The Wall Street Journal Editors write in the 9/5/12 edition, Food Stamp Nation (may require subscription which is highly recommended)
…the Department of Agriculture report, released on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, that 46,670,373 Americans are now on food stamps. As recently as 2009 “only” 33 million people took food aid and the program cost $50.4 billion.
That’s an all-time record, at an annual cost of $71.8 billion, $770 billion over a decade. Mull over that one for a minute. That’s nearly one of out every seven people—46 million citizens—who depend on taxpayers to buy one of life’s most basic responsibilities. It’s a good thing breathing air is free.
Liberals argued then and still do that food stamps are one of the most effective ways the government can juice the economy. Really, they claim to believe this. The USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that food stamps have a “multiplier” of 1.79, meaning that every dollar in transfer payments boosts gross domestic product by $1.79. So why not have the feds put everyone on food stamps for three squares a day and really get the economy cooking?
One party now measures success by increasing government dependency. Bill Clinton boasted about reducing such dependency. This party has changed dramatically.
The multiplier nonsense is an example of an idea so stunningly foolish that only an intellectual would believe it.