Irony Abounds As Food Stamps Abound

There was an e-mail going around in March 2012 (and still going around):

Subject: Irony
The SNAP/Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed The Animals."&nsbp;&nsbp;This is because the animals may grow dependent on handouts and not learn to take care of themselves.
Thus endeth today's lesson.

Hualapai, at that bastion of objectivity, The Daily Kos, responded:

I don't see the irony.
Recession has caused that "The SNAP/Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is ... distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever."&nsbp;&nsbp;Providing much needed relief to those hit hardest by these tough economic times.

What is most ironic is that Hualapai's profile says, "We need to be aware that actions most often have unintended consequences ...[.]"&nsbp;&nsbp;So let's take the "unintended consequences" statement as a starting point to help Halaupai see the irony.&nsbp;&nsbp;Let's fast-forward to the present.

Here are some facts about SNAP (food stamps):

Fiscal Year

Total Participants

Percent Participation

Total Benefits ($billions)

Total Cost ($billions)

2008

28,223,000

11

34.608

37.642

2012

46,609,000

19

74.619

78.438

2013

47,636,000

20

76.067

79.641

Sources:

1

2


  • SNAP grew by 36.8%, from $58,223,790,000 in FY 2009 to $79,641,880,000 in FY 2013.
  • The FY 2013 total cost is a 211.6 percent increase over the FY 2008 total cost.
  • Enrollment in the food stamp program has increased by 70 percent since Obama took office.
  • Federal laws passed under Obama are actually driving the SNAP enrollment rate higher by allowing those with higher incomes to get food stamps -- the "logic" is that helping people before they reach a financial crisis will actually stimulate the economy.

It is this last point that brings us to the most appalling and unintended consequences point of the current situation: participation of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) has risen at a rate faster than the total number of SNAP participants.&nsbp;&nsbp;"While overall food stamp use grew by 53 percent between Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal Year 2010 (from about 26 million to nearly 40 million), it more than doubled among able-bodied adults without dependents during this time -- from 1.7 million to 3.9 million -- an increase of roughly 127 percent."&nsbp;&nsbp;ABAWDs can receive food stamps for an unlimited amount of time without working or preparing for work.

Unintended consequences and irony, indeed.

The Obama government said that tough economic times, aka the recession, ended in 2009.&nsbp;&nsbp;Enrollment in the food stamp program should drop, as would be expected.&nsbp;&nsbp;But it didn't!&nsbp;&nsbp;And the future isn't looking any better.&nsbp;&nsbp;Cheryl K. Chumley, in The Washington Times, said, "The news for the future is more of the same.&nsbp;&nsbp;Economists predict that food stamp enrollment will continue to rise in the coming year."

And here are more unintended consequences and irony.&nsbp;&nsbp;As if the present situation isn't bad enough, this revelation portends to make it worse.&nsbp;&nsbp;ObamaCare could lead to more people enrolling in federal assistance programs such as food stamps.&nsbp;&nsbp;A staff member of the Senate Budget Committee explained:

Many states use an online system to streamline the enrollment process for low-income assistance programs.&nsbp;&nsbp;After entering some information about your family structure and financial resources, these systems guide individuals through an application for a series of programs, Medicaid and [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps] included.&nsbp;&nsbp;Once people learn they are eligible for a program, they are more likely to enroll.

Obama is aware that the ACA (his signature law) could lead to more food stamp participation.&nsbp;&nsbp;Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) says, "ACA could potentially have a profound impact on SNAP participation among [nondisabled adults aged 19 to 64] in many ways."

As Rachel Sheffield says, "[s]elf-sufficiency for able-bodied adults should be the goal of any sound welfare policy. Unfortunately, most of the government's 80-plus welfare programs -- including food stamps - aren't focused in this direction. Helping those in need means helping them rise above government dependence. Unfortunately, self-sufficiency seems to be kicked to the bottom of the list all too often when it comes to reforming the nation's broken welfare system."

I think this political cartoon by Chuck Asay sums up the situation.&nsbp;&nsbp;And he drew it in 1994!

Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University.&nsbp;&nsbp;He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making.&nsbp;&nsbp;He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired.&nsbp;&nsbp;Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years.&nsbp;&nsbp;He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.

There was an e-mail going around in March 2012 (and still going around):

Subject: Irony
The SNAP/Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed The Animals."&nsbp;&nsbp;This is because the animals may grow dependent on handouts and not learn to take care of themselves.
Thus endeth today's lesson.

Hualapai, at that bastion of objectivity, The Daily Kos, responded:

I don't see the irony.
Recession has caused that "The SNAP/Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is ... distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever."&nsbp;&nsbp;Providing much needed relief to those hit hardest by these tough economic times.

What is most ironic is that Hualapai's profile says, "We need to be aware that actions most often have unintended consequences ...[.]"&nsbp;&nsbp;So let's take the "unintended consequences" statement as a starting point to help Halaupai see the irony.&nsbp;&nsbp;Let's fast-forward to the present.

Here are some facts about SNAP (food stamps):

Fiscal Year

Total Participants

Percent Participation

Total Benefits ($billions)

Total Cost ($billions)

2008

28,223,000

11

34.608

37.642

2012

46,609,000

19

74.619

78.438

2013

47,636,000

20

76.067

79.641

Sources:

1

2


  • SNAP grew by 36.8%, from $58,223,790,000 in FY 2009 to $79,641,880,000 in FY 2013.
  • The FY 2013 total cost is a 211.6 percent increase over the FY 2008 total cost.
  • Enrollment in the food stamp program has increased by 70 percent since Obama took office.
  • Federal laws passed under Obama are actually driving the SNAP enrollment rate higher by allowing those with higher incomes to get food stamps -- the "logic" is that helping people before they reach a financial crisis will actually stimulate the economy.

It is this last point that brings us to the most appalling and unintended consequences point of the current situation: participation of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) has risen at a rate faster than the total number of SNAP participants.&nsbp;&nsbp;"While overall food stamp use grew by 53 percent between Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal Year 2010 (from about 26 million to nearly 40 million), it more than doubled among able-bodied adults without dependents during this time -- from 1.7 million to 3.9 million -- an increase of roughly 127 percent."&nsbp;&nsbp;ABAWDs can receive food stamps for an unlimited amount of time without working or preparing for work.

Unintended consequences and irony, indeed.

The Obama government said that tough economic times, aka the recession, ended in 2009.&nsbp;&nsbp;Enrollment in the food stamp program should drop, as would be expected.&nsbp;&nsbp;But it didn't!&nsbp;&nsbp;And the future isn't looking any better.&nsbp;&nsbp;Cheryl K. Chumley, in The Washington Times, said, "The news for the future is more of the same.&nsbp;&nsbp;Economists predict that food stamp enrollment will continue to rise in the coming year."

And here are more unintended consequences and irony.&nsbp;&nsbp;As if the present situation isn't bad enough, this revelation portends to make it worse.&nsbp;&nsbp;ObamaCare could lead to more people enrolling in federal assistance programs such as food stamps.&nsbp;&nsbp;A staff member of the Senate Budget Committee explained:

Many states use an online system to streamline the enrollment process for low-income assistance programs.&nsbp;&nsbp;After entering some information about your family structure and financial resources, these systems guide individuals through an application for a series of programs, Medicaid and [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps] included.&nsbp;&nsbp;Once people learn they are eligible for a program, they are more likely to enroll.

Obama is aware that the ACA (his signature law) could lead to more food stamp participation.&nsbp;&nsbp;Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) says, "ACA could potentially have a profound impact on SNAP participation among [nondisabled adults aged 19 to 64] in many ways."

As Rachel Sheffield says, "[s]elf-sufficiency for able-bodied adults should be the goal of any sound welfare policy. Unfortunately, most of the government's 80-plus welfare programs -- including food stamps - aren't focused in this direction. Helping those in need means helping them rise above government dependence. Unfortunately, self-sufficiency seems to be kicked to the bottom of the list all too often when it comes to reforming the nation's broken welfare system."

I think this political cartoon by Chuck Asay sums up the situation.&nsbp;&nsbp;And he drew it in 1994!

Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University.&nsbp;&nsbp;He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making.&nsbp;&nsbp;He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired.&nsbp;&nsbp;Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years.&nsbp;&nsbp;He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.

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