Originally published January 24 2015
Nearly 50 million Americans now on food stamps as middle class plummets into poverty
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Fifty years after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "war on poverty," and five years after President Obama's administration declared the "Great Recession" over, a record number of Americans remain on taxpayer-supported federal and state assistance programs.
According to the most recent government figures, as reported by CNSNews.com, more than 46 million Americans are not only currently receiving some level of food stamp assistance but have been receiving that assistance for more than three years straight.
The news website further elaborated:
The number of beneficiaries on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)--AKA food stamps--has topped 46,000,000 for 38th straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In October 2014, the latest month reported, there were 46,674,364 Americans on food stamps. Food stamp recipients have exceeded 46 million since September 2011.
Millions more being added to the dole
The number of people receiving food stamps in October represented an increase of 214,434, up from 46,459,930 in September.
As of July, the website noted, the national population, according to Census Bureau estimates, was 318,857,056; so the 46,674,364 represented 14.6 percent of the population.
"The number of households on food stamps increased from 22,749,951 in September to 22,867,248 in October, an increase of 117,297," CNSNews.com reported.
By September, the Census Bureau data indicated that there were 115,831,000 households in the country. So, that means the 22,867,248 households on food stamp assistance in October was equal to 19.7 percent of the nation's total.
"The 46,674,364 people on food stamps in the United States also exceeded the total populations of Columbia (46,245,297), Kenya (46,245,297), Ukraine (44,291,413) and Argentina (43,024,374)," said CNSNews.com, while that figure was slightly less than the population of Spain, at 47,737,941.
On average, food stamp households received $261.44 in assistance during the month of October; total benefits paid out by the Department of Agriculture cost taxpayers more than $5.9 billion
In 1969, just four years after the food stamp program was initiated via "war on poverty" legislation that created the program (along with Medicaid), there were fewer than 2.9 million Americans receiving food assistance. By 2014 the numbers had grown by nearly 1,517 percent.
Additional -- and new -- federal benefits and entitlement programs were expected to increase participation in SNAP and other food assistance programs. In November 2013, The Daily Caller reported:
Obamacare could lead more people enrolling in assistance programs, like food stamps, cash assistance and childcare.
Obamacare's individual mandate -- which compels more people to seek out health insurance -- paired with the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare has created a perfect storm for an increase in low-income assistance program participation, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions' Senate Budget Committee staff explained to The Daily Caller this week.
Obamacare will also expand other entitlement and benefit programs paid for by taxpayers
"Many states use an online system to streamline the enrollment process for low-income assistance programs. 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," said the staffers.
Indeed, once more Americans learned they qualified for Obamacare's (taxpayer-supported) financial assistance, Medicaid numbers skyrocketed. Researchers with the Heritage Foundation said in an October 2014 study that the bulk of Obamacare enrollment increases were in the Medicaid program.
"Health insurance enrollment data show that the number of Americans with private health insurance coverage increased by a bit less than 2.5 million in the first half of 2014. While enrollment in individual market coverage grew by almost 6.3 million, 61 percent of that gain was offset by a reduction of nearly 3.8 million individuals with employer-sponsored coverage," said an abstract of the study. "During the same period, Medicaid enrollment increased by almost 6.1 million--principally as a result of Obamacare expanding eligibility to able-bodied, working-age adults."
In sum, the report noted, 71 percent of the total increase in health insurance coverage during the first half of last year was attributable to Obamacare Medicaid expansion in 25 states and Washington, D.C.
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