2013 government data on Food Stamp growth is worse than you thought

A familiar sign across the USA clintoncountyfarmersmarket.com
A familiar sign across the USA

This week our nation celebrates a glorious occasion, the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. Thus, you will be hearing much media discussion as to whether this program, costing untold billions, was a success or failure, and you as BizPacReview readers are capable of drawing your own conclusions.

Tangential to a War on Poverty, “victory” discussion is a chart that our government released on December 6, 2013 revealing the costs of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) otherwise known as “food stamps.” However actual food stamps like VCRs are a thing of the past and have been replaced with what looks like a credit card.

This SNAP chart reveals the official cost of the program in Fiscal Year 2013.

snap shot

Here is the data:

47,636,085 persons participated in 23,052,389 households.

The cost of this participation was $76,070,295,282 to be exact.

The average monthly benefit per person was $133.08 and $274.99 per household.

Now, most likely the vast majority of the 47 million people receiving SNAP are in desperate need of them, at least temporarily.  However, what is troubling is the growth of SNAP in the past five, going on six years during the reign of President Obama, the “Food Stamp President.” (As Newt Gingrich liked to call him during the 2012 election and was ripped to shreds by the media for doing so.)

But SNAP facts are in fact, inconvenient and even more inconvenient when they appear in a government chart.

This chart above only goes back as far as Fiscal Year 2010 but what does it show?

The cost of SNAP in 2010 was “only” $64.7 billion, compared to $76 billion in 2013. (An increase on $11.3 billion in only three years.)

The number of participants in 2010 was 40.3 million people compared to 47.6 million in 2013. Household participation was 18.6 million in 2010 compared to 23 million in 2013.

How could the SNAP program have grown so fast from 2010 – 2013?

Obviously something is going terribly wrong.

The truth is this bloated program is riddled with fraud, waste and abuse — in other words, your tax dollars at work.

Here is a comprehensive report about SNAP written by the respected CATO Organization based in Washington D.C. if you are interested in reading more about this important issue affecting every American taxpayer.

So let us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the War of Poverty by going to the grocery store and see if you can find any ladies carrying designer handbags using SNAP cards.

Or maybe snap up a few SNAP cards on Craigslist.

This all reminds me of a famous 1976 quote from Margaret Thatcher,  “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”





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