A new record number of Americans on food stamps has been set once again, confirming yet again Newt Gingrichs admonition that the Democrats are the party of food stamps, while the Republicans are the party of paychecks.
The number of Americans receiving food stamps is now at a 27-year high of 42.9 million people, according to statistics released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
What this means is that approximately 14 percent, or one of every seven Americans, is now receiving food stamps.
Food Stamp Nation
In his column published by WND, Pat Buchanan called the United States a "Food Stamp Nation," pointing out that 1.7 million people in New York City, one in every five in the city, rely upon food stamps for daily sustenance.
"A less affluent America survived a Depression and a world war without anything like the 99 weeks of unemployment insurance, welfare payments, earned income tax credits, food stamps, rent supplements, day care, school lunches and Medicaid we have today," Buchanan wrote. "What we have accepted today is a vast permanent underclass of scores of millions who cannot cope and must be carried by the rest of society - fed, clothed, housed, tutored, medicated at taxpayers expense for their entire lives."
He noted that we have a new division in America, "those who pay a double fare, and those who forever ride free."
Still, with hunger, poverty homelessness on the rise, Red Alert is reminded once again just how unsuccessful social welfare programs are at providing a government-aid solution to an economic problem that truly can only be resolved with jobs.
Truthfully, the problems of hunger, poverty and homelessness in the United States are approaching Depression-era levels, whether the Obama administration wants to admit it or not.
Middle class on food stamps
To be eligible for food stamps, households must have less than $2,000 in countable savings, usually determined by examining any available bank accounts, and a collective household income no more than 30 percent above the federal poverty level. So, for a family of four to qualify for food stamps, monthly household income cannot exceed $2,297, to claim up to $668 a month in food stamps, up from the previous level of $588 before the passage of the Obama administrations $787 billion economic stimulus package.
In previous years, those receiving food stamps were the homeless, unmarried mothers with children and men with drug or alcohol problems.
Today, food-stamp recipients include millions that were just recently middle-class families with one or more wage earners.
Poverty rises to 43.6 million
Approximately one in eight Americans are also in poverty.
The Current Population Report on consumer income, titled "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009," released by the Census Bureau in September documented that the official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008.
This was the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004.
In 2009, 43.6 million people were in poverty, up from 39.8 percent in 2008, the third consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty.
The poverty rate and the number in poverty increased by 1.9 percentage points and 6.3 million people between 2007 and 2009, according to the Census Bureau report.
1 in 6 Americans now receive government aid
A surprising one in every six Americans are now receiving government anti-poverty aid of one kind or another.
The numbers include:
* 50 million Americans in Medicaid, the federal-state medical program aimed principally at the poor, up 17 percent since December 2007, the date many associate with the start of the current economic downturn;
* 43 million Americans currently receive food stamps, a 50 percent increase since December 2007;
* 10 million Americans receive unemployment insurance - nearly four times the number in December 2007;
* 4 million Americans are on welfare, an increase of 18 percent since December 2007.
There is overlap in these numbers, for instance, as a person receiving unemployment insurance may also receive food stamps.
With the burgeoning caseloads, the federal costs for administering anti-poverty programs have soared.
The federal price for Medicare has increased 36 percent in two years, to $273 billion; jobless benefits have soared to $160 billion; the cost of the food stamp program have risen 80 percent, to $70 billion; welfare costs are up 24 percent, to $22 billion.
The steady climb in "safety-net program caseloads and costs" are attributable to two factors: 1) the economic downturn has increased the number of people who qualify under existing rules; and 2) the Obama White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress have expanded eligibility and benefits.
The inevitable conclusion is that as unemployment remains in the 9.5-10 percent range, dependency on government is growing in what is rapidly becoming the reality of a European-style social welfare state in America.
Red Alert doubts the Obama administration can continue for long deficit spending in the magnitude required to maintain this expanding European-style social welfare state in America for long.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling books THE OBAMA NATION: LEFTIST POLITICS AND THE CULT OF PERSONALITY and the co-author of UNFIT FOR COMMAND: SWIFT BOAT VETERANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST JOHN KERRY. He is also the author of AMERICA FOR SALE, THE LATE GREAT U.S.A., and WHY ISRAEL CANT WAIT. Currently, Dr. Corsi is a Senior Managing Director in the Financial Services Group at Gilford Securities as well as a senior staff writer for WorldNetDaily.com.
The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect Gilford Securities Incorporateds views, opinions, positions or strategies. Gilford Securities Incorporated makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed herein and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.
ABOUT RED ALERT: Jerome Corsis RED ALERT is your weekly, global financial strategies newsletter. Designed to be your guide to economic trends in the best of times and the worst of times, it is edited by New York Times best-selling author Jerome Corsi, Senior Managing Director of the Financial Services Group at Gilford Securities as well as a WND senior staff writer and columnist. For 25 years, Corsi worked with banks throughout the U.S. and the world developing financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. Corsi developed three third-party financial services marketing firms that reached annual gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. Corsi received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1972.