Americans on Food Stamps Rise 50% Since Recession
August 30, 2010
(ChattahBox)—A survey conducted by USA Today, unsurprisingly found that participation in government safety net programs for the poor and unemployed have increased dramatically, since the near collapse of our economy in 2007, which triggered a deep recession and near-double-digit unemployment rates. The number of Americans dependent on food stamps to feed their families, has swelled as much as 50 percent, indicating the level of suffering in the country. The rise in the number of Americans receiving government assistance is attributed to the poor economy, increasing the numbers of people whom qualify. And the expansion of benefits and eligibility requirements by the Obama administration, to help the country ride out the economic storm.
According to USA Today’s survey, “Government anti-poverty programs that have grown to meet the needs of recession victims now serve a record one in six Americans and are continuing to expand.”
The food stamp program has proven to be the most effective in helping Americans in time of need, more than traditional Welfare, which has only expanded by 18 percent. Medicaid, an insurance program for the poor, increased 17 percent and unemployment insurance has also expanded to cover 10 million people.
The following quotes from USA Today’s piece reveals the stark divide between conservatives and liberals, regarding entitlement programs. Conservatives believe the poor should not be receiving government assistance, but instead should turn to private charity. Democrats believe, one of the richest countries in the world should not allow its citizens to starve on the streets, without a proper federal safety net.
“Conservatives fear expanded safety-net programs won’t contract after the economy recovers. “They’re much harder to unwind in the long term,” says Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.”
“Other anti-poverty experts say the record caseloads are a necessary response to economic hardship. “We should be there to support people when the economy can’t,” says LaDonna Pavetti of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank.”
Conservatives are vehemently opposed to any expansion of federal government programs, even during one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression.