Dem. Congressman: Food Stamp Usage Up Because Real Unemployment Higher than 8.2 Percent
1:29 PM, Jul 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
On C-SPAN's Washington Journal recently, a Democratic member of Congress, Rosa DeLauro, said that the increase of food stamps usage has to do with the "rough economy" and the fact that real unemployment is higher than 8.2 percent. The 8.2 percent number is the one offered by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, but accounts for only those looking actively looking for work.
"Let's just say this," DeLauro said in response to a question about the rise in food stamps usage. "When we talk about the unemployment numbers, unemployment is 8.2%. That's not including the people who have stopped looking for jobs. So, we're looking at probably it's a higher number given that the number of people who have stopped looking for a job can't find a job, people who have been unemployed for a year or two years, who are unable to find jobs."
As the C-SPAN host indicated, approximately 45 million, or 15 percent of the American population, receives food stamps. "This is the food stamp program. About 45 million people receive an average of $134 per month. That's about 15% of the U.S. population. It's increased by 70% since 2007. And spending rose to $72 billion in 2011, up from $30 billion in 2007," said the C-SPAN host.
Here's the transcript:
HOST: "Let's show some of our viewers some of the stats about the SNAP program. This is the food stamp program. About 45 million people receive an average of $134 per month. That's about 15% of the U.S. population. It's increased by 70% since 2007. And spending rose to $72 billion in 2011, up from $30 billion in 2007. Talk about that increase and the reasons for that increase. Does it all have to do with the rough economy we're seeing?"