Originally published September 21 2014
Over 46 million Americans now on food stamps as nation descends into poverty
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Backers of the current administration hate to acknowledge something that they willingly believed about the previous administration: That he who sits in the White House owns the economy.
When Sen. Barack Obama was running for his first presidential term in 2007-2008, he and fellow Democrats incessantly blamed then-President George W. Bush for the then-budding economic crisis, an accusation that, nearly six years later, is finally fading but still believed by millions of Americans.
In order to deflect blame for any economic bad news in the years since Obama has been in the White House, his team devised a strategy that went something like this: "You know, the president (Obama) inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, so how can he be expected to turn it around so quickly?"
Okay, well, Obama ran for the presidency because he wanted to be president; no one forced him to do so. Secondly, how many years does the man get to "turn around" the economy? Bush was blamed for the near-collapse of the economy during his last year in office, and for policies that were enacted by the previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton.
The stats are abysmal - still
In any event, six years into Obama's tenure, it is ludicrous to continue blaming George Bush for the economy. The numbers are terrible, and they are as much a reflection of Obama's failure to push for pro-growth economic policies as Congress' inability to pass pro-growth legislation.
Since Obama has been in office, for instance, poverty has skyrocketed, as reflected in the numbers of Americans now receiving taxpayer-provided assistance. As reported by CNS News, the number of people on food-stamp assistance has risen to a record 49.5 million, or about one in six, "which is enough to fill the Yankee Stadium 925 times."
The news site further reported:
Yankee Stadium is equipped to hold 50,291 persons, meaning that the 46,496,145 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in June 2014 could fill the stadium 925 times. The number of recipients was up 270,999 since the previous month in May 2014 when there were 46,225,146 individuals participating in the program.
In addition, the number of households that are participating in the SNAP program has grown as well, from about 22.5 million in May of this year to more than 22.7 million in June, an increase of more than 123,500.
Participation in the program peaked for individuals in December 2012, CNSNews.com reported, when more than 47.7 million people were receiving benefits. Since then, individual participation has declined by about 1.3 million people.
According to the website for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which managed SNAP and other food-related welfare programs, participation has increased 7.6 percent since 2010, or about 3.3 million people.
Still Bush's fault?
Other Obama-era economic figures include:
-- Unemployment: In November 2007, before the Great Recession was in full swing, the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 4.7 percent, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. A year later, the rate stood at 6.8 percent; during the height of the economic crisis, the rate grew to 10 percent, the highest in a generation. In August, the rate had fallen to 6.1 percent -- a rate touted by the administration as a major sign that the president's economic policies are working.
While there is some hiring, a number of economists have noted that a major contributor to the declining unemployment rate is that labor-force participation is at an all-time low; in other words, the rate is falling because Americans by the millions have left the work force (now making a "living" on government assistance, as evidenced by the rising participation rates discussed above). Labor participation earlier this year fell to 62.8 percent, from 65.7 percent.
-- Income levels: Since 2008, median household incomes have fallen from $55,900 to $52,100 in January of this year.
Are these figures still Bush's fault? Or should they be owned by the Obama Administration, since the president has had six years to deal with the crisis -- and considering tht the administration said the current economic recovery began four years ago?
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