The United States Agriculture Department is running ads not only playing up why people should sign up for food stamps, but is rewarding states big time money, if they sign up more people to the program. Here are some eye-opening numbers about the program, as reported in a Wall St. Journal editorial..
- 44.7 million people received food stamps in 2011, up from 28.2 million, when President Obama took office
- 1 in 7 Americans now qualify for food stamps
- The USDA is running TV ads urging people to get free food
- The USA spends $770 billion annually on the food stamp program
- A federal website boasts how its strategies are getting more people onto food stamps; among the strategies is to tell people food stamps help you lose weight
- 39 states do not have a real means test for food stamps eligibility
- The federal government will reward states up to $500 million, if they sign up more people for food stamps
- Some states will mail heating subsidy checks of as small as $1 so families will qualify for benefits of $130 per month
- When the program started in the 1970s, 1 in 50 Americans was eligible for food stamps
This week, when the U.S. Senate voted to curtail some of the above it was voted down 56-43, with every Democrat, except Missouri’s Claire McCaskill voting against reform. New England Republicans Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Susan Collins and Olympia Snow of Maine also opposed reform.