Food Stamp Costs Up 70%, GOP Blames Expanded Criteria [The War on Welfare]
As we reported earlier, food stamp costs are on the rise across America, to the tune of a stunning 70% more now than they cost in 2007.
When it comes to topics, food stamp costs are one we know to be a hot-button issue. Commenters come out in force to opine, and we’d guess it’s two to one critical of food stamp use versus concessions that the economy is still really rough right now and lots of American families struggle to get by on wages that have been hollowed out in the wake of historic corporate profits. Ahem.
The latest furor over food stamp costs comes out of the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO. The agency has released a report (in the same week a measure to tax the very wealthy at the same rates as the very poor was rejected in the Senate) examining food stamp costs relative to previous expenditures in the area, discovering that food stamp use rose since pre-meltdown years.
Well, duh. When the house of cards that was our last bubble finally imploded, a whole heck of a lot of jobs went with it, never to return. But do Republicans blame the fact that we’ve been in a “jobless recovery” for years with skyrocketing gas and food prices for the rise in food stamp costs?
Ha. The Daily Caller, a right-wing blog, quotes one unnamed GOP Senate aide in DC, who points to the debt we ran up playing Cowboys and Indians over the past decade and bailing out big banks on their gambling debts as a reason little kids should go hungry:
“CBO always assumes the dollar amount will drop as the economy improves. That is not necessarily true… [W]ith his stimulus, President Obama significantly increased the size of the benefit. And despite the fact that the recession has been over for more than two years, that increased benefit won’t expire until the end of 2013. How is that justifiable when we have a $15 trillion national debt?”
The post notes that Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions blames- instead, again, of greed- “categorical eligibility” that enables people to qualify for food stamps more easily. Sessions introduced legislation to end such measures, ostensibly creating more hoops for the poor to jump through while attempting to hold down one or more jobs and feed a family.
Do you think rising food stamp costs are the inevitable result of long-term high unemployment?