by Frank Holmes, reporter
You’ve got to hand it to him: At 80 years old, Joe Biden is still breaking records. Unfortunately, they’re records for all the wrong things.
America spent more on food stamps in 2022 than in any years in U.S. history, a truly historic achievement that no one has ever approached before.
U.S. taxpayers forked over $119.5 billion for food stamps — which are now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — in 2022.
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The number of Americans dependent on food stamps also grew by five-and-a-half million people since 2019, from 35.7 million to 41.2 million in 2022.
But the increase comes, not just from the additional participation in the program, but from the government being more generous with your money.
The average monthly SNAP benefit has increased by $100 a month over the same period—rising like yeast, from $130 a month in 2019 to $230 in 2022…a 78% increase.
That’s a lot of dough.
The Center for Budget and Policy Priority says that’s necessary to let people on food stamps eat a “healthy diet”…which is more than taxpayers can do these days.
There’s good news and bad news on this costly program.
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The good news is there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. The government gave food stamp recipients an extra $95 a month during the pandemic to buy more food.
That money has already expired in 18 states and will run out in the remaining 32 states and additional U.S. territories when they make the March 2023 payment.
That would normally cut the burden for taxpayers…but the Biden administration is having none of it.
Instead, the Biden-Harris administration is coming up with new ways to keep the food stamp budget overstuffed with cash.
The Biden administration has decided to spend $25 million in three states alone to nudge people who receive SNAP into eating more fruits and vegetables.
“A key barrier to healthy eating is lack of access or enough money to buy nutritious food,” the USDA explains on a federally funded website. “Research shows that incentive programs are an effective way to promote healthy eating and improve nutrition security for more Americans.”
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Recipients will get a voucher, or coupon, or additional money to eat healthy on your dime.
At the same time, inflation is putting you and your family on a diet.
All in all, the cost of eating at home rose 13 percent, and the cost of eating out rose by eight percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Staples of your kitchen pantry rose even higher.
Eggs have increased 49 percent, frozen veggies 18 percent, and bread has increased 16 percent.
The higher food prices have led most Americans to push away from the table even when they’re hungry.
A whopping 82 percent of Americans said they tried to save money on groceries within the last month, according to a Morning Consult poll released in October.
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“Recently a growing number have been employing a different approach: buying less overall,” the poll said.
Buying less at the grocery store “is most common among people from lower-income households, who are more likely to have to stay within a monthly budget than higher earners,” said the Morning Consult polling firm last fall. But even among people who make $100,000 a year, Americans are “also six percentage points more likely to say they often buy less.”
But the Biden administration will be looking out for those on welfare instead of work.
Republicans have come under fire for introducing a bill to restrict which foods people on these programs can buy. If Biden wants food stamp recipients to eat more vegetables, they can eat fewer sweets, the GOP thinks.
So far, the bill remains a theory, while Biden’s plan to flood America with taxpayers’ funds is a cold, hard reality.
All that extra federal tax money has already attracted scammers. The USDA issued a scam alert last October, warning people with SNAP cards that thieves are using skimming machines and programs to drain all the money out of SNAP beneficiaries’ cards…and leaving the cardholders hungry.
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Since federal funds won’t be used to reimburse people targeted by fraud, the money simply disappears.
Just like taxpayers’ bank accounts.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”