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Elections, Politics

Four Years Later: More Food Stamps, More Poverty, Fewer Jobs

Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm   /   by

Editors’ note: Apropos of two earlier posts, here and here . . .

Release from Mitt Romney:

“President Obama’s economic plan is clear: more redistribution, more food stamps and greater dependency on government. After nearly four years, it’s clear the President’s plan hasn’t worked – middle-class families are left with fewer jobs, lower incomes, and record poverty.  Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will unleash the private sector and expand prosperity for all Americans – not redistribute it – by creating 12 million new jobs and higher take-home pay for American workers.” – Amanda Henneberg, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

In 1998, Barack Obama Claimed Government Should “Facilitate Some Redistribution” Because He Believed “In Redistribution”:

Barack Obama Said Government Should “Facilitate Some Redistribution” Because He Believed “In Redistribution.” OBAMA: “What that means then is that as we try to resuscitate this notion that we’re all in this thing together, leave nobody behind, we do have to be innovative and thinking what are the delivery systems that are actually effective and meet people where they live. And my suggestion, I guess would be that the trick, and this is one of the few areas where I think there are technical issues that have to be dealt with as opposed to just political issues. I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure everybody’s got a shot.” (Barack Obama, Remarks, Chicago, IL, 10/19/98)

And What About The Obama Administration? They Claim More Food Stamps Will Result In More Jobs:

Secretary Of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, On Food Stamps: “It’s Putting People To Work … It’s The Most Direct Stimulus You Can Get In The Economy During These Tough Times.” VILSACK: “Well, obviously, it’s putting people to work, which is why we’re going to propose some interesting things during the course of the forum this morning. … But I should point out that when you talk about the snap program or the food stamp program, you have to recognize that it’s also an economic stimulus. Every dollar of snap benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, then someone has to stock it, shelve it, process it, package it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It’s the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 8/16/11)

Congressional Research Service Report: The Number Of Adults On Food Stamps Doubled From 2008 To 2010. “President Obama suspended that rule when he signed his economic stimulus legislation into law, and the number of these adults on food stamps doubled, from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010, according to the CRS report, issued in the form of a memo to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.” (Philip Klein, “CRS Report: Number Of Able-Bodied Adults On Food Stamps Doubled After Obama Suspended Work Requirement,” The Washington Examiner, 9/19/12)

  • “A Record 46.7 Million Americans Received Food Stamps In June…” “A record 46.7 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 0.4 percent from the previous month, the government said. Participation was 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier and has remained higher than 46 million all year as the unemployment rate has stagnated just above 8 percent. New jobless numbers will be released Sept. 7.” (Alan Bjera, “Food-Stamp Use Climbed To Record 46.7 Million In June, U.S. Says,” Bloomberg, 9/4/12)

The Results Of The Obama Economy Are Clear – Fewer Jobs, Higher Poverty, And A Shrinking Middle Class:

More Than Twenty-Three Million Americans Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics,, 9/10/12)

Since President Obama Took Office, The U.S. Economy Has Lost 261,000 Jobs. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/7/12)

  • The Latest Jobs Report Showed The “Economy Slogged Along For The 43rd Month In A Row With Joblessness Above 8 Percent.” “American employers added 96,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent as the economy slogged along for the 43rd month in a row with joblessness above 8 percent.” (Susanna Kim, “August Jobs Report: Unemployment Falls To 8.1 Percent,” ABC News, 9/7/12)

Lower-Paying Jobs Account For Nearly 60% Of The Jobs Added Since The Recession Ended In 2009. “Lower-paying jobs, with median hourly wages from $7.69 to $13.83, accounted for just 21% of the job losses during the recession. But they’ve made up about 58% of the job growth from the end of the recession in late 2009 through early 2012.” (Jim Puzzanghera, “Majority Of New Jobs In Recovery Are Low-Paying, Study Finds,” Los Angeles Times, 8/31/12)

Since President Obama Took Office, Median Household Income Has Declined By Over $4,000. “In January 2009, the month President Obama entered the Oval Office and shortly before he signed his stimulus spending bill, median household income was $54,983. By June 2012, it had tumbled to $50,964, adjusted for inflation. (See the chart nearby.)  That’s $4,019 in lost real income, a little less than a month’s income every year.” (Editorial, “Negative $4,019,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/24/12)

In 2011, 46.2 Million People Lived In Poverty – Nearly One In Six Americans. “About 46.2 million people, or nearly 1 in 6, were in poverty. That is not statistically different from the 15.1 percent who were impoverished in 2010.” (“Census Bureau: Poverty Rate Remains At 15 Percent,” The Associated Press, 9/12/12)

“The Gap Between Rich And Poor Americans Grew In 2011 As The Poverty Rate Remained At Almost A Two-Decade High.” “The gap between rich and poor Americans grew in 2011 as the poverty rate remained at almost a two-decade high. The U.S. Census Bureau released figures today that showed household income fell, underscoring a sputtering economic recovery that’s at the heart of the presidential campaign.” (Catherine Dodge and Frank Bass, “Rich-Poor Gap Widens To Most Since 1967 As Income Falls,” Bloomberg, 9/12/12)

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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Four Years Later: More Food Stamps, More Poverty, Fewer Jobs