There was much liberal hand-wringing back in the nineties when Congress passed welfare reform. Signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the changes were sweeping. The law reduced welfare rolls; however, the stigma against food stamps has disappeared.
Recipients used to have those embarrassing coupon books. These days, they use a card that looks like a bank debit card. Star Parker calls the U.S. a “food-stamp plantation.” If the sentiment was ever in doubt, look to the numbers.
In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau’s report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.
With so many Americans receiving government aid, the stigma against it is gone, never to return. How will the government, which has no money of its own, fund the program when food stamp recipients outnumber taxpayers?
Photo credit: Selbe B (Creative Commons)