstamps, an increase of approximately (according to this chart) 18 million people added with Obama as president. In fact, this chart shows Gingrich to be correct. And, let’s not forget that, if we accept USDA figures, Obama has almost equaled in four years what it took eight years for Bush to do. Let’s also not forget current USDA activities.

People-wise, there is some debate about foodstamp recipients. But there is no debate money-wise.

But that’s just my opinion.

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One Comment

  1. Warren, Just excellent coverage on an issue that has been shoved out of any publicity by all the other ‘junk’ we’re dealing with or purposely kept quite. It is my understanding that, in addition to advertising on Spanish launguage stations that the USDA has distributed to every Mexican Consulate through out the United States AND MEXICO flyers printed in Spanish with ‘instructions’ on how to get all social services.

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