Why the Food Stamps Program is Exploding

One of President Obama’s first actions was to suspend the 20 hour-a-week work requirement for able-bodied adults as part of the 2009 stimulus. His budget requests in 2011, 2012 and 2013 called for the continued suspension of work requirements. Thanks to federal waivers, work rules remain effectively void in 45 states.

Mr. Obama also eliminated a long-standing three-month limit for employable adults to receive food stamps. Now benefits can last for three years or more. Congressional Research Service and USDA data show that the number of employable adults on food stamps without children expanded by 164% from 2007 to 2011 and only one in five of these recipients is working. College students are collecting food stamps in record numbers.

Mr. Obama also made food stamps more popular by giving recipients a cost-of-living adjustment that raised the value of food stamps by more than 10%. Families can now receive up to $10,000 in food stamps a year. Keep in mind this is only one of more than 50 federal welfare programs.


More at the WSJ. But Tyler Cowen defends food stamps versus more wasteful entitlements that the Republicans ignore.

Comments (11)

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  1. Perry says:

    College students, on food stamps? Really?

  2. Lucas says:

    “The GOP reforms will save taxpayers about $4 billion a year from the more than $80 billion cost of food stamps.”

    I agree that the program needs to be made smaller, but I would rather that 4 billion go to those who are hungry than a useless government program.

  3. BHS says:

    This is ridiculous.

  4. Crawford says:

    “Keep in mind this is only one of more than 50 federal welfare programs.” — Sickening!!!

    What is the logic to allow people who don’t work at least 20 hours a week to receive this funding? Heck, you should be punished for not working at least that much.

    • Rutledge says:

      Punished is a bit strong. There are a lot of people who want to work, but simply cant find 20 hours of work a week. They shouldn’t starve to death because of this.

      • Crawford says:

        I beg to differ.

        When I was six years old I learned the value of a dollar. I did my weekly chores, saved my nickel a week allowance and eventually to buy lemonade mix and disposable cups. That Friday, I borrowed mother’s pitcher, some tap water, and sold lemonade out on the side walk. — I made a profit. (probably due to the nice elderly lady who came from next door and simply donated 50 cents.)

        Which leads me to my next point. Reward those who take initiative- not those who “believe” that they “can’t work” or “can’t find a job.”

        Most of the food service industry works for not much more than tips–

        So how could there ever be a problem with unemployment if there are unlimited needs of those who have money. There are countless ways that these “unemployed” (unmotivated, if you ask me) could increase the quality of life of the individuals who have money to tip with.