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Food Stamp Usage Defies “Recovery”



food stamp usage


This website has written extensively on food stamp irregularities at the state level – and the explosion of food stamp usage at the federal level.

Why? Because we’re firm believers in the “Coolio Maxim” (a.k.a. “if you don’t work, you don’t eat”) – and also we think focusing on various aspects of our nation’s increasingly costly dependence economy is a worthwhile endeavor.

Anyway, in researching a tangentially related piece on the first-term economy of U.S. President Barack Obama, we stumbled upon a piece in The Wall Street Journal by economist Richard Vedder which raises a much larger, more troubling question about food stamps.

Basically Vedder seeks an explanation to the following query: If unemployment is dropping and economic activity is picking up, why is the unprecedented expansion of the food stamp population continuing apace?

“We would expect the number of people on food stamps to increase with rising unemployment, poverty and falling incomes in late 2008 extending into 2009 and perhaps even into 2010 (even though the recession was officially over in late 2009). But more is going on here,” Vedder writes.

“Compare 2010 with October 2012, the last month for which food-stamp data have been reported,” he continues. “The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent from 9.6 percent, and real GDP was rising steadily if not vigorously. Food-stamp usage should have peaked and probably even begun to decline. Yet the number of recipients rose by 7,223,000. In a period of falling unemployment and rising output, the number of food-stamp recipients grew nearly 10,000 a day. Congress should find out why.”

We agree …

This isn’t an anomoly, either, this is two years of hard data yielding an unmistakable conclusion: The ongoing “Obama recovery” clearly isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.


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