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Latest Obama Outrage: More People on Food Stamps Than Are Working Full Time

This Obama economy has soup lines as far as the eye can see. It also appears that many could easily be standing in two, three or even four lines simultaneously!

There are 103.4 million people currently enrolled in any one of 15 subsidized federal food assistance programs. The most people in our nation's history.

Due to the governments sloppy management of resources it's anybody's guess how many people are standing in how many lines, at the same time.

One thing we do know for sure is one third of our nation is now receiving Subsidized Food Assistance.

These programs are extremely expensive and the cost is increasing daily. In 2012 the bill to taxpayers paid was a staggering $114 billion. 

But sit down if you're standing, because it gets worse!

Even more shocking: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there are 97,180,000 full time workers in the private sector.

This means: The number of people receiving food stamps is greater than the number of people in America working full time.

Never in our nation's history has this been the case. This is a historical first.

One reason is, Subsidized Food Assistance programs are run rather loosely. With few stopgaps and oversights the same people can be in several federal food lines at the same time.

In many cases all daily meals can be provided using different combinations of any or all of the15 different programs. From a July audit by the Inspector General of the USDA's Food
Nutrition Service (FNS):

"The Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified that the potential for overlap and duplication exists among the Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) 15 nutrition programs, and determined that FNS may be duplicating its efforts by providing participants total benefits in excess of 100 percent of daily nutritional needs when households and/or individuals participate in more than one FNS program simultaneously."

From the above statement It appears that the Inspector General's  Office does realize the potential opportunity for fraudulent activity is abundant. Sales receipts like the one below infuriate the taxpayers who don't use food stamps.

food stamps

According to Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), food stamp participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation under Obama.

Eventually the number of full time workers will be dwarfed by those on Food Assistance programs. Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that we are creating and perpetrating a lifestyle of food entitlements not unlike housing welfare subsides.

When people are raised to believe the government is supposed to feed them it is unhealthy for the nation. However It is even more unhealthy for those who are raised to think of this as a lifestyle.

As the entitlement population grows so grows the cost and amount of subsidized programs.

It has been my experience that anything the government does at a cost of $3.00, private industry can do for $1.00.

What do you think? Should federal food assistance continue to expand?

Money Morning shows how the new farm bill spends nearly $1 trillion in subsidies on the upper middle class Ag industry.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Tom | July 10, 2013

    What going to happen when all this comes to a head and has to stop. This is why the goverment is so desperate to get everyone's guns.

    • RePete | July 11, 2013

      Actually Tom, they want the high powered guns out of the hands of psycho lunatics. Sane citizens and hunters need not worry. The gun lobby did do a good job of brain washing the public that all guns would be confiscated, but not true. NRA, 1 vs. Obama, 0

      • Aslaisj | August 17, 2013

        Obama took our ammo. So how will ww hunt?

      • Sangamo16 | October 19, 2013

        Getting "high powered guns out of the hands of psycho lunatics" may be what RePete wants, but many gun control advocates will settle for nothing less than a total ban on handguns. Gun rights advocates understand that liberal activists are relentless, and never stop until they get 100% of what they want. Remember when the gay rights movement consisted of " what two consenting adults do behind closed doors is their businees"? Now, it's not behind closed doors, and not only do you have to tolerate and accept homosexuality; you also must agree with it, as well. Just ask Dan Cathy, CEO of Chic-Fil-A. He and his business was targeted and boycotted for simply stating that he personally believes homosexuality is immoral. You give radicals an inch, and they'll always take a mile.

  2. Anna | July 10, 2013

    You quoted the number of people working in the private sector and lament that it's smaller than the number of folks receiving food assistance…but the number of people working full-time in the private sector is NOT the total number of people working full-time in the country! What about FT employees in the public sector, working for local, state and federal governments??

    Lament all you want, but don't skew the data to suit your stupid complaint.

    • Jason | July 11, 2013

      That may be true but if the number of people working is less than the government is paying (whether working or not) it just doesn't seem like that would work out that well

      • uberengineer | July 15, 2013

        When counting up the "number of people working" don't forget to include the MILLIONS of ROBOTS that are creating wealth for their owners 24 hours a day. It is quite feasible that before the year 2100, ROBOTS will be doing 90% of ALL JOBS!! Which means that 90% of ALL THE INCOME will go to the small number of people who OWN the robots. And BTW, I asked couple of the robots about this, and they said they DON"T MIND SHARING their "income" with the poor souls whose jobs they took.

  3. Jim | July 10, 2013

    This just re-enforces my fear that we have gone past the tipping point of creating an entitlement society. We now have more people receiving benefits, drawing OUT of the system, than we have paying IN to the system. We have, in some cases, the 3rd or 4th generation of families that have been continually living on the system. All they know how to do is get the most out of the government hand-outs. These people would not even dream of going out and getting a full time job. If they did, it probably would not last long because they would not know how to get out of bed and show up for work on time at least 5 days per week.

    • ROBERTHT@SHAW.CA | July 10, 2013

      100% AGREE But the politicians really like it that way, VOTES without angry protests, keep 'em in Beer and Pizas , don't listen to the dwindling workers, they never get organized, too tied up trying to support the Welfare Bums.

    • Gerard | July 15, 2013

      I can appreciate your worry about entitlements. There should be more oversight as others have noted. But that will cost more to implement. The thing is, the food stamp program is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, provide support when the economy is in contraction. Same goes for unemployment payouts. Nobody I've ever met likes being unemployed. It's as much about pride and self-respect, as it is about money. If you don't have a job, you feel like a loser. You can't even stand your reflection.

      Sadly, there will always be people who game the system. That happens at all levels of government and society (cf. the banks). Yet somehow we still need a scheme to provide aid to those who need it. I don't know about you, but I don't wanna be the guy who denies a family food stamps because one of the parents got cancer or damaged his or her joints working and therefore no longer gets a paycheck. That's just not right.

  4. don | July 10, 2013

    Piling on Obama for the Food Crisis in the U.S., is a bit, disingenuous; especially, coming from a Guy that should know better. Yet, maybe he does; and the comments are nothing more than a Political Ruse.

    From 2000 – 2012; there have been only 200,000 Breadwinner Jobs created; jobs that can reasonably sustain a Family of four. Bush's two major Recessions (2001-02; and, the Great One in 2008), wiped out at least 7 million Breadwinner Jobs. While, we hear daily about Job Creation; two facts are seldom mentioned. One, many of those jobs are seasonal – – or restored jobs; and, two; most jobs that have been created during the past 13 years have either been, Temp Jobs; or, full time ones that pay between, $19,000 & $21,000 per year. Those are Slave Wages, and, they have increased Poverty and the Need for Government Assistance – – monumentality.

    You know as well and I; that it was Bush that brought the Country to it's Financial Knees, with it's reckless spending; and tax cuts for the Rich. David Stockman, Reagan's former W/H Budget Director; has, said in his new Book: "The Deformation: the Corruption of Capitalism in America," that THREE GOP PRESIDENTS are responsible for $12 Trillion of our current National Debt. Further, with their FOUR Serious and Deep Recessions (87, 91, 2001, & 2008), they created the Economic Conditions that wiped out Millions of Breadwinner Jobs; and Trillions in Wealth formerly held by Middle America. What impact do you think the off-shoring of 20 Million Breadwinner Jobs have had on the draw of the Government's, the Safety Net Programs? What impact did the, "Great Wall Street Heist," of 2008; have on Soup Lines? And, finally, with the TARP Bailouts; and, the Obama Stimulus Boondoggle; $1.55 Trillion, went to those with considerable means; and, not a CENT to Middle America; or, Main Street.

    One Day Soon; the Masses are going to hear a clean and coherent story of what has happened to the Poor and Middle Class in this Country; during the past 35 years; and, when that happens; it will not end well for the Predator Class.

    doctor don

  5. Skipper | July 10, 2013

    One salient point missed in this thread is, food stamps are also used by those who are employed. In fact a great number of those on the food stamp programs are underemployed persons. Please, do not misunderstand my point, I do not advocate the use of those who abuse the system. I do advocate the statistics reported reflect reality and they do not.

    What the author needs to further research and clarify is, now many of those in the work force are receiving food stamps. This will not diminish the problem with the current administration, but in fact having the complete story correctly stated will actually bring to light the extent of the subterfuge of the administration.

    For example, they are reporting 190 K jobs recently created, yet the unemployment numbers did not decrease and some groups say they increased. So if we understand how many people who receive food stamps are employed (and if in reality the majority are not abusing the system, which may be the case as this was not researched so this is just a SWAG) then we would be able to determine better how many people are grossly underemployed. So if the persons employed on food stamps represents just 20% of the number of people on food stamps, then the authors conclusion would be skewed. Not that is does not point to a tragedy, but actually the tragedy is actually worse than what the author conveyed.

    You may also want to check out how many of the persons receiving food stamps are in the US Military. The actual facts may surprise you.

    Usually you guys are spot on, but this time you jumped without all the facts and are only telling half of the story. It may be much worse than you indicate if the 'jobs being created' do not support John Q. Public enough to free himself of the entitlement circuit.

    • Frank H. Marchant | July 10, 2013

      Skipper, I do appreciate your response. The numbers used were not mine, they were the Federal Governments. Your are partially correct however! This problem could be worse than reported. But guessing how many employed people are cheating the program was not part of the equation. Also not added into the equation are the numerous Food Banks operated in each state and if all were included this would push the numbers even higher. Keep reading Skipper great comment!

  6. ROBERTHT@SHAW.CA | July 10, 2013

    Although the facts, Canada and U.S. are discouraging, and Welfare Bums are a way of life to so many, encouraged by ALL politicians who don't want to miss out on any voter groups, all we read from these editors is knocking Mr. Obama as if he started all this back 10 years ago.
    None of you really believe that to get the Liberal gangsters back running things would show any change, improvement that is, there would certainly be some more changes, everyone would lose their homes and bank accounts, strictly working class of course.

  7. H. Craig Bradley | July 10, 2013

    OREGONIANS FOR S.N.A.P., WIC. & Section 8

    Oregon has had a hard time of it ever since the U.S. Forest Service decided in the eighties to protect Spotted Owls instead of loggers (jobs). Sawmills closed and unemployment skyrocketed.
    Food Stamp use by Oregon residents has been at about 21% (currently) for a very long time. There is a lot of poverty in Oregon and people must eat. Food stamp use is higher only in Mississippi at 22% of the resident population.

    High Tech, mostly silicone wafer fabs (Intel, Wacker Siltronics, etc.) moved-in during the nineties and employed some locals in places like Hillsboro, Oregon ("Silicone Forest"). However, most small rural Oregon towns remained sidelined with limited economic growth and high unemployment. The Meth industry came in and filled a niche similar to the Moonshiners in Appalachia ( Virgina).

  8. MajorDrama | July 10, 2013

    If we shared all the national wealth this country would be a paradise for all. But Big Money support the consolidation and acquisition of more big money. They wrap it up as the only political system that works and sell it back to us. More fool us for having anything to do with it

  9. Doris Kelsey | July 10, 2013

    I am on food stamps thanks to government policy. I was doing just fine until Obama helped close the processing plant in DeKalb, IL. Now Tommy Vilsack's wife (tommy is our secy. of Agriculture) is getting money from the H$U$ to keep the plants closed. H$U$ and it's army of citidiots don't think we should eat our lame, old, vicious, genetically damaged, unwanted horses. I intend to stay of SNAP until my industry is brought back to profitability. Ag. department destroyed my income, so the Ag. department can feed me!

  10. Lori | July 10, 2013

    I'm in agreement that the rules are vague and oversight lax and… but your receipt is clearly photoshopped which ruins your credibility.

  11. RePete | July 11, 2013

    And since when, in a society that is based on freedom, can we say what people can buy with food stamps and what they cannot. No fence riding folks. It is total control or total freedom. I'll take the latter.

    • Frank H. Marchant | July 11, 2013

      Well said RePete!

    • Sangamo16 | October 19, 2013

      Since the government has no problem dictating what kind of weapons I can buy with my own money, it can certainly dictate what kind of products a person can buy with taxpayer money, without infringing on their rights. They are not forced to take that money; there are simply stipulations associated with accepting it, same as a driver's license or a government grant.. If you don't like the restrictions on how the money can be used, you don't have to take the EBT card.

  12. Beth | July 11, 2013

    Frank: please comment on the fact that these figures only reflect the number of full-time private sector employees. This is incredibly misleading, especially to those who skim the article, or just share the headline via social media. In my opinion, that is the epitome of irresponsible journalism. The number of full-time employees that you state does not include military, teachers (or any employees in public education for that matter), college/university employees, police officers, firefighters….you get the point. If you have to provide misleading information to make a point, you may want to consider the validity of the point you are trying to make. There is also the issue of saying that there are more people use food assistance programs than work full-time – this is also misleading because, due to the low minimum wage standard, there are individuals in both categories.

    • Frank H. Marchant | July 12, 2013

      Beth, I always appreciate the time it takes to write a response. Thank you for reading!
      The numbers I used were not numbers I pulled out of thin air. The statistics and numbers I used in this article were taken directly from government reports. I could have actually made my case look far worse by adding in all of the Food Banks across the nation. Food Banks feed million of people daily, many of these same Food Bank users also receive food stamps and additional food subsidies.This total does not reflect the fact that Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 37 million low-income people annually. Were I to have added this 37 million to my figures. The number goes from 103 million to 140 million. Do you think there are participants double dipping from any, or all of these programs Beth? Feeding those in need is not the issue. Perpetuating a program that allows so many to abuse the system is! Creating a lifestyle for millions of people dependent on government handouts is unfair to everyone across the board!

  13. Shawn | July 12, 2013

    This article is giving a bias view of the facts instead of all of the facts. 51% of people on SNAP are employed with full time jobs. This means that we have an ever growing problem with minimum wage jobs not providing enough income for people to support themselves. Minimum wage has been outpaced by inflation and should be raised dramatically. The cost of housing alone is surprisingly high. Rent for a one bedroom apartment in the DFW area starts at $850 per month. If a full time minimum wage worker is only bringing home $232 net for 40 hours worked per week then how does anyone expect to be able to support themselves or a family on that amount of money? McDonalds started paying it's employees $10 per hour but most other jobs still only pay their workers minimum wage ($7.25 HR. in Texas). Even at $10 per hour it still leaves most families earning less than the governments poverty level. This is a clear case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. If it doesn't change and the groups of poverty level people continues to grow, then you will see more democrats winning in the future to run this country because of promises of help to the poor. Republicans would be wise to find solutions to poverty instead of being against helping the people that voted in Obama and other democrats.

    • Vince86 | August 4, 2015

      Minimum wage is supposed to be meant for people starting employment, like high school students and college students. I made minimum wage of $4.25 back in the day, I was in high school, and I was happy with it. Our nation actually has amongst best minimum wage in the world, if you go by value of dollar in comparison to value of money in other nations (yes, you can find other countries with something like $15/hr, but their cost of living is so high it drops the value). The real problem is NOT minimum wage is too low, the real problem is there are too many minimum wage jobs these days. It is the Walmart syndrome. To many small businesses don't make it because of things like Walmart that can compete when small businesses can't because of all the taxes and rules placed on them. Or like businesses that get bought out, or merge, because they can only make it if the consolidate departments and reduce mid-income employees in those departments. It is a product of the combination of competition in business, use of China, and the government making it hard on small businesses. All three of those have to relax, or it will get worse. I watched it begin during the Clinton Administration with business taxes, and health care changes (HMOs and Medicare reductions). Our family's business could not compete with Walmart's prices, because they hired all minimum wage employees in their optical lab, with the exception of a supervisor, also not paid appropriately. Even though my family's business was the only one that could make the complicated stuff, that didn't make any difference, it lost them money. The problem came to a head a couple of years after Clinton for my family's small business and many other's small businesses around town (yes, it is easier to see what is really happening in a mid sized town, especially when you are connected). This continued, was never reversed, and I believe was also a major factor in the recession during Bush's term (in addition to Bush's financial mistakes).

  14. Gerard | July 15, 2013

    For god's sake we're coming out of a recession and there are people who still need assistance. That's why there's a food stamp program, to help people when they are down through no fault of their own. Sure there are people who will game the system and we should do our best to prevent this. But I don't think they're sufficient reason to penalize people who genuinely need the program.
    This is the whole point of insurance, public or private. It's to help offset the risk and cost of bad outcomes.

    • Ben | July 22, 2013

      We'll still be "coming out of a recession" in Jan. 2017 when Obama leaves. In the meantime the community organizer is buying votes for the next democratic presidential candidate. We're past the tipping point. The entitlement crowd knows who to vote for to guarantee free stuff.

  15. H.Craig Bradley | July 21, 2013

    THE 10%'ERS

    At least 10% of Trader Joe's California customers pay for their purchases with an EBT (Food Stamps) debit card, according to one manager.

  16. Shafiq | July 29, 2013

    The author presents data that are completely false. According to the recent figures from Dept. of Agriculture (SNAP data), in FY 2013, 47.7 million people are receiving food assistance. The most recent data are available for April 2013 when 47.5 million individuals received food and nutritional assistance. The figure for FY 2012 is 46.7 million, nowhere near the 103.4 million figure the author claims. Mr. Marchant should reveal where he gets these manufactured numbers from. The author also claims that in 2012, the bill to the taxpayers was "a staggering $114 billion," another concocted number. The USDA data show the cost of the food assistance programs in FY 2012 was less than $75 billion. So the title of the article "…More People on Food Stamps than are Working Full Time," is nothing but an outright lie — a professional journalist should be ashamed of spreading such false propaganda among his unsuspecting readers.

  17. John Kozel | August 4, 2013 does a terrific job of explaining the many problems with these statistics and the conclusions drawn (which is just a rehash of the report from GOPusa and

  18. Fred | August 14, 2013

    All those kids and retired people and disabled people who are getting food stamps should get up off their desks, hospital beds and recliners and GO TO WORK!

    • Sangamo16 | October 19, 2013

      I think most people don't have a problem with retirees and the disabled collecting food assistance, but it kind of pisses me and a lot of other people I know off when I see a woman ring up $300.00 worth of food, whip out the EBT card, and load it into a car much nicer than I can afford. That sort of thing happens more and more often.

  19. Delchizedek | September 11, 2013

    Cloward-Piven strategy. Look it up.

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