Seven Reasons to Reform Food Stamps
Food stamps like all of government, has been abused and forgets the true intent as a hand up.
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Food stamps were a popular topic of conversation last month as Congress debated the farm bill. This decades-old Great Society program is in much need of reform for at least seven reasons:
- Food stamp spending has surged. Costs have been climbing since the program began in the 1960s, recession or not. Over roughly the past decade, food stamp spending jumped from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $84.6 billion in 2011.
- Food stamp rolls have also been climbing for decades, regardless of the economic situation. Today, food stamp use is at an all-time high, with the most recent data showing that about one in seven people participate in the program. This is a 140 percent increase since 1990.
- Government has vastly expanded food stamp eligibility. “Broad-based categorical eligibility,” put in place under the Clinton Administration and heavily pushed by the Obama Administration, loosens income and asset limits. That the number of households receiving food stamps has increased faster than households near the poverty line indicates that changes in food stamp policy helped boost the rolls.