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  • More Government Welfare Doesn’t Equal Poverty Relief

    A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps) helps “alleviate” poverty.

    Essentially, the report says that by including the dollar amount of food stamps as part of a family’s income, fewer families are considered poor—or at least not as poor.

    No surprises here. Not even the federal government can spend over $70 billion on food stamps annually and have no impact on a family’s bottom line. (Of course, federal poverty calculations don’t include the value of food stamps or most of the benefits received from federal welfare programs as part of a household’s income, so it’s little wonder that federal poverty rates have remained nearly unchanged over the last several decades despite massive increases in welfare spending. But that’s another story.)

    The report also notes that “SNAP’s contribution to reducing poverty increased between 2000 and 2009, a period when the SNAP caseload nearly doubled and total SNAP benefits more than quadrupled.”

    In other words, the federal government seems to be saying that federal dependence translates to poverty relief.

    If dependence on the federal government is the standard of success, then certainly the food stamps program is a smash hit. Not only is it the largest of the federal government’s roughly 10 food assistance programs, but it’s also one of the largest of all the federal government’s welfare programs.

    And it’s been growing, recession or not. Since 2000, as the report points out, participation rates have skyrocketed from just 17.2 million to 44.7 million in 2011—an increase of roughly 160 percent. Naturally, this means that the federal government has “successfully” increased the program’s cost—in fact, more than tripled it—from approximately $20 billion in 2000 to a whopping $72 billion in fiscal year 2011.

    While some of the program’s most recent “successes” in growth are no doubt partly attributed to the recession, roles were already steadily growing prior to 2008. In fact, food stamps has for the most part been continually growing since it began in the 1960s.

    To what can such “accomplishment” be attributed? As the report notes, some of the growth is due to policy changes over the last decade “designed to increase SNAP participation among working poor households.” The report notes that states have “implemented a number of program changes to simplify the administrative process to apply for and remain on SNAP.”

    So the secret of “success” is not only expanding eligibility but making sure people stay on food stamps.

    Tragically, such a measure of success is completely counter to what the purpose of any good welfare program should be: to help individuals become independent and enjoy the fruits of their own labor—not dependent on government largesse.

    Food stamps, along with just about every other of the federal government’s over 70 welfare assistance programs, fails to include any functional provisions to promote personal responsibility, such as work requirements and time limits. Rather than addressing the causes of poverty, the federal government’s method of operation has been to pour more taxpayer dollars into more welfare programs, edging near a cost of $1 trillion annually. Not only does this approach fail to help individuals, but it creates a growing burden on taxpayers.

    Successfully helping the poor should mean promoting individual freedom through self-reliance, not promoting dependence through a government dole.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to More Government Welfare Doesn’t Equal Poverty Relief

    1. Bobbie says:

      The unconstitutional government is putting ungodly weight on the responsible to keep the irresponsible deprived initiative to self govern, holding the responsible in their cross hairs as the next victims forced on government dependency the government can't wait to take on!

      Year after year we see foreign cultures of people in new, extravagant houses with unkempt yards and unenforced ordinances because if they are reported and fined, property taxes on everyone else goes up as immigrants deduct the fine!!! (That's teaching em!) while we're still in our "starter home" we pay for and overly taxed on property! For all things that effect the economy like housing, all rules HAVE TO APPLY EQUALLY with all those involved, ACCOUNTABLE.

      I understand this country to be built by immigrants, I don't recall any mention of Americans welcoming immigrants to live off Americans OR unconstitutional government intervening behind the backs of Americans to allow it?

      • michael says:

        what the government is doing is constitutional and good for all people. if you need food gov is the place to go. why do you hate the poor ?

        • Bobbie says:

          constitutional? where? government is control! corrupt and over priced! Government poisons anywhere they want when it's in their control. how is that good for all people?!

          We don't have disposable income! is that " poor?" Or is it "poor" when able people with a paycheck get extras through government for a quality of life given to them with other peoples money? With the costs of unconstitutional government handing out programs to able bodied people that deny themselves their own worth by putting themselves at less the level of responsibilities? that's good for people? Why do you call it hate when I'm addressing a concern that's destroying the reason for America and peoples potential? I don't know what your "hate" or "poor" or "good" means but I happen to love people to know their worth more than a government controlled lifestyle that obligates by infringement on independent lifestyles just because the government sees little in people that convinces people the same. Is that good for all people? Feel sorry because the government told you to? When we need food we get help from other sources, NOT GOVERNMENT! You think more of government than you do of people. That seems to be our difference!

        • Stirling says:

          Nobody said anyone hates the poor, we just feel that the private sector should be the means of providing charity to it's people, not the government. (Since the private sector creates wealth and the government destroys wealth to fund the public sector of government)

          The constitution does not say that the government is responsible for supporting those who do not support themselves. The constitution is a "negative rights" on what the government can do to it's people. This is unique to any other country and has served as a blueprint for personal freedom for 200+ years.

          A Socialist country like Russia, France, and others are different in that they purposely attempt to pay for everything, even as their countries go bankrupt (aka – Greece). The downside is socialism limits personal freedoms and financial wealth because it penalizes success for the sake of the collective.

    2. @inkismoney says:

      so corporate subsidies are fine because they spur growth but food assistance doesn't alleviate poverty it leads to a welfare state…

    3. RAYMOND EIFLER says:


      • Stirling says:

        Sean is correct, your interpertaion is just symantics. The congress is a representitive republic, thus 1 vote per rep per district. The president has final decision himeself to sign or veto a passed law (if not over-riden by congress). The Supreme court is also 1 vote per judge to strike down unconstitutional laws passed by the congress and signed by the president (if they take up the case.)

        Your interpertation of more power to congress, or majority is what the liberal media would want you to think our "Democracy" is, but is not a socialist democracy majority rules.. The American Constitution is unique and deliberate to limit the ability of one branch to consolidate power. Our president is trying to rule as an Western European President with Extra-Constitutional powers since the process blocks his goals of quick change to our countries constitutional rights limiting the governments power.

    4. TheChaoss says:

      Giving away taxpayers money lowers the poverty numbers? Really?

    5. taxed enough says:

      I just conducted a study. I found that if the government gives me a fist full of somebody else's money every month – I will be better off financially.
      Wow, I never would have imagined. I should have done this study long ago.

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      "The nine most feared words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Ronald

    7. @nedlum says:

      Are you seriously arguing that the Greatest Nation On Earth ™ should allow people to starve to death because they can't find work during one of the steepest economic downturns on record? And 40% of people who get SNAP benefits are employed! 40%! They are actually working, but their wages aren't enough to pay for food and rent. Seriously, what's it like to have no empathy whatsoever?

      And that's not counting those who are both working and taking care of children, which we all learned last week was the most important job in the world.

    8. Rtoad says:

      Free housing, free food, and free health insurance. Why do I need to work? I have been homeless and living off the government. The government takes away people's drive to better themselves and gives the government more power over their lives. Some people are okay living off other people. I may be taxed for my success, but I still have my freedom (for now).

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