The Food Stamp President

The White House objected vociferously a month or two ago when Barack Obama was referred to as the food stamp president, but it is hard to see why. This chart pretty much says it all; if Obama isn’t the food stamp president, then what is he? Certainly not the defense president:

Of course, much more data could be brought forward. We could show the same trend with respect to the number of people on food stamps, which is now up to 46 million. We could point out that 80% of the spending in the farm bill now consists of food stamps. So why should Barack Obama object to being called the food stamp president? The fact is that food stamp usage has exploded because Obama and his administration want tens of millions of Americans (and non-Americans, as we will see) to be dependent on the federal government for their food. For them, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

Today Senator Jeff Sessions introduced legislation to reform the food stamp program. His proposed amendments are so modest and so reasonable that it is hard to understand how anyone could oppose them. For example, Sessions wants to stop the practice whereby the federal government pays the states bonus money for enrolling more people in the program. Given that all of the money in the food stamp program comes from the federal government, this is free money for the states and creates a perverse incentive. But Harry Reid won’t allow that amendment to be voted on, because the Democrats want more people on food stamps.

Sessions proposes to require the government to use a program called SAVE to ensure that food stamp recipients are lawful residents in the United States. But Harry Reid won’t allow this amendment to be voted on, because the Democrats want countless thousands of illegal aliens to receive food stamps.

Sessions proposes to eliminate “categorical eligibility,” whereby people who are not poor but who qualify for one of a large number of other programs automatically qualify for food stamps. In one state, merely having received a brochure for another federal program in the mail is enough to qualify for food stamps. But Harry Reid won’t allow this amendment to be voted on, because the Democrats want people who are not poor to be on food stamps.

You get the picture. Under Barack Obama, food stamps have exploded to become one of the largest federal spending programs. This is partly because of the lousy Obama economy, of course, but it goes much farther than that: food stamp spending has skyrocketed because the Democrats want dependency on welfare programs to be the rule, not the exception. Barack Obama is indeed the nation’s first food stamp president.

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