The latest publicly-financed campaign to boost the food-stamp rolls—officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP—was announced this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that administers it. The USDA is dedicating $5 million this year to “improve access to and increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” The money will go to state and local governments as well as “private non-profit organizations” so they can develop projects that “simplify SNAP application and eligibility systems.” Officially, the USDA is referring to the multi million-dollar plan as “process improvement efforts” that can simplify the application process and raise the amount of beneficiaries from the current 44 million who already get the handouts. Those who may oppose this sort of government expenditure amid a record $14 trillion deficit should first consider the words of Obama’s Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack. He claims that increasing the number of food-stamp recipients actually helps the economy, strengthens communities and creates jobs. The USDA even cites some unknown “research” that shows every $5 in new food-stamp benefits actually generates as much as $9 in economic activity. The source of the research was not cited in the USDA press release announcing the $5 million investment to expand the program.
I'd like to actually see that research, Tom.