Cuts to the Food Stamp Program

I wanted to share some data about the food stamp program that I learned from the McAlvany Weekly Commentary. It turns out that we (the U.S.) have increased our food-stamp dependency significantly since 2009. Incidentally, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared that we started our recovery in 2009. In 2009, there were 35 Million participants in the food-stamp program. Now, after being in recovery for 4 years, we have 47.7 Million participants. Does that sound like a recovery to you?
 
Early in November (of 2013), the program cut its annual budget for the food-stamp program by $5 Billion. That sounds pretty healthy from a spending perspective until you learn that the program has been costing taxpayers $85 Billion annually. Now a $5 Billion cut doesn’t sound like much.
 
To put this in perspective, the food-stamp program has doubled twice in a little more than a decade. It doubled from 2000 to 200, which was before the recession. Then, it doubled again from 2008 to 2012.
 
Working with rough numbers, if you look at what the cuts will save over the coming decade, food-stamp spending will be reduced by about 5%. We’re talking about a program that has increased by about 200% in the previous decade. Again, we’re not making much progress in cutting the deficit.
 
When we look at the receiving end, a family of three’s reduction will be $29 per month. The benefits, after the cut, will average less than $1.40 per person per meal. That sounds pretty skimpy, even if you’re eating all your meals at home or out of a lunch box. It would be better if the food-stamp program spending was going down because people were getting jobs and were able to pay for their own food.


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