• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Food Stamp Participation the Highest Ever...and Growing

    The number of Americans on food stamps (or, as it is now called, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is higher than ever before, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report. Since 2007, rolls have grown by 70 percent. And participation rates are expected to increase over the next two years.

    While some of the growth can be attributed to the recession, participation rates were steadily climbing prior to the recession. Since 2000, the number of Americans on food stamps has jumped by roughly 260 percent, from 17.2 million to 44.7 million in 2011.

    Naturally, government spending on food stamps has also jumped, from approximately $20 billion in 2000 to a whopping $78 billion last year, a nearly 400 percent increase.

    The growth in participation rates seems to be part of the federal government’s goal, as a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released just this month explains.

    The food stamps program is just one part of an ever-expanding government welfare system that includes not only 12 food assistance welfare programs but a total of 79 federal welfare programs. These programs provide not only food assistance but cash, housing, energy and utility assistance, education services, child care, medical care, and so forth.

    The total cost of these programs reached $927 billion last year. Welfare is now the fastest growing part of government spending, and despite welfare costs increasing 16-fold since the War on Poverty began in the 1960s—and total spending on cash, food, and housing assistance now twice the amount necessary to pull all Americans out of poverty—President Obama wants to spend more. Aggregate welfare costs are projected to reach over $1.5 trillion in 2022.

    As Heritage senior fellow Robert Rector said last week at a House Budget Committee hearing, out of control welfare costs are contributing to “ruinous and unsustainable future budget deficits.”

    To get spending under control, Congress can roll back current welfare spending to pre-recession levels (adjusted for inflation) once the current recession ends and then capping aggregate welfare spending at the rate of inflation going forward. Doing so would save American taxpayers more than $2.7 trillion during the first decade.

    America’s growing welfare state is creating a system of increased dependence and contributing to a growing federal debt. Helping the poor should mean promoting individual freedom through self-reliance rather than creating dependence through an unsustainable government dole.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Food Stamp Participation the Highest Ever...and Growing

    1. KJinAZ says:

      How many of the people receiving food stamps are dead? I would bet there is a direct correlation dead people voting and food stamps. We know there are thousands of dead people voting, so the odds are the same is true with food stamps. Maybe we need an audit…you think?

    2. cosmoscon says:

      The war on poverty was lost and now we need to reform Welfare programs just like we need to reform Social Security. There is no correlation/proof that increased Welfare spending causes a decrease in the Poverty rate. In fact the opposite is true. http://cosmoscon.com/2012/04/22/time-to-reform-we

    3. Pingback: Food stamp rolls have increased 260% in 11 years, spending up 400% » The Right Scoop -

    4. Why aren't liberals listening ??? MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES AND WE ARE BROKE D BROKE

    5. Bobbie says:

      Just disgusting! Government of good will would be prouder to have people feeding themselves but this government is governing limitlessly at limitless costs causing not the sea to rise but all costs of living! Very disrespectful to their expected duty and the good of America! We'll be eating crickets and well not dog, before we're forced on food stamps! Discipline is absolutely necessary! So is investigating criminal acts imposed by obama's government!

    6. Pingback: Food Stamp Participation the Highest Ever…and Growing | Food News

    7. Pingback: Heritage Foundation Launches Online Guide to the Constitution

    8. Paul says:

      I love to listen to the constant droning of knee jerk reactionaries. Food stamp participation is growing because (duh) there are more people needing it than ever . There are many people out of work but there are also many full time employed folks who cannot make a living wage. Perhaps one interesting example is a work program in Syracuse NY in which all of the case workers are eligible for food stamps! meanwhile the rich upper class (none of whom you folks I am sure are members of) have all of you buffaloed into attacking the folks who are trying to make a difference. Yes the system needs reform. That does not mean making more people suffer. it means reforming fromn the TOP down

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×