Food stamp use has exploded during the Obama administration, reaching an all-time high of 45.8 million in August. This chart, prepared by Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, depicts the extraordinary growth in the program that began when Barack Obama took office in 2009:
To some extent, this growth is the result of record levels of poverty (as measured by the federal government), the result of the Obama administration’s anti-growth policies. But that isn’t the whole story, or even most of it. Normally, one would think that exploding food stamp usage would be nothing to be proud of, but the Democrats have rushed to expand every federal program so as to make as many people as possible dependent on the government. Thus, the food stamp explosion is mostly due to a combination of incompetence and deliberate laxity in administering the program. Senator Jeff Sessions explains:
The agriculture bill we are considering this week—part of three appropriations bills being irresponsibly crammed together—would result in a quadrupling of food stamp funds from their 2001 levels. At a proposed $80 billion a year, food stamps are becoming one of the largest items in our budget….
There is little if any oversight of the program, resulting in the extraordinary waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. To cite just one example, a $2 million lottery winner notified authorities, who in turn informed him that he would not be losing his food stamp benefits. In some cases, the only thing you need to become food-stamp eligible is have a brochure from the federal government be sent to you in the mail. …
This program is not being run honestly, effectively, or fairly. It is deeply disappointing and extremely telling that the Democrat-led Senate voted down even this modest effort to address the almost shameless mishandling of taxpayer funds. We’re in a fiscal crisis that is already killing jobs, and these bills just increase spending—and destroy confidence—that much more.
Eliminating waste is the last thing the Democrats want to do. Wasteful spending is the lifeblood of their party.