|National Review Online:
In a recent NRO article, Henry Olsen charges that the Heritage Foundation is leading a “conservative war on food stamps” that will take “food from the mouths of the genuinely hungry.” He declares this the “most baffling political move of the year.”
A bit of background is in order. Food stamps are merely the tip of a much larger iceberg. In 2012, government spent $916 billion on more than 80 different means-tested welfare programs, not including Social Security or Medicare. These programs provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income Americans. Food stamps accounted for 10 percent of that total.
Each month, one out of every three Americans receives aid from at least one of these anti-poverty programs. Overall spending comes to around $9,000 per recipient per year. Over the next decade, government will spend around $12.7 trillion on these programs. In that context, the proposed cuts in the food-stamp program are barely a rounding error.