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Enrollment in Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Disability Far Outpaces Job Growth in Last 4 Years

6:25 PM, Oct 10, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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A new chart provided by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the alarming fact that enrollment in federal social welfare programs like Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Disability have far outpaced job growth over the last four years. Here's the chart:

In terms of percentage growth, Food Stamp enrollment has jumped 65.2 percent over the last four years, Medicaid enrollment 19.3 percent, and Disability enrollment 17.6 percent. The "total number of employed people," according to the chart, has grown at a negative rate, -0.7 percent.

The Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee source "data from the Social Security Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Agriculture."

"The numbers reflect the change in the total number of people employed and the total number of people on the two largest federal welfare programs, as well as Social Security Disability Insurance, between 2008 and 2012," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee comments. "The employment figure was derived using the total nonfarm and seasonally adjusted number of people employed in December of 2008 (134.4 million) and the number of people employed in September 2012 (133.5 million) as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers of people on food stamps and Medicaid were derived by comparing the number of program beneficiaries in 2008 (as reported by each agency) and the expected number of program beneficiaries in 2012 (as projected by the Congressional Budget Office)."

Overall, there are nearly 80 means-tested federal welfare programs and, according to the Census Bureau, nearly 110 million people in the United States receive benefits from at least one of them. (This figure includes exclusively means-tested welfare programs, not entitlements like Medicare Or Social Security. It also excludes some means-tested benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the health insurance premium subsidies included in the President’s health law. CBO estimates that the premium subsidies, scheduled to begin in 2014, will result in at least 25 million individuals receiving means-tested federal assistance by the end of the decade.)

Yet despite the increases depicted above, the Administration has instituted promotional campaigns to increase the number of people on food stamps. USDA goes so far as to advertise food stamps as a form of economic stimulus, asserting that “Each $5 dollars in new SNAP benefits generates almost twice that amount in economic activity for the community… Everyone wins when eligible people take advantage of benefits to which they are entitled.” Total spending on food stamps is projected to reach nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years, with no fewer than 1 in 9 people on the program at any given time.

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