More Americans than ever before will be using food stamps this Thanksgiving

posted at 1:56 pm on November 21, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Marco Rubio said something the other day that made me want to jump up and cheer: “The way to turn our economy around is not by making rich people poorer, it’s by making poor people richer.” Whoomp, there it is! That, right there, is a masterfully simple and succinct way to take the Democrats’ constant refrains of “fairness” and turn them on their head. The way to help people become more prosperous is definitely not by taking wealth away from some people and having the government divvy it up as they see fit among other people. To paraphrase Frederic Bastiat, a bad economist looks merely to the effects that are immediately seen, while a good economist looks for the effects that are not immediately apparent — and the long-term effects of that kind of redistributionist thinking are that you eventually run out of other people’s money, and that everybody is fighting over a much smaller, less prosperous pie.

Instead of going for just taxing the bejeesus out of the rich to try and solve all of our problems and justify our big-government spending binges, what we need to be doing is fostering economic policies that allow people to lift themselves up through job-and-wealth creation. As Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan said in various ways on the campaign trail, Republicans aren’t trying to abolish all welfare programs — they’re trying to create an economy in which people neither need nor want to participate in welfare programs, because there are so many attractive opportunities available in the private sector… a situation from which President Obama has only moved us farther and farther away. Via U.S. News:

Usage of food stamps among low and no-income families has spiked since the collapse of the U.S. financial system four years ago. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, has increased 70 percent since 2007. And economists have warned that usage of food stamps won’t go down until unemployment improves.

This Thanksgiving, 42.2 million Americans will be on food stamps, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This is roughly the size of the populations of California and Connecticut combined.

Not surprisingly, feeding millions of Americans isn’t cheap. The cost of the SNAP program last year reached $72 billion, the highest to date, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Although this trend got started before President Obama took office, has he managed to turn the tide at all? No. All of his ‘solutions’ have only lead to little more than stagnation and malaise. Obama’s policies, i.e. more bureaucracy, more regulation, and expanding the federal budget, are impediments to economic growth that deprive resources from the more productive and innovative private sector. Just getting the rich to pay their “fair share” without bothering to put the United States on a sustainable spending plan is not going to create the economic boom for which everyone’s been hoping.


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