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?