After reading this post at ZeroHedge on the recent data in Food Stamps, I decided to look at the historical data to see how the current participation rate compares with previous recessions. What I found was really not good.
As you can see, over 14% of the total population of the United States is currently on food stamps, the highest ever, by far. Even the early 1980's, which was a pretty horrible time economically, didn't come close to the percentage of the population currently on food stamps.
I then decided to take a look at the average benefit per person per month to see if there was a spike there as well. To compensate for inflation, I adjusted the monthly benefit to be in constant 2010 dollars, I also compensated for the stimulus program which adjusted benefits upward by 13.6% as a cost of living adjustment. Take a look:
As you can see, not only is the percent participating at an all time high, but so is the average monthly benefit. As the benefit is adjusted downward based on the recipient's income, this would indicate that the people on foodstamps are worse off than the recipients were in previous recessions.
It would be nice if we had a President who focused on the economy, instead of on wrecking our healthcare system or fundraising or vacationing or vilifying a 5 year depreciation schedule (as opposed to the standard 7 year one).