The topic of food assistance certainly wasn’t discussed at length in the 2012 presidential campaign. Obama must have known about it and ignored it – as he ignored many other things. If Romney was aware of it or had a solution or a plan of attack or was really interested in the contest, he didn’t pursue it.
That was back in 2008, and now we are in 2013 – and things are getting worse. An astonishing figure was released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Roughly one-third of Americans receive subsidized food assistance from the government. Of the 316 million people living in the United States, more than 101 million Americans currently utilize at least one of 15 federal food programs.
The numbers and cost are staggering. These aren’t just numbers – these are Americans – and illegals, too, of course.
These programs cost American taxpayers over $114 billion in 2012 alone. The 101 million on these programs outstrips the total number of people employed in the country’s private sector.
How long can that be sustained for? It sertainly isn’t being paid for, except with money-printing.
Approximately 97 million people were employed full-time in the private sector in 2012, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The food stamp program is the single largest federally funded food assistance program. It helps feed a 2012 record of 46.7 million participants. That in turn costs the federal government and taxpayers $88.6 billion. While the number of people on these programs is increasing, the number of people paying tax is going in the opposite direction.
The second most expensive food program is the National School Lunch program feeding 32 million students with low-cost or no-cost meals daily, as of 2012.
A recent audit by the Inspector General’s Office showed many programs can be overlapped with some families and individuals utilizing multiple programs that can often provide 100 percent of daily nutritional requirements.
The clear question that should be asked in Congress is this: If the economy is doing much better, as the White House claims, and unemployment is coming down, why are these dubious records being achieved feeding our citizens?
This is a very simple question that does not require a long-winded answer from the president or his aides.
It does, however, require an answer. What do you think?