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The PJ Tatler

Rick Moran


January 26, 2014 - 3:58 pm

It used to be thought that food stamps was a program for single mothers with children and the elderly. No more. With the economy in the 5th year of “recovery,” working-age Americans now make up a majority of recipients.


In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in U.S. households that rely on food stamps — a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.

Some of the change is due to demographics, such as the trend toward having fewer children. But a slow economic recovery with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs also plays a big role. It suggests that government spending on the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program — twice what it cost five years ago — may not subside significantly anytime soon.

Food stamp participation since 1980 has grown the fastest among workers with some college training, a sign that the safety net has stretched further to cover America’s former middle class, according to an analysis of government data for The Associated Press by economists at the University of Kentucky. Formally called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP, the program now covers 1 in 7 Americans.

The findings coincide with the latest economic data showing workers’ wages and salaries growing at the lowest rate relative to corporate profits in U.S. history.

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night is expected to focus in part on reducing income inequality, such as by raising the federal minimum wage. Congress, meanwhile, is debating cuts to food stamps, with Republicans including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., wanting a $4 billion-a-year reduction to an anti-poverty program that they say promotes dependency and abuse.

Economists say having a job may no longer be enough for self-sufficiency in today’s economy.

“A low-wage job supplemented with food stamps is becoming more common for the working poor,” said Timothy Smeeding, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in income inequality. “Many of the U.S. jobs now being created are low- or minimum-wage — part-time or in areas such as retail or fast food — which means food stamp use will stay high for some time, even after unemployment improves.”

Getting rid of Democratic control of Congress and the White House alone is not going to solve this problem. Easing regulations and removing impediments to business creation would also be helpful, but wouldn’t lead to a general restoration of the Middle Class. There needs to be a psychological change — something or somebody to restore our confidence and optimism.

The decline is real but not irreversible. With no faith in our leaders, and little hope that either party can bring us back, whatever American revival occurs will have to come from the bottom up. Your home, your neighborhood, your community — that’s where it has to happen.

We’ve done it before. No reason not to believe we can do it again.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Once you have exhausted all the possible reasons for why something is happening, you have to start considering the heretofore impossible. For five years, the economic landscape has been one of stagnation, of dwindling labor participation, and of growing food stamp use. Uncomfortable as it may seem, it is long past time to consider that the Obama folks, and no small number of Repubs in Congress, see this as a feature rather than a bug.

The more reliant you become on govt, the less concerned or attentive you are to the negative effects of growing govt power - the loss of individual liberties, the new rules and regs to be followed, the second order effects that should be foreseeable but are ignored in pursuit of immediate relief. When govt talks of income inequality, ask what the opposite of that is. The only answer is income Equality. Never has equality been reached by raising the bottom; it has always been attained by working toward the lowest common denominator.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
we are not only using these programs to encourage illegals, and we allow a huge influx of legals who also use them, and no one mentions how many REFUGEES we are stuffing into our programs- guess what? USA has given up the right to even decide which ones to take in- YES!! we have CEDED that power to the UN- the corrupt, USA hater UN.
The lib dogooder Catholics do not spend the Vatican money - they spend YOUR Money on them- pocketing the profits- the DEM sponsors of this ripoff program are NIMBY's- they will happily destroy your town with influx of violent , poverty, uncultured, uneducated, gang banging heathens from Africa- but never put them in their own towns (gotta get re-elected---- every time R capitulate to demand for more "immigration" - NO ONE EVER mentions these "resettlement programs"

16. Refugees, successful asylum seekers, trafficking victim visa holders, “Cuban-Haitian Entrants” (which are mostly Cuban), S.I.V’s (for Iraqis and Afghanis) and other smaller humanitarian admission groups are eligible for ALL federal, state and local welfare programs 30 days after arrival.

Refugee access to welfare on the same basis as a U.S. citizen has made the program a global magnet.

The federal programs available to them include:

∙ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) formerly known as AFDC
∙ Medicaid
∙ Food Stamps
∙ Public Housing
∙ Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
∙ Social Security Disability Insurance
∙ Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) (direct services only)
∙ Child Care and Development Fund
∙ Independent Living Program
∙ Job Opportunities for Low Income Individuals (JOLI)
∙ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
∙ Postsecondary Education Loans and Grants
∙ Refugee Assistance Programs
∙ Title IV Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Payments (if parents are ⌠qualified immigrants – refugees, asylees, etc)
∙ Title XX Social Services Block Grant Funds

17. Welfare use is staggering among refugees. Welfare usage is never counted by officials as part of the cost of the program. Yet, when it is included, the total cost of the refugee program soars to at least 10-20 billion a year.

As some Americans are pushed off of time-limited welfare programs many refugees are going on to life-time cash assistance programs. For instance, 12.7% of refugees are on SSI – a lifetime entitlement to a monthly check / Medicaid for elderly or disabled. This rate of usage is at least 4 times higher than the rate of usage for SSI among the native-born population and is reportedly rising from these already very high levels.

Permanent and intergenerational welfare dependence has been allowed to take hold to a significant degree in some refugee groups.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Welfare is out of control as evidenced in this:

But the opposite end the welfare spectrum needs a light shined on it as well and as often, which is not happening.

Large and connected companies hire lobbyists and accountants who manipulate the tax code to get their lopsided advantage that smaller competitors cannot do. This hurts everyone. Fewer competitors mean less jobs and higher prices.

They also hire lobbyists to lobby congressman to write bills and programs which funnel tax dollars on a massive scale (corporate welfare) to these connected companies. This again hurts everyone by these connected few having an unfair advantage over competitors, which means higher prices and fewer jobs.

You could even say that corporate welfare is worse than personal welfare because it makes it so more people are out of jobs that might wind up on welfare.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
A psychological change? Really? Certainly not among the average American.

The only psychological change is corporations being willing to make less profits and pay their workers enough to live without government aid.

CEOs and board members have to realize that the goal of a company is to survive long term (which includes taking care all its employees), not pay its upper management as much as possible.

And the whole stock market has to change. There's so much focus on short term profit. Stock investors these days are basically leeches, taking money from people who actually do the work.

Sure, the people who provided the capital that originally started the money should be rewarded. But why should someone who bought the stock 50-th hand years later?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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