While the farm bill meanders, food stamp rolls keep expanding

posted at 4:41 pm on July 8, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

That pesky ol’ “farm bill” — i.e., the gigantic bill that includes both food stamp programs and agriculture subsidies and therefore brings together an urban-rural coalition of votes that ensures minimum transparency and maximum momentum — is still a lingering action item on Congress’s agenda, after the House version’s tremendous crash-and-burn last month. Some unruly conservatives had the audacity to object to a mere three percent annual cut in the $80 billion/year food stamp program, while some precocious Democrats at the same time thought that that and additional work requirements were far too draconian. (Trillion dollar deficits, people. Trillion. Dollar. Deficits.)

Certain lawmakers wondering what to do with the legislative pickle in which they’re suddenly finding themselves, and several are considering whether they mightn’t have a shot at finally splitting up the omnibus farm bill — but it’s a move to which, as you might imagine, the agribusiness lobby is outrageously opposed, and Democrats don’t seem to be too keen on food stamps getting their own individual treatment, either. Food stamp rolls usually rise and fall with with the economy, but the Obama administration’s expanded qualifications and our ongoing stagnation-economy have seen food stamp participation grow larger and larger still, as the WSJ updates:

Food-stamp use rose 2.8% in the U.S. in April from a year earlier, with more than 15% of the U.S. population receiving benefits. (See an interactive map with data on use since 1990.)

One of the federal government’s biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn’t shrinking back alongside the recovery.

Food stamp rolls increased on a year-over-year basis, but were 0.4% lower from the prior month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. Though annual growth continues, the pace has slowed since the depths of the recession.

The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is at 47.5 million, or nearly one in six Americans.

The White House can talk about how much each month’s jobs numbers are indicative that we’re “seeing progress” and “things are improving” and blah blah blah, but this is a number that tells an entirely different story than the narrative they’re pushing, and it certainly isn’t what a “recovery” looks like.

Once more, with feeling: The GOP doesn’t want to deprive people of food stamps and food assistance. They want to engender a more robust, prosperous economy flux with employment and economic opportunities more attractive and uplifting than being consistently on the federal government dole.


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Too bad no one has the guts to separate the bills.

Iblis on July 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM

I see EBT shoppers fill their carts with choicer cuts of meat than I buy…

OmahaConservative on July 8, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I’d be content to just let it die a quiet death.

Mohonri on July 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM

I’m this close to applying for food stamps. Self-respect prevents me.

CurtZHP on July 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Enslaved by the parasitic poor. F them. Why are babies that can’t survive outside of the womb get knife to the spine, but these useless poor get a paycheck?

ClassicCon on July 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM

The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is at 47.5 million, or nearly one in six Americans.

Yeah, but what’s the number for non-Americans?

antipc on July 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

The White House can talk about how much each month’s jobs numbers are indicative that we’re “seeing progress” and “things are improving”

Things are progressing as much as most economists predicted after the sequester cut 1/2 to 1% from annual GDP. It’s not as though the White House wanted to cut government spending during the first signs of economic revival or pushed for a transportation bill that lacked teeth. If you want less economic stagnation, end it first in the political system with serious fiscal policy.

bayam on July 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

I see EBT shoppers fill their carts with choicer cuts of meat than I buy…

OmahaConservative on July 8, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Yeah, the parasites have made a pretty good life for themselves on the backs of working Americans. They have a sweet deal for free food, free cell phones, free everything….. Paid for by the losers that are actually holding down a job and not staying at home breeding the next generation of parasites with baby daddies who have no intention of being a father.

Years ago when the technology was newer, I was living in MD. The EBT card was called a “liberty card” and meant to be indistinguishible from a debit card or some other method payment that working people use in lieu of welfare. The only glitch at the grocery store I shopped at was that the “liberty card” had to be swiped in a special reader (not the one for debit/credit cards) by a supervisor. So whenever somebody tried to pay with their EBT card the cashier had to scream out “supervisor for liberty card” for all to hear.

I miss the concept of shame in soaking the government instead of actually being pampered in the parasites’ societal theft.

Happy Nomad on July 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Things are progressing as much as most economists predicted after the sequester cut 1/2 to 1% from annual GDP. It’s not as though the White House wanted to cut government spending during the first signs of economic revival or pushed for a transportation bill that lacked teeth. If you want less economic stagnation, end it first in the political system with serious fiscal policy.

bayam on July 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Hahah…you mean the roaring employment numbers that we saw before your phony/contrived sequester? It takes a serious psychologically warped mind to lie like your kind does with zero guilt. You are truly like a different species. Your generation takes scumbag to new levels.

ClassicCon on July 8, 2013 at 5:03 PM

“serious fiscal policy”

You mean like a budget?

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

If you want less economic stagnation, end it first in the political system with serious fiscal policy.

bayam on July 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

I agree. Less taxes, lower spending and less regulation.

nobar on July 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

I’m this close to applying for food stamps. Self-respect prevents me.

CurtZHP on July 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

It saddens me to see freedom loving Americans with self respect who only want to be self reliant, be prevented from doing so by a tyrannical regime.

Hang in there bro.

antipc on July 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Enslaved by the parasitic poor. F them. Why are babies that can’t survive outside of the womb get knife to the spine, but these useless poor get a paycheck?

ClassicCon on July 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM

One of the greatest misconceptions still prevalent on the right- that you should focus on the bottom 50% to understand wealth distribution in this country.

http://www.businessinsider.com/wealth-and-income-inequality-in-america-2013-4#the-top-1-in-fact-own-more-than-the-average-americans-republicans-and-democrats-alike-think-that-the-whole-top-20-should-own-10

http://www.businessinsider.com/wealth-and-income-inequality-in-america-2013-4#the-reality-is-that-the-top-10-of-the-country-have-so-much-wealth-that-theyre-off-the-chart–23

bayam on July 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

I may just has to get me some them food stamps. HeIIfire the ladies in line in front of me had em the other day. Man they eat good. I seldom splurge on Alaskan king crab legs. Not them ladies, they said they do it once a month. At least.

Bmore on July 8, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Hahah…you mean the roaring employment numbers that we saw before your phony/contrived sequester? It takes a serious psychologically warped mind to lie like your kind does with zero guilt. You are truly like a different species. Your generation takes scumbag to new levels.

ClassicCon on July 8, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Reality and facts can hurt- unless you believe that Merrill Lynch and Cruit Suisse are part of the lie

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-gdp-impact-of-cuts-in-full-sequester-2013-1

bayam on July 8, 2013 at 5:10 PM

I’m this close to applying for food stamps. Self-respect prevents me.

CurtZHP on July 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Seriously. It is easy to rail against SNAP and other assistance programs because so many people abuse the programs. What is supposed to be a safety net is used to subsidize a lifestyle that doesn’t include work. The Obamaphone lady, for example, clearly doesn’t contribute anything to society and never will (unless you count her YouTube idiocy as a contribution).

That doesn’t mean these programs are not there to help people in temporary need. There is nothing wrong in applying for food stamps if you have legitimate need. That being said, I suspect I probably would not do so. Less from self-respect reasons than from getting put on the track of all sorts of agencies trying to “help” by providing welfare assistance because of being on the SNAP list. It is very easy to be drawn down the path where temporary assistance becomes something else entirely.

Happy Nomad on July 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Do you work for business insider? Because for a long time it’s been all you cite.

You posted that one article about a hundred times.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

One of the greatest misconceptions still prevalent on the right- that you should focus on the bottom 50% to understand wealth distribution in this country.

http://www.businessinsider.com/wealth-and-income-inequality-in-america-2013-4#the-top-1-in-fact-own-more-than-the-average-americans-republicans-and-democrats-alike-think-that-the-whole-top-20-should-own-10

http://www.businessinsider.com/wealth-and-income-inequality-in-america-2013-4#the-reality-is-that-the-top-10-of-the-country-have-so-much-wealth-that-theyre-off-the-chart–23

bayam on July 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

So let’s kill them, confiscate all their wealth, and redistribute it! Awesome idea!

/not

Ward Cleaver on July 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

let it die just to kill the ethanol subsidy and associated mandates, my farmer cousins are howling…made for an interesting weekend at the bay recently, dominoes, beer and arguing over the politics of food stamps and corn prices

DanMan on July 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Hahah…you mean the roaring employment numbers that we saw before your phony/contrived sequester?

ClassicCon on July 8, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Hey, DoD employees are beginning sequestration furloughs this week. Unpaid three-day weekends (20% cut in pay) for the rest of the fiscal year. Think national security can take the hit of all those workers missing Fridays through September?

I also note that nobody has died from uninspected meat due to sequestration actions at the FDA. Planes are not falling from the sky due to sequestration (the SFO accident was not due to air traffic control). They have not closed down the Smithsonian from ordinary hours…….

The Jew-hating Secretary of Defense is making the claim that he will have to fire people next year because of these “draconian” cuts (in the rate of spending). The reality is that he was hired to gut the DoD and will be firing people for no other reason than his rat-eared sugar daddy needs to fund Obamacare and other social welfare programs.

Happy Nomad on July 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Things are progressing as much as most economists predicted after the sequester cut 1/2 to 1% from annual GDP. It’s not as though the White House wanted to cut government spending during the first signs of economic revival or pushed for a transportation bill that lacked teeth. If you want less economic stagnation, end it first in the political system with serious fiscal policy.

bayam on July 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Still on the same talking points; a gem from our Canadian bank-teller troll:

From a historical perspective, attempts to balance the budget don’t turn out so well when you’re still on the precipice of a recovery.

bayam on April 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I don’t think word means what you think it means.

happytobehere on April 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

slickwillie2001 on July 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Less from self-respect reasons than from getting put on the track of all sorts of agencies trying to “help” by providing welfare assistance because of being on the SNAP list. It is very easy to be drawn down the path where temporary assistance becomes something else entirely.

Happy Nomad on July 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

That’s my other reason. Once you let the government in, you can’t get them out.

After the Bush tax rates expired, my income dropped to a point where, based on the size of my family, I actually qualify for a few government goodies. I won’t take them, because I don’t want to be beholden to the juggernaut.

That, and my grandfather would be rolling in his grave. That man never even had a credit card, such was his aversion to owing anything to anyone. Paid cash for everything. Was a WW2 vet with a Purple Heart and didn’t even apply for VA benefits to which he was rightfully entitled.

Part of me says, “What the hell? If most of the country wants to see their wealth given away, why not clamp on to the public teat and suck away?” The other part says, “I’d rather sell pencils on a street corner.”

CurtZHP on July 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I’m so surprised that Oregon is the leading state for percentage of population on SNAP. I understand New Mexico (poor Mexicans and Indians) and DC (poor blacks), but I cannot believe Oregon has so many people that need Food Stamps. Obama has made us all equal.

Ted Torgerson on July 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Heard about the SNAP challenge? … Acing the SNAP Challenge

slickwillie2001 on July 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

We should all be able to apply for food stamps using the honor system. After all, food stamps are free. Or rather, food stamps be free.

madmonkphotog on July 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Curt- I in the same boat. I’m sure I qualify, but I won’t do it. Same reasons.

Hold your head up high.

Especially next time the able-bodied dude in front of you buys 2 hot dogs, a big gulp, and a bag of doritos with a snap card.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 5:37 PM

I’m so surprised that Oregon is the leading state for percentage of population on SNAP. I understand New Mexico (poor Mexicans and Indians) and DC (poor blacks), but I cannot believe Oregon has so many people that need Food Stamps. Obama has made us all equal.

Ted Torgerson on July 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I wonder if that’s because of what the envirofascists have done to logging?

slickwillie2001 on July 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM

*I ‘m*
darn small buttons.

wolly4321 on July 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Part of me says, “What the hell? If most of the country wants to see their wealth given away, why not clamp on to the public teat and suck away?” The other part says, “I’d rather sell pencils on a street corner.”

CurtZHP on July 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I too would be in pencil selling camp.

Best of luck to you.

Happy Nomad on July 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM

We should just send the people on “EBT” unprocessed wheat. They would have food and a job.

Oil Can on July 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Once more, with feeling: The GOP doesn’t want to deprive people of food stamps and food assistance.

Speak for yourself, Erika. I want to do exactly that. Let’s go back to a model that actually worked: letting local churches and charities take care of the poor and hungry. This is yet another area that we should get the government out of completely.

Shump on July 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

KILL the entire bill. Stomp on it. Shred it. Burn it!

GarandFan on July 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Illinois was the only state to see a double-digit increase of the number of residents enrolled in the SNAP program from the same time period last year.”

http://www.publiusforum.com/2013/06/02/illinois-tops-nation-in-growth-of-food-stamp-recipients/

Woot! Woot!

Fallon on July 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Are we still paying farmers to not grow crops?

American Patriot1980 on July 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Put food stamps under HSS where it belongs. Keeping it under USDA is a shell game.

And as long as I am ranting, anybody else notice all the ads from celebrities lately talking about kids going to bed hungry? We give them better school food programs than ever before, 15% of the population is on food stamps, we have WIC and free cheese to those that qualify. In this “freebie” society, who can possibly go to bed hungry such that we need to appeal to the private sector? I think I know the answer after looking around the local Walmart…mom and dad are obviously consuming more than their fair share.

teejk on July 8, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Food stamp rolls usually rise and fall with with the economy, but the Obama administration’s expanded qualifications . . .

Anyone that has to come to you for conditional food is your slave.

Axe on July 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Heard about the SNAP challenge? … Acing the SNAP Challenge

slickwillie2001 on July 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Um, there was many a time I fed a growing family on $10 a week using our own money. We didn’t do it as a stunt. Meh.

(I have one daughter who still hates spaghetti.)

Fallon on July 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

They keep saying that the Cloward-Piven Strategy is a conspiracy. Yet, we are increasing the number of people on welfare and now the administration says it is okay for people who still have insurance to take handouts through Obamacare. For a conspiracy, the administration is trying really really hard to make it a reality.

LoganSix on July 9, 2013 at 7:43 AM

mmm…tastes so much better when it is free

trillion dollar debt…you guys won’t miss it if I take a couple bucks for some honey bunches of oats

tlynch001 on July 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM