Recently in an interview with MSNBC, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, announced that more people are using food stamps in the U.S. than ever before. He attributed this success to the administration's efforts to "get the word out." How nice, Obama's plan for the overall economic health of the nation is to hand out more food stamps? Certainly not, right? Not so fast. The Secretary and former Governor of Iowa, goes on to call the food stamp program the most "direct stimulus" maybe even more stimulative than unemployment benefits. Is this really something we should be celebrating? We think not.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as it is called now certainly serves its purpose which when created some 72 years ago was meant to curb the hunger woes facing the U.S. during the recovery of the Great Depression. When it first started in 1939 as many as 20 million people in the U.S. used the program to the tune of $262 million. The program has grown to serve nearly 46 million people in the U.S. at a cost of nearly $6 billion at last count.
In May, Republican Presidential candidate and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich came under fire for what was widely quoted as his naming President Obama as the "food stamp President" on NBC's "Meet the Press." Gingrich was criticiszed for suggesting that Obama's overall plan for our economy was the people should just sign up for food stamps, asking if we want to be in a country that creates food stamps as opposed to paychecks. While somewhat crass is this not the same question we should be asking ourselves as we prepare for the upcoming elections? We think it should. Afterall what was wrong with that statement of reasonable opinion? Indeed a blogger on the Huffington Post blogged the same sentiments by claiming Obama's plan for job creation is to hand out food stamps.
It is these exact Keynesian theories that has us trapped in this quagmire of flat GDP growth which leads to further unemployment and thus more users of food stamps, clearly not rocket science. Obviously Vilsack drinks the same tainted Kool-Aid that Obama drinks thinking these things actually work. Only inside the Beltway or between the ears of elitist liberal theorists can the touting of programs such as these solve our economic woes. We should be working to find ways to put more people back to work and get people off food stamps than "getting the word out" Mr. Secretary, we will all be better off.
God help us as we approach the 2012 elections.