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Two people enroll in food stamps for every one job created in Illinois


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(NaturalNews) The U.S. economy was a disaster when Barack Obama ascended to the White House in January 2009, a phenomenon that he and fellow Democrats repeatedly blamed on his predecessor, George W. Bush. The mainstream media willfully and relentless echoed that blame, a campaign that was so effective that, even today, millions of Americans are still blaming a poorly performing economy on a man who hasn't been in office for nearly six years (though the "Blame Bush" strategy is finally petering out).

And while Obama is still not getting the same kind of blame, or taking any responsibility for a still struggling economy, Americans all over the country are continuing to struggle to find work -- meaningful work at livable wages -- and nowhere is that more evident than in the president's home state of Illinois.

As reported by Breitbart News:

Among the many metrics that show Obama's home state is struggling to break the Great Recession, a new report shows that applications for food stamps in Illinois is greater than its creation of jobs.

'No, no, everything's fine - just a little more to do'

The news site further reported that Illinois -- a largely rural, agrarian state with one of the country's largest cities, Chicago -- has had the worst recovery from the recession (which the administration says officially began the year before Obama was elected) compared to any other state.

As Breitbart noted, the statistic came from the Illinois Policy Institute, which reported in September: "There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs."

"For every post-recession job created in Illinois, nearly two people have enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps," the Institute said. "In the recession era, the number of Illinoisans dependent on food stamps has risen by 745,000."

Illinois is about in the middle in terms of the percentage of its population that is enrolled in SNAP. But the Institute's report is in line with reports from 2013 that said the state was the only one to see a double-digit increase in SNAP sign-ups.

Indeed, Breitbart noted that Illinois is consistently in the lowest ranks of just about every metric that defines whether a state is successful and thriving or falling behind. Just recently, in fact, another report showed that Illinois had more home foreclosures than any other state, the news site reported, adding that, in July, it was also reported that the state had the worst private sector job creation of any state in the greater Midwest.

That didn't seem to matter much to incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who stands for reelection this year. He was recently quoted as saying, "Illinois' comeback is going strong and we've got more work to do."

That's political-speak for, "I can't acknowledge how bad things have become on my watch or I might lose the election."

Stock market is up but personal wealth and opportunity, not so much

In terms of wealth, the United States is certainly gaining; just take a look at the stock market's meteoric rise over the past few years. But has that translated into wealth and economic growth for the average person?

No, say analysts, it has not. As The Economist reported in late September:

Barack Obama's strenuous efforts to avoid being a war president have failed. But voters care more about the economy than the Middle East, and here Mr Obama has a good story to tell. The headline numbers are impressive: both output and employment have passed their pre-recession peaks and the unemployment rate, at 6.1%, has fallen far enough to inspire the Federal Reserve to debate, openly, when to raise interest rates. Though the latest jobs report was disappointing, private payrolls have grown by 10m in the past four and a half years, the longest uninterrupted streak in history.

However, the magazine went on to report, "Voters give Mr Obama little credit for America getting richer because, by and large, they haven't felt it." The middle class has been particularly hard hit, the magazine reported; the cost of basics like food, fuel and energy have soared, while wages have remained flat or have declined.

So, while Wall Street's corporations are doing well, that hasn't translated into more and better opportunities for Middle America -- in Illinois, especially, but throughout the country as well.

Sources:

http://www.breitbart.com

http://talkingpointsmemo.com

http://fivethirtyeight.com

http://www.epi.org

http://www.bizjournals.com

http://www.economist.com

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