From CNS News: “Record 20% of Households on Food Stamps in 2013.”
A record 20% of American households, one in five, were on food stamps in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The numbers also show there was a record number of individuals on food stamps in 2013 and that the cost of the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was at an all-time high.
I’ve expressed before that I don’t think cutting food stamps should be a high priority among conservatives. Our own, Tad Cronn has expressed that point of view more strongly and I think he has a point.
But there are complications in thinking about food stamps. For one, it is not as if there are a majority of families who reached the point that they really could not afford to eat anymore or feed their children who came to the government begging for help. Often government agents go out and recruit people with the offer of free stuff.
Furthermore, rather than save children from starvation, there is evidence that food stamps are a driver in childhood obesity—that “food-stamp recipients are far more likely to be obese than eligible nonrecipients and… ‘chronic food-stamp receipt may promote lifestyle changes that lead to weight gain.’” Remember, according to John Hopkins University,
Malnutrition occurs in people who are either undernourished or overnourished. Today, in the U.S., more children suffer from malnutrition due to dietary imbalances rather than nutritional deficiencies.
Adding to this evidence is the fact that, when Leftists aren’t railing against McDonald’s or Wal-Mart for paying their employees so low that they need government assistance, they are championing government assistance, such as food stamps, because they stimulate the economy. Specifically, they stimulate retail outlets like Family Dollar. I love Family Dollar but what kind of food do you think most people buy there?
In the meantime, when they are not advocating welfare benefits to help out low-wage employers that sell cheap stuff, they are condemning those employers for not paying enough (and thus raising prices so that higher wages would be meaningless).
So, in my opinion, there is a case to be made that food stamps are changing the recipients behavior for the worse, but I still would hate to see families harmed by cutting the food stamps before other changes are made to liberate the economy.
In the meantime, “compassionate” liberals are praising food stamps as if they were an answer to “income inequality.” That tells you all you need to know about their vision of how the middle- and lower-classes should live: off the crumbs that fall from the table of Big Business/Big Government.