Despite spending $80 billion on food stamps last year, the Obama administration is now pushing to spend more. A new government study argues that the ballooned welfare program needs increased tax dollar funding to help “food insecure” homes.

But where does it all end?

The food stamp program, or as the USDA likes to call it, the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),”  grows significantly each year. In 2007, food stamp spending was at $35 billion — by 2012, it had increased to $80 billion.

Amazingly, almost one out of six Americans are now on food stamps, and this number continues to grow. Over 13 million more people rely on the program now than when Obama took office in 2009. There is also no time limit for most food stamp recipients. Those who have children, are elderly, or are disabled never have a time limit. Over two thirds of SNAP’s recipients fall into this category.

Although food stamp spending continues to increase, the number of “food insecure” households essentially remains the same.

But the government keeps encouraging more people to sign up.

Judicial Watch reports, “the Obama administration insists on expanding the rolls even offering the benefit to illegal immigrants. Earlier this year Judicial Watch obtained documents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency that distributes food stamps, detailing its work with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens.”

The welfare program is also ridden with fraud. Some recipients trade their food stamp benefits for cash. Others use the subsidies to buy drugs and weapons. This abuse cost us, the taxpayers, $200 million.

Government spending is not the sole answer to poverty. If it were, America would have the lowest poverty rate in the world. Instead of making poverty more comfortable with government handouts, incentives should be created to encourage hard work and self-sufficiently. Welfare programs like food stamps should also be means tested more aggressively to focus on the truly needy.

Anyone who has taken an intro economics course knows that people respond to incentives. When you subsidize a benefit, there will always be more people seeking out that benefit. Why are Washington bureaucrats oblivious to that?

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Kristin Tate is a multi-media reporter for Breitbart News and to fearless journalism, she regularly works on undercover stings with James O'Keefe to reveal government waste, abuse, and fraud.Tate was a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chapter President and Founder. She will continue to fight tirelessly for individual liberty and free markets through new media. Visit Kristin's website at

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  • Joe Ormerod

    How else to maintain their voter base…

  • Kody D

    If only it were as simple as them being oblivious…ignorance at the leadership level can be addressed & corrected. But they’re not ignorant of these simple truths (ok, some are willfully blind–there’s a difference). Obviously no point trying to explain something to them that they either a) already know, or b) will dismiss for ulterior reasons. What’s the alternative? Educate & convince the food stamp recipients themselves that in many cases their participation in these programs is ultimately detrimental to themselves and the economy at large? Sigh…

  • Sunset Cliff

    The article should mention each person on food stamps is going to be cut by $11 in November. Look it up.

    • JoJo58

      Wow, cut $11. The average food stamp recipient has a cell phone, a flat screen tv, cable, dvr, AC, car, etc. Considering that they pay nothing into the system, I think they can forfeit the price of a Starbuck’s coffee and slice of cake.

  • Michelle Burk

    I love this. People respond to incentives…well you’re right….the elderly and the disabled respond to hunger, that’s an incentive….and a family of 4, living on minimum wage needs incentives to …what… earn more money …to buy food that keeps going up in price, even if their salaries don’t budge. You really seem to have a clear understanding of the problem….hopefully we can get ALL the elderly, disabled and uneducated minimum wage earners to take your Intro to Economics course asap. Hope they can hear the professor over their growling stomachs.

    • settheline

      I hear this argument all the time, and I’m sick of it. Is it so hard to believe that someone might not believe in government entitlement programs, but might also voluntarily support local and worldwide efforts to help raise people up out of poverty? You’re trying to paint anyone who doesn’t support the policies you want as someone who doesn’t care about the poor. See the graph I posted below. The war on poverty has stalled the poverty rate from the freefall it was in.

    • James M. Barber

      I hear this, and I feel for it. However I think that the programs in place have reached their possible limits. As with a lot of things in our society, we need to see where we encourage a change in attitude while still helping the very poorest. I suggest as a solution for you, support for a higher minimum wage to help move the public off of assistance while moving the burden up a rung on the ladder. Also, a restriction on subsidies from the top rather than an arbitrary increase on the ones for the bottom.

      • Michelle Burk

        I agree …but the increased cost of living and the growing price of healthy food has well out paced the subsidies we alot for the poor. $35 a week for food is tough. I think you’re right about subsidy shifting. I also think we need to RETHINK how we “help” the poorest among us. Tossing food stamps at them and saying “here go eat” is worthless. But, I get exasperated with the heartless out there, that have never ONCE served in a food line, soup kitchen or aid truck….the same ones that WILL let those children starve to prove a point.

      • usaok59

        JOBS, is the answer. That means helping small businesses to get started, not hindered by red tape. Keeping large corporations from shipping jobs overseas would also be a start.

    • ST

      Many of my rental tenants are on food stamps. Trust me, the poor in America today are not hungry, they are well-fed, clinically obese and lazy because they don’t have to work.

      • Michelle Burk

        Wow, and here I thought America’s poor were uneducated drug dealing slobs that didn’t pay rent because they lived in government funded halfway houses…. YOU haven’t been volunteering enough out there. When I deliver Meals on Wheels, it breaks my heart to see how most of these elderly are living. When I serve at the church kitchen, it kills me to see young thin families standing there hungry. None of these people are talking on their cell phones, fussin with a broken nail. You need to go out there and volunteer to help feed the hungry. You too would feed the OBESE to make sure THESE people didn’t go another day without food.

  • settheline

    “Government spending is not the sole answer to poverty.” Uh, the poverty rate was in freefall, UNTIL the government tried to start “fighting it”. And why should the government incentivize hard work? Hard work has built-in incentives in a normal world – you get to spend or save your earnings as you like.

  • James M. Barber

    when these programs started the problems of true poverty were a regular aspect of society. The fact that modern marvels allow for better living for those close to the bottom means that we don’t see the poverty, even as it exists around us. I don’t support an increase, but these programs are there so that we don’t have to watch people starve, or have them robbing us so they can feed their children. The rotational statistics of these programs show that the recipients tend to be hard working down on their luck, but it might be time to cut back government subsidies, from both the bottom and the very top.

  • Jeff Campbell

    Michelle Burk and setttheline, you’re not understanding the problem, and you both seem oblivious to the tone of the article. Neither the article, nor its author are entirely condemning food stamps, but are rather giving voice to a slew of chronic difficulties in a failing system. Abuses of this program are many, and though its intent is to feed the hungry who cannot afford it, the program is misguided, and its large funding could be used much more efficiently in other ways, say, incentives to entrepreneurs who create jobs, for example. What is not being said is, “let’s take food away from old and disabled people.” What is being said is, “when the program is growing so quickly, it highlights fundamental problems in society that are not being addressed by the quick-fix of SNAP.” The greater, underlying problem (which we are beginning to see increasing evidence of) is that when your private sector (i.e. people who pay more into the system than they receive) is outnumbered by public employees and welfare recipients, the system becomes unsustainable.

    • settheline

      I understand both the problem and the tone of the article, but thanks for your condescension and concern. Did you read the quote I referenced from the article? Did you look at the graph I posted? You’ll understand the problem, when you realize that government entitlement programs ARE the problem. And you’re solution is government incentives to “entrepreneurs who create jobs”? So….crony capitalism then. Nice. Why not just have across the board cuts in corporate and high end marginal tax brackets (the overtaxed classes)?

      • settheline

        Oh and please nobody construe this as me saying to cut all aid tomorrow. I’ve believed for a long time that (as Bono said), “Aid is just a stopgap, commerce and entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid”.

        • Jeff Campbell

          You contradict yourself entirely with these two statements. You call capitalism “crony” and then share a quote from Bono that champions capitalism and pretty much sums up my exact argument. You worsen your message by making the conclusion of you first reply a seemingly confused attempt at sarcasm, or a sentence that completely goes against your previous statements. It seems you not only lack understanding of the article, but have a severe need to study cognitive reasoning and logic as your arguments are void of both.

  • see

    hey ben, been listening/reading to your stuff for a while and am a big supporter. my family is kinda on food stamps. no one is currently working and we’re kinda on food stamps and cash aid. my mum can’t work cause she barely knows english and is pretty old now. I’m old enough to work but i’m going to colllege and need to focus on that. My other siblings are too young to work atm. And if i were to work now (now this kinda proves your point a bit) then our cash benefit would go down and we would lose our section 8 housing support which probably will still be sustainable but then I would not be able to pursue higher education. I feel like we kinda need food stamps. but I want to know what you think. haha I know you’re right ish xD but just what do you think should be done?

    • Ken D

      You might need food stamps. But millions of others who get them don’t. The program is fraught with incredible fraud. At the beginning of every month there are a half dozen people in the parking lot of my local grocery store trying to sell EBT cards for cash at a discount to face value. It infuriates me.

      • JoeD

        take a hidden camera video of it and post on youtube for everyone to see.

  • see

    just read jeff cambell’s response xD and it makes sense.

    • Jeff Campbell

      thanks :)

  • ST

    I have 12 rental apartments, and at least half of my tenants receive food stamps. They generally drive nicer cars than I do, they all have giant flat-screen TVs, multiple game consoles, lots of booze and cigarettes, and have incentive to get off the couch to seek employment. None of them are hungry, rather, they are ALL (without exception) clinically obese.

    • ST

      Have *NO* incentive to get off the couch…

  • Bill

    Repeal NAFTA to start with, Bring some of our living wage jobs back, Pay people a decent wage, and don’t tell me that they can’t when there giving CEO’s and upper management Multi billion dollar bonuses. And quit shopping at the biggest welfare burden on the system Walmart until the multi billionaires decide to start paying for their own employees.