Because one good thirty-second ad spot always deserves another, the Obama camp is out with their own welfare-related ad today attempting to refute Mitt Romney’s ad of the same nature that debuted earlier this week. Set to air in all of the usual suspects — Colorado, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia — the ad uses news stories to accuse Romney’s ad of being “blatantly false.”

I’m going to let the fact-checkers continue to debate the veracity of the two campaigns’ versions of welfare-reform minutiae (although, as Mickey Kaus very aptly points out, Romney’s version of things really isn’t as “blatantly false” as Team Obama would have us believe) and operate on a need-to-know basis here: Under President Obama, the labor force participation rate has decreased, and enrollments in food stamps, social security disability, unemployment benefits, and etcetera have all increased. A very simple balm for all of these things is economic growth, and as a result of President Obama’s policies, economic growth has miraculously failed to materialize. Instead, the welfare state has grown at the expense of a growing national debt.

Federal and state welfare assistance has grown almost 19 percent under President Barack Obama, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.

All in all, there are 79 means-tested federal welfare programs, at a cost approaching $1 trillion annually, said Heritage Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector.

Rector conducted a comprehensive analysis of spending for government assistance programs, ranging from food, education and childcare programs to housing and medical care.

Since Fiscal Year 2009, federal and state welfare spending has risen from $779.9 billion to $927.2 billion, an increase of 18.8 percent. That fiscal year includes spending from Oct. 1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2009.

I’m not 100% sure why we’re spending our time engaging in petty debates over the nuts and bolts of welfare policy when most of what Americans will know and care about is contained in the above. I’m not saying the details are unimportant, and maybe I’m wrong, but I just can’t help feeling that Team Obama would rather we continue with these small-potatoes issues, while we could instead be constantly hitting voters over the head with big-picture epic economic fail.

Also: What’s with throwing Bill Clinton into everything nowadays? Is his popularity really that valuable, or are they just that desperate to remind everyone of the Democrats’ former relative glory?