by J. D. Heyes
If you’re one of the nation’s dwindling number of taxpayers, you’re probably not going to care much for this story. But you need to read it anyway, because hopefully it will spur you to jump head-first into the political process (if you’re not involved already) and demand some answers (and, more importantly, a solution) from those responsible.
Most Americans are charitable but at the same time, we hate being taken for suckers. That’s what makes the U.S. Welfare State so controversial; on the one hand, we want to help when those of us stricken with a bout of misfortune need a temporary helping hand to get back on their feet. The key words, however, are temporary and need – concepts which are being redefined on purpose to expand the Welfare State, and for purely diabolically political purposes.
To wit: New government data indicates that the number of Americans now receiving taxpayer-subsidized food assistance has grown to 101 million, which is roughly one-in-three of us (the current U.S. population estimate just over 316 million).
One-in-three on some form of food assistance – are you proud, America?
That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the so-called “food stamp” program – a combination of 15 food programs offered by the agency, which cost taxpayers a staggering $114 billion in 2012.
As noted by CNSNews.com, the number of folks getting food assistance is higher than the number of full-time private-sector employees in the country (the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that number to be around 97.1 million).
Of that 101 million figure, 47 million were participating in SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – the old “food stamps” program (nowadays recipients are issued a debit card with a pre-set amount rather than a food stamp booklet, so recipients don’t have to deal with the “stigma” of receiving assistance).
According to CNSNews.com the USDA says the number of Americans on food stamps is a “historically high figure that has risen with the economic downturn.”
And that’s been the standard line: Nothing to see here, we are told, because the dramatic rise in food stamp rolls is due to the recessed economy.
But wait – hasn’t President Obama and the bulk of the mainstream media gone on record for claiming the economy is much improved? How can we have an improving economy and have more Americans than ever on food assistance?
The reality is the economy is not all that great, but still, at less than 8 percent unemployment, is it really bad enough that one-in-three Americans need food assistance?
‘Hope and change’ – no hope, all change
“The financial crisis is over and the recession ended in 2009. But one of the federal government’s biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn’t shrinking back alongside the recovery,” The Wall Street Journal reported in March.
“The biggest factor behind the upward march of food stamps is a sluggish job market and a rising poverty rate. At the same time, many states have pushed to get more people to apply for SNAP, a program where the federal government picks up the tab,” the paper noted. “But there is another driver, which has its origins in President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare overhaul. In recent years, the law has enabled states to ease asset and income tests for would-be participants, with the encouragement of the Obama administration, allowing into the program people with relatively higher incomes as well as savings.”
Welcome to Obama’s America, where poverty programs designed to provide assistance to the downtrodden while encouraging them to become self-sufficient have been transformed into voter-creation and savings programs – all at the expense of the taxpayer.
If you’re one of those taxpayers this should bother you – a lot. Tens of millions of Americans are now subsisting on your hard work, when in fact they could have been – indeed, should have been – subsisting on their own.
Obama once pledged to “fundamentally transform” our country. With congressional assistance and the massive Administrative State, he’s doing just that. What those who fell for the “hope and change” message of Obama, circa 2008, never bothered to ask was, “Change from what, to what?”
We’re finding out now, aren’t we?
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