Last Updated Sep 8, 2010 3:38 PM EDT
Food Stamp Participation Climbs 10%: ... [There are] 41 million Americans relying on the Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known to many of us as "food stamps."The ARRA contained "$16.5 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 12 percent through fiscal 2011." When Boehner talks about rolling back the budget to pre-stimulus levels, this is one of the programs that could be affected. Given all the worries Boehner and others have expressed about the bad incentives that social insurance creates, worries that are not supported by the empirical evidence on this question, is this one of the programs that would be on the chopping block? I wish a reporter would ask him that question.
The story is simple: in this serious recession, more and more people have turned to the social safety net for help in meeting the needs of daily life -- 26 million in September 2007, 31 million by September 2008, and in June 2010, the most recent report, 41 million people in 19 million households. Thirteen percent of the population, or more than one in eight people.
That's an increase of 10 percent from a year ago; participation increased every month this year. The costs of the benefits were $50 billion in the last fiscal year -- about $130 per month per person. (How much did we spend on AIG?) ...