• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Story on November’s Food Stamps “Cuts”



    The latest buzz about food stamps is that benefit amounts will be “cut” beginning November 1.

    But what is this “cut”? Basically, it’s the benefit amount returning to the level it would have otherwise been if not for the 2009 stimulus.

    In 2009, President Obama’s stimulus package temporarily pumped extra dollars into food stamps in an attempt to stimulate the economy. The temporary increase is now ending. On average, household benefits for those receiving the maximum amount of food stamps will decrease by about 5 percent.

    Of course, the whims of Washington are now making it difficult for individuals and families who suddenly have to adjust to a lower amount of benefits. Still, the expiration of the temporary stimulus boost should not be dubbed a “cut.”

    It’s also important to remember that food stamps is just one of roughly 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs, which provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and lower-income Americans.

    Food stamp spending is one of the largest and fastest growing of these programs. Spending doubled between fiscal year (FY) 2008 and FY 2012 to approximately $80 billion and had previously doubled—prior to the recession—between FY 2000 and FY 2007.

    In total, the federal government now spends nearly $1 trillion annually on means-tested welfare programs, and costs are only set to increase, even once the economy has fully recovered.

    In fact, the typical pattern over the past five decades is for welfare spending to grow during times of recession. However, it never decreases substantially thereafter. Instead, it picks up from where it left off and continues its upward climb.

    Posted in Capitol Hill, Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    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.