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March 31st, 2008
05:48 PM ET

Record 28 million Americans on food stamps

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's a heart-breaking statistic. We tout ourselves as the richest country in the world. But the number of Americans receiving food stamps is projected to reach 28 million this year.

The New York Times reports this is the highest level since the food stamp program began in the nineteen sixties.

The number of recipients around the country who have near poverty incomes to qualify for the aid are staggering. Fourteen states have seen record increases in the number of people on food stamps just since last December. Among them, Michigan, where it's one in eight, West Virginia where it's one in six, and Ohio, where it's one in ten. Of the 50 states, 40 saw their numbers rise with several of them actually seeing increases of ten percent or more.

While the federal government is bailing out failing investment banks like Bear Stearns, an estimated two million people are looking at the possible loss of their homes through foreclosure. Last month the U.S. economy actually lost sixty three thousand jobs. While the cost of food is expected to go up by four percent this year, and the average cost of a gallon of gas is three dollars and twenty nine cents... almost a dollar more than it was a year ago. Some experts predict $4 a gallon gasoline this Spring.

Here’s my question to you: What’s the answer to a record 28 million Americans being on food stamps?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Harold from Anchorage, Alaska writes:
Jack, America needs jobs. Good jobs. While Bush is bailing out big business, the middle class is left to lick up "tinkle down" economics. Perhaps a 21st century version of the CCC(a public works program) is in order; help out the people and rebuild our disintegrating infrastructure. We'd better do something soon while we've still got a country left to save.

Cookie from South Dakota wrties:
Jack, What a sad day for our country. 28 million need assistance to EAT!! We need to bring our troops home, stop illegal immigration, and STOP all aid to all countries and take care of our own. Bring back our jobs and no buying anything from China. Add tariffs to all products made elsewhere that are brought into our country. That would be a good start. Everyone needs to buy American products to bring more jobs to our people.

Bob writes:
How about more manufacturing jobs, Jack? I lost my job last year because we could no longer compete against off shore production and the lower prices they offer. In my job search, I have seen a significant amount of age discrimination. Being over fifty and unemployed is a scary place to be.

Jack writes:
The first question I would ask is how many of those 28 million are in this country illegally? They need to go.

David writes:
Simple Jack, quit spending millions in Iraq. Bring your troops home to help rebuild your failing infrastructure and have your brave men and women in uniform spend their well earned money in their home state and country.


Filed under: US Economy
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Allan,Cameron Park, Ca.

    It indictes that the economy is in the toilet. How long will it take for 1/3 of Americans to hold this Administration responsible? There are several factors. The war in Iraq is #1. The price of gas is #2, The housing mess is #3, but all are intermingled.

    March 31, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  2. Brian From Fort Mill, S.C.

    Tell the powers that be that, "Trickle-down economics doesn't work!" There exist people that actually need direct help from the government.

    People lose their houses and their jobs, ususally at the same time, and in many cases, through no fault of their own.

    Poverty happens. And it's in nobody's best interests for the government to look the other way.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  3. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Bring out jobs back to America or levy import fees to make it worth their while to bring them back. The answer is jobs.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  4. chris, MS

    The answer??? Stop them.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  5. April in texas

    Well Jack I have gotten assistance several times to get through hard times but I get off almost as quick as I got on. Thing is the requirements combined with the economy / inflation we are facing now, The cost of living keeps going up and yet peoples income seems to stay the same or drops due to lay offs ect. I couldnt qualify even if I tried because we make just over the cut off but still too poor to make it. That being said, there are many I am sure who fall in this category that need some assistance yet don't get it. We live on a 30k income gross, have no savings, we drive a 14 yr old car, but are lucky that we have no debt and also have no credit. We dont have bad credit or good credit. Any solution for us Jack?

    Austin Texas

    March 31, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  6. Boureguard McKinney, Texas

    A lot of people don't or won't work and they can get something free from the government. The other side of the coin is that so many people live just at or just beyond their means and continue to produce more children when they can't afford the ones they have. It is no surprise they can't make it on thier own. Those that do work and pay taxes support the lot of them. As the population rises and the handouts from the government remain there is no incentive to work or better yourself and that number will magnify over time. It always has. The economy is not the best that it has ever been but it has been worse in the past. People forget or have never experienced what it was like in a war effort to collect tin foil and ration foods like coffee, gasoline, and sugar and they have no clue. Cars were built back then with wooden bumpers to save the metal for the war effort and new tires were out because the rubber was needed for the cause. Now days all people complain about is the high price of gasoline and groceries. They have never had to ration anything. Get rid of those cell phones and cable channels and turn of some lights. Maybe then you can afford your own groceries instead of expecting everyone else to support you.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  7. Brian

    Time to print more food stamps!

    Brian
    Moscow, Idaho

    March 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  8. Bert Oak View, CA

    Dear Jack:

    I can't really give an answer to the question, until I know how many of the people getting Food Stamps are here legally.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  9. Amy in Woodstock, NY

    The answer to these 28 million on food stamps is they need to use their power of the vote against who did this to them. We need jobs and they were sold overseas by NAFTA. The politicians who are working for lobbyists and special interests will need to go. The corporations and stores that offer us low prices at the expense of American jobs will have to go.

    To qualify for food stamps mean you are part of the working poor in America and that will need to change in America. Food stamp holders need to be the first in line to vote for change.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  10. Mary Heydenburg

    Jack, 10% of our population is on food stamps? I'd call that a depression! Bush has run this truck into the ditch too,along with Iraq and Afganistan. Mary H.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  11. Jayne In NH

    Why is there sudden shock over homes being foreclosed on and bread lines forming? American manufacturing jobs that used to provide a good living for millions have gone overseas, replaced by service industry jobs that pay a fraction of the former wages. Add to that the soaring cost of everything. A bag of whole wheat flour cost me $5.09 the other day. A couple of more price hikes and it will be 28 million and 1 on food stamps.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  12. Mike S., New Orleans

    The bulk of the food stamps goes to people who have learned a lifestyle of getting more government assistance for the more kids they have. The more kids you can't afford, the help you get.

    We need a leader with the courage to stop the government subsidized breeding program.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Josh

    To fix the economy, go after executives that profit even as their workers take pay cuts and layoffs. Maybe raise the mininium wage to match cost of living. What's happening now is the result of unfettered, capitalism going unchecked and going unregulated. Until we start cracking down on what Big Business is allowed or not allowed to do in this country. This will probably continue until the people start an anti-captialism revolution.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  14. Mike S., New Orleans

    CORRECTED:

    The bulk of the food stamps goes to people who have learned a lifestyle of getting more government assistance for the more kids they have. The more kids you can't afford, the more help you get.

    We need a leader with the courage to stop the government subsidized breeding program.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Rosalynd

    Wow, that is a staggering number but it is not surprising. Skyrocketing fuel cost, a foolish war in Iraq, Jobs lost to NAFTA and other outsourcing, Home foreclosure mess caused by greedy lenders, Selling off the country via financial packages to China and others, and Business shacking up in the Caymens to avoid taxes, Dah, Could have seen this mess coming a mile away.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  16. Joe in DE

    We have to renegotaiate the trade agreements to provide fairness to US workers. You can't have an equitable with a totalitarian country like China that pays susistence wages, control industry (subsidize freely), manipulates their currys, and overstruct imports from the US. They top this off with zero health & safety standards. Economic ruin by treaty must end.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  17. Joan

    Bush has been the worst president ever. He now has his super rich
    friends and supporters who have been on a gravy train for 8 years, and the rest us who are getting poorer and poorer. The answer is to throw this administration out, start afresh with new faces. Not more of the same.
    Joan North Carolina

    March 31, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  18. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    28 Million? Wow, what's your secret Jack? Trillions in debt, a busted financial system, billions for the war, billions to keep the military force, you give away billions in aid (to ungreatful countries) and what ever you call that Pakistan deal and you still manage to come up with food stamps for 28 million people. I hope the historians are writing this down.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  19. George Wilson

    JOBS !!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  20. tim

    part of the answer to this problem is the welfare offices case workers who will give anything away.there are welfare fraud investigators out there providing information to the case worker that the client is not reporting some income and spouses in the house who are employed.the case worker will leave the client receive the benefits rather than go thru the trouble of a lot of paperwork or a hearing to prove the fraud.i used to be a fraud investigator and have seen this .

    March 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  21. Bonnie

    How about raising wages to meet the growing escalation of prices in the grocery stores? It is frightning to go to the grocery store today. Those of us on special medical diets are being abused by companies who charge more money to take out the sodium, or fat or sugar from their products. Those on Welfare and fixed incomes have no where else to turn but for the help of food stamps, food pantries, lunch programs for children in schools and free food kitchens. This is an embarrassment for a country who claims to be the leaders of the world, that we can't feed our own people. So lets send some more money to all the other countries in the world and feed them!

    March 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  22. Paulette Dallas,PA

    This tells me that the American government failed to serve its' own people. Instead of having a solid middle class, we have created a rising hungry, jobless,homeless class. The rich have certainly gotten richer while the middle class and lower incomes have become destitute. This is George W. Bush's legacy.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  23. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Unfortunately all the jobs we have lost to foreign countries will never return, as the corporate greed has taken control of this country. Food stamps and food kitchens have become a fact of life for the middle class worker who can no longer afford to fill up his gas tank or go to the super market and purchase the staples he needs to feed his family. Where are we headed ?

    March 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  24. Velle In Halifax

    Like most of our issues, this one is too complex for a short answer. A bulky bureaucracy lends itself to abuse of the system. Too many jobs are being allowed to be outsourced while the companies stay in the US for the tax advantages. Too many illegal aliens are working jobs that can and would offer "stop-gaps" to temporarily distressed families. The minimum wage is too low. Irresponsible consumer practices support inflated prices.

    Stop me when you want to take over the list, Jack. You probably know it better than I do.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Cookie South Dakota

    Jack, What a sad day for our country. 28 million need assitance to EAT!! We need to bring our troops home, stop illegal imigration, and STOP all aid to all countries and take care of our own. Bring back our jobs and no buying anything from China. Add traiffs to all products made elsewhere that are brought into our country. That would be a good start. Everyone needs to buy American products to bring more jobs to our people.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  26. Tom Huntington,NY

    The answer is to take the trillions we are spending in Iraq and put people to work in this country. Stop corporate greed by forcing big companies to keep jobs here and stop outsourcing. Stop importing low wage workers from foreign countries. Oil companies are making astronomical record profits and screwing the consumer at the pump. People can't find jobs that pay a living wage so they work two jobs. The American dream is going by the wayside.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  27. Harold from Anchorage

    jack, America needs jobs. Good jobs. While Bush is bailing out big business, the middle class is left to lick up "tinkle down" economics.
    Perhaps a 21st century version of the CCC(a public works program) is in order; help out the people and rebuild our disintegrating infrastructure.
    We'd better do something soon while we've still got a country left to save.

    March 31, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  28. Anthony Smith

    There are many factors, but we could start here. The jobs around here are stagnant and don't factor in the outrageous price in gas to get to work or for daycare expenses. As costs continue to rise, pay for low to middle class workers does not! The Government is to blame for this problem including not raising minimum wage for close to a decade and sending millions of jobs overseas. I am getting sick of picking up the phone to talk to my credit card company and someone from India is on the other line or going to the store and buying clothes or toys for our children and the label does not say USA! The Government and businesses are to blame when profit supercedes common sense or duty to the people. By the way, the trillion spent on the war could have created thousands of jobs here and paid workers higher wages. Just thought I'd mention that!
    Anthony
    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    March 31, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  29. Esther Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

    My husband is down asking right now since he came home from Iraq sick and not able to work.
    FDR SAID THIS
    No longer could `rugged individualism' convincingly insist that government, though obliged to provide a climate favorable for the growth of business profits, had no responsibility whatever for the welfare of the human beings who did the work from which the profit was reaped."

    March 31, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  30. Terry in Hanover, VA

    Fraud and abuse of the system are minor compared with the real need and use by most families receiving aid. It's harder than ever to make end meets nowadays when food, gas, and the bare essentials have gone up substantially in just the last few months. How many in Congress get food stamps? None. They haven't a clue what the poor and middle class struggle with every day. It's long overdue to a rework of our tax system. A flat tax on all income, not just wages, without exemptions, is what we need. We also need a Congress with backbone to stand up to the Halliburtons, the oil companies, etc., but then why should they? Many of them are invested in these very companies that make record profits but pay little in taxes. It's time to throw the entire rotten bunch out and stop listening to their lies.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  31. Charles in Florida

    Jack, the only thing that would bother me about this is, How many people got these food stamps and didn't need them. I see people at the store on a weekely basis with designer purses and anything else a hard working person has and they are loaded down with Food Stamps or WIC checks. I was never eligible for any of that stuff, even when I was a college student with a wife and child.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  32. Esther Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

    There is an old joke among economists that states:
    A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.

    A depression is when you lose your job.

    I AM IN A DEPRESSION

    March 31, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  33. Ralph at NYC

    Jack, it means that so many of our citizens unable able to work and support themselves and their familiies. Let's not look to get mired overseas in fights which are not our fight - it's the economy, stupid!

    March 31, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  34. Bob from Traverse city Michigan

    Well Jack as an american with a mortgage and looking for a job I was appalled when the fed handed 200 billion dollars over to the mortgage houses that were in trouble on wall street. I would have been thrilled to EARN my share of that and then I would have given it to the mortgage company. The result would have been the same, the rich folks get the money. But my debts would be paid and I could sleep at night. Instead of giving money away the government should let working people earn it first and pass it along. We'll call it the trickle up theory of economics. Then 28 million people wouldn't need to be on food stamps!

    March 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  35. Boureguard McKinney, Texas

    Ok. It was 25 million in 2006. Whats your point? As the population grows so will those abusing and or using the system. I am just glad it isn't 30 million.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  36. Ray in PA

    For one, stop using the food supply as an energy source. It's driving up food costs making it difficult for low wage folks to pay for meals.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  37. Bob from Rome NY

    Between companies outsourcing jobs and the tons of money we give to other countries in aide it is not wonder so many of our citizens are living at or below the poverty level. I think it is past time to take a good look at the state of our country and fix things here at home before being concerned with the rest of the world. I remember an old saying that goes "Charity begins at home." We need to take care of our own first!!!!!!!!

    Bob

    March 31, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  38. Nicki

    The answer is jobs. Global companies won't create jobs for us; they're taking them away. Since the private sector is not likely to help, the public sector will have to step in and create jobs for a while (infrastructure, alternative energy). The income will help revive the economy, and the taxes those people pay will beef up the national budget to help pay for essential services.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  39. Jerry SCS Michigan

    When I was stationed in Germany alot of folks had their own gardens.
    Hey...c'mon it's a start! What ever happened to the family farm? Sounds cold...but I'm serious. We really need to start thinking about living with in our means. Believe it or not ...I'm mostly a "Liberal". We have a responsibility to help folks out... when they need it...but we also have a responsibility to aid folks in becoming self sufficient. Advertising is the root of all evil. We need to learn to live with in our means. I'm a disciple of "Lou Dobbs"..convert...whatever..."He's the Man!"

    March 31, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  40. John from Carlsbad

    Jack

    The answer is the great equalizer. EDUCATION!

    We are feeling the many years of a substandard educational system that is getting worse by the day. We are churning out people who couldn't survive in a 3rd world country and people seem to think it is ok.

    Throwing more money into welfare programs is not the answer. Raising the knowledge of all to benefit all is the answer. This will help problems reaching from overcrowded jails to even this mortgage mess. No it won't be an immediate fix but over time it will be the solution.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  41. Michael NY, NY

    Jack,

    Similar to Barack's claims on race, we all have a hand in this problem. On one side, those who do not wish to provide equal opportunities in education, health care, and other supportive programs only foot bills later when these people need basic support., such as through food stamps. On the other side, people who are on food stamps need to start taking personal responsibility for their lives and make a conscience effort to join the everygrowing global society. If we actually had a constructive discussion on how to solve this problem, maybe we could get somewhere to reducing this travesty.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  42. james hoffman, Prescott, MI

    Stop the war in Iraq and use the money to feed and administer to our own. It is insanity to feed, cloth, administer medical aid, and build infrastructure in a foreign land and to cut back on the needy and infrastructure here. This administration, Executive and Congress, should be fired.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  43. Carl Deshazer

    Jack,

    Almost everytime i'am in the grocery store at least one non english speaking person is in line paying for a hugh cart full of groceries with an Illinois Food Stamp Link Card. This needs to stop, has harsh as this might sound to some, it's the stupid system. The answer is if you don't live here and pay into the system you shouldn't be able to take from the system. The same goes for the free schooling, free medical, free housing, enough is enough already!
    Carl

    March 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  44. Ted, Aloha, OR

    Forget the food stamps. Gas stamps are the magic words. 50 years ago when I arrived in Germany at my duty station, AFN Frankfurt, we were issued coupons good for purchasing gas (20 cents a gallon) and liquor (as high as 9 dollars for Johnny Walker Blue).

    I never did use my entire gas allocation.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  45. kb from Iowa

    People are working but the jobs just don't pay enough. We just raised our minimum wage to a little over 7 dollars an hour. But if you calculate that out it is only around 1000 a month before taxes. Where did all the unions go? Seems to me when they were in their heyday, people did a lot better.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  46. Chuck in Eugene Oregon

    It is partly the fault of the system. There are no checks and ballances. There are people receiving food stamps that claim their husband is no longer living at home, when in fact he is + he is working full time. Also she more at times is working part time to full time being paid under the table. I have seen this and many much worse situations throught out the US. Our government, state level needs, to put some sort of verifications system in place as well as investigators that go out and verify the truth of the situation. Too many people have learned the ropes and know how to out right steal from the tax payers. The reality is that over 20% of that 28 million are fraud cases, and about 50% of the remaining are temporary or college students, and the rest have a legit need.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  47. Brad in Oregon

    If our culture would stop praying at the alter of money and stopped shipping our jobs overseas, we might actually see an increase in family wage jobs here in the US and the number of Americans receiving food stamps would drop. It all starts with education. Our K-12 educational system is in shambles and as long as college is beyond the financial reach of most Americans, the number of jobs being outsourced will increase and the Food Stamp rolls will continue to increase as well. It is time for the federal government to invest in America and cease being a conduit through which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Infrastructure investment would help reduce the number of welfare recipients while at the same time help improve the quality of life for all here in the US.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  48. Andre / Florida

    "Give a man a fish and feed him today, teach a man to fish and feed him forever".

    Education, Education, Education!!!

    Providing the best possible education to young America, is a far better use of our economic resources than prisons and welfare.

    Andre,
    Miami, Florida

    March 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  49. John Boston MA

    If America was a business. I close this business down change the name and start right over with a new paint coat and New Administration sign. Off course you can't really do that with country but it tempting to at least take a look at who run us to the ground. The war profiteer are siphoning 12 billion a month anybody think it really all going to the Iraq war?

    March 31, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  50. James in Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    To make them more accessible to a broader range of unemployed Americans, that's the answer. I've been unemployed for a month and my wife was fired on Friday last week as it stands we are uneligable for food stamps. So there are at least two people who've been working hard and paying their taxes for more than a decade and at the end uncle sam tells us to figure it out on our own. Bush is willing to pay billions a month to keep people in Iraq safe but unwilling to spend just a fraction of that to help American's like me and my wife as we sit wondering whats next.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  51. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    The answer? I have absolutely no clue... but I'm sure the geniuses at Washington who put us in this situation have a thorough strategy to shock and awe this depressive state of our nation's economic, housing and labor markets. Right?

    March 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  52. Ram

    Recession, bad economy & bad policies of the present Govt. Don't blame the people. Dont squander tax payers money, create jobs, keep the people employed & make them work. In just 7 years, we screwed up this country pretty good.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  53. Bill in New London, CT

    As a teacher, I would say education. If we keep producing graduates who lack the necessary skills to go to college and succeed, we will keep producing citizens who need public assistance to survive. Studies show the poorly educated produce more offspring and make much less income. Do the math. We've created a culture that values ignorance and insults students who try to succeed. Intellectualism is dead. Those who dare to look smart are made to feel like losers; the weak ones give in to the pressure and give up. Then, uneducated parents produce children, future students, who don't understand the value of a good education. Its a vicious cycle that is going to get worse before it gets any better. We need to focus this No Child Left Behind nonsense on early childhood education to catch disadvantaged kids up at an early age and promote a culture of acedemic excellence and a love for learning that lasts from the cradle to the grave, the womb to the workplace.

    March 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  54. PEL (North Carolina)

    That's better than I had anticipated. With a possible twelve million undocumented coupled with jobs going overseas and federal budget expeditures going abroad rather than on infrastructure job creation, I'd have figured we'd be at 20% on welfare. How about that Clinton NAFTA claim? What a plan. Sell out American manufacturing, import cheap toxic products that kill everyone who is financially predisposed to these products while a few get rich. If you do that then food stamp distribution goes down. Basic Washington Economics, Jack.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  55. Harry

    Jack, do you realize how many senior citizens are being encouraged to take Social Security Disability, by the S.S.A.

    Many of our Seniors are being forced to accept this as a means to afford health care that regular medicare doesn't take care of.

    They are turning over control of their lives to the government, to keep a roof over their heads. Part of the deal is they have to accept a substantial part of the monthy payment in foodstamps. They have to spend every dime of it as well, as they are not allowed over a set amount to have. That would be $3,000 per person and cannot be in interest bearing accounts as that interest will be deducted.

    I know of Senior citizens that have jobs, but because of impending expensive surgeries, etc. that medicare won't cover, are taking the supplemental program to essentially save their own lives.

    IT'S ABOUT HEALTHCARE!!!!

    Harry
    Ky.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  56. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    Jack. it is the trillions spent in Iraq and the jobs shipped overseas that is revebrating at home. Cut both sources of waste and welfare census will dip. It does not require rocket science or Bushnomics.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  57. dennis north carolina

    1. can we believe any numbers that the goverment puts out!
    2. how many of that number are legal american residents
    3. proves that our education system is a complete failure and needs a complete over- haul. there are jobs in the newspaper/ on line plus other listing that can not be filled.what is the problem

    March 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  58. Kurt

    My dad had a saying he told us many times as children, The best motivator to get off your rear and go to work was hunger. How is it that a drug addict or alcoholic are able to get disability. It is not my fault they chose that path to go down in their life. I work very hard and have a few nice things in life, but I cringe at the thought of having to give up 1/2 of my hard earned money to people that are too lazy to try in life.

    On the other hand we must stop nafta and all other givaway trade agreements in their tracks and go back to an american worker first policy. The working man and woman that are willing to work hard and sacrifice to make this country a better place are getting screwed from all sides

    March 31, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  59. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Well,Jack,this grim statistic has been decades in the making. All of our good jobs have been shipped overseas,schools don't teach necessary skills,our farmland that used to grow all of the food needed to survive has been paved over for tract homes,warehouses,malls and mcmansions, What farmland is left is now growing corn for ethanol. Food charities are not receiving donations from the agribusinesses and the price of food is sky-rocketing beyond the reach of anyone but the rich. I don't see any way to solve this problem. We are heading for food riots.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  60. seah Ohio

    Last I looked McDonalds is still hiring.

    Im sure walmart has opening also

    March 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  61. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It seems that we never learn from history. Look at the state of the nation in 1929 and compare it to today 's economy and the debt that we have. It won't matter if China calls in their loans to us and then Bush can add another one to his wonderful record. I was the first President to attack another country and the second to lead us into a depression. Get ready America if we don't stop this madness that's next.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  62. MR. J

    Jack
    When ceo's make 450 times what the average worker makes how would they know what best for the company. When they send jobs to other countries and then say we can't find qualified workers here. They steped on others to get where they are instead of bringing all those up with them along the way. A true leader feels responcible for everyone under him and does what best for all.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  63. Bill, Quarryville, PA

    Jack I think one answers is our tax laws are favoring big business. Good example of this is oil companies keep breaking records for profits while the working man works harder for less. His paycheck cannot keep up with the rising cost of living. With records being broke on both sides profit for big business and food stamps for the working poor. Shows us that this country is becoming a nation of rich and poor with no middle class. That is what we back in in great depression.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  64. Bruce (Las Vegas)

    Three ideas. Get rid of all the unfair trade agreements. Minimum wage increase was too little too late- improve it. Why are we subsidiizing companies that don't pay living wage with food stamps for it's empoyees? Also the federal deficit continues to rise and weaken dollar and that reduces real income too. Balance the budget for crying out loud.

    Bruce (Las Vegas)

    March 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  65. Joan Sechi

    Jack
    Hillary should bow out but she won't. I believe her plan is to damage Obama as much as she can; he will lose to McCain, who will be a one term president, then she can win in 2012 – Machiavellian in concept. She lives in greater denial than Bill, whom I once respected.

    Joan from Castroville, California

    March 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  66. Eugene in Northern California

    Jack, the answer, to 28 million Americans, on food stamps is to immediately stop the outsourcing, of any American jobs. IE: the recent Air Force Tanker deal, to EADS/Airbus. We'll loose 80,000 jobs and $150 Billion, to Europe. This BS must stop immediately. Additionally, no H-1v VISA's should be issued, until each and every American has a job. It's easy to fix, it just takes stones and our politicians have none. Voters better remember this, in the 2008 elections or your job will be next.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  67. Ralph

    The answer is Hillary Clinton and a return to sound Economic Policy led by Laura Tyson and Keysian Economic Theory. The answer is not Barack Obama and Monetarism out of the University of Chicago. I'm a trained manager (MBA), use correct Economic Policy. Obama has no experience. As John Edwards recently discovered, Obama is not well informed once you sit down and talk in depth with him. He's just a rock star and a phoney. Rick, Yakima, WA.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  68. John Boston MA

    The label Surge is about has stupid has the label War on terror. A Surge presuppose the existence of a front line in a war. You "Surge" to the front to brake it and Blitzkrieg behind the enemy line to cut his communication logistic line. This is not the case it a temporary increase of force in a counter insurrection war.

    A conventional army is very ill equipped to fight a counter insurrection war unless you go medieval on the insurgent and nobody is willing to get that much blood in their hands. What we had gained with this "surge" is a few month of calm while most side in this civil war are hiding, rearming, organizing and should I add recruiting! I think the title of your book say it all Jack. "it getting ugly out there and guess what it going to get a lots uglier in Iraq soon!"

    March 31, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  69. Alfie --- Palmdale, Cal.

    The answer is simple. Eliminate them. Open soup kitchens, and put things back in perspective. Too harsh? Then lets require the receipients to work for them. I doubt even 1/2 of that '28 million' would want them if they weren't handed out like flowers at the airport.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  70. Betty---IN.

    Bring back our jobs, create new ones & most of all raise the minimum wage to keep up with the soaring prices of gas, food, child care etc. Fine empolyers who hire all the illegals, that take away good jobs for hard working Americans that want to work. Provide training for those who need it to get in the work force & Drug & Alcohol test those who refuse to work. Most of all get Bush out of the White House!!

    March 31, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  71. Stacy from Northern Virginia

    I don't know the answer, Jack. If I did I might run for President. Then again maybe not.
    America needs to wake up. Our country is heading in a direction that is not where we want to go. The rich are still getting richer and as always at the expense of the poor.

    Wake up, America. It's time to snap out of your post 9/11 PTSD.

    Turn off American Idol, put down that magazine with Britney on the cover yet again and do something useful for our country.
    Vote and write your Congressmen and Senators to tell them how you are feeling.

    Only the people can force the President and Congress to tackle some real issues for a change such as poverty in America, they won't do it on their own.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  72. Ken

    Jack, first issue is that 28 million of our fellow Americans on food stamps is a national disgrace! Those who have commented about people not wanting to work or only want a "handout" are obviously out of touch with the reality of what is going on in the U.S. We have de-industrialized the country with the industrial exportation and job outsourcing because of corporate greed and brain dead politics resulting in disastrous trade and corporate tax policies. We are destroying the working middle class and evolving into the "haves" and "have nots" as found in third world countries.
    Ken, Lynchburg, VA.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  73. David S Obama, Houston Texas

    Jack, don't take this personal, "It's the Economy Stupid", and stop giving our jobs to non Americans. Are there any jobs for Americans anymore? There are jobs we won't do, jobs companies can't find qualified Americans for, what the next excuse for putting more people on unemployment and food stamps?

    March 31, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  74. Alan, Buxton Maine

    The answer is to boot the self seeking morons out of Washington and get someone who is really representing the American people. The fools we have elected for the last many years have nearly destroyed us. We have possibly our last opportunity in the coming election to get this country back on the right path. Let us not choose as unwisely as we have in the past.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  75. Sharon from Pekin Illinois

    This tells you something about the Bush Adminstration and what they have done to the economy. I surmise this will be a larger number before Bush retires, If he keeps shelling out money for this war, and money to the Big Business to save their ass, he could care less about ours. How many people getting food stamps should be getting them, probably not enought personnel to oversee this program either.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  76. Greg from Mechanicsburg, PA

    George Herbert Walker Bush coined the term "Voodoo Economics" to describe the trickle-down theory embraced by today's Republican Party. After decades of voting for brain-eating zombies under the control of big business to run our government we Americans are finally paying the price for our stupidity. It could be worse though–we could live in Iraq.

    March 31, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  77. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,the answer is stop training people to be dependant on the government to survive.There was a time when people took a little pride in themselves and pulled theirselves up by the bootsraps and made their own way.It would be interesting to know how many of these foodstampers have cell phones,cable tv ,and the internet,you know all these neccessities!

    March 31, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  78. Dave in Erin Ontario

    Jack,

    It's pretty simple. Acknowledge the US class structure for what it is.

    Send the illegal immigrants home, and make the rich hire the 28 million impoverished US citizens. The poor can clean their houses, tend to their gardens, raise their kids, and in turn, get a square meal or two a day in a lavishly rich kitchen.

    Then, the rich can write off the expenses legally, get huge tax breaks from the Federal government for charitable works, and for reducing the costs of the foodstamp program.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  79. Tony

    First, let me say, I've had full time teachers working for me that because of the number of children she had qualified for free/reduced lunches for her children. Let me repeat that......a certified teacher who went to college, earned a degree and went to work for the good of the people by educating our children and yet her children qualified for free/reduced lunches in the very school in which she worked – we pay salaries based upon the state salary schedule and even gave a small bonus one year – what does this tell you about the middle class squeeze and the corporate greed that has caused it.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  80. Vanessa L. Rice

    Jack,
    you seem to be a pretty realistic guy so why haven't I heard you comment on the remarks Secretary of State Rice made on race. I thought they were quite profound and honest. I want to hear your take on her comments in the Situation Room.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  81. Joe

    If hillary loses,Its going to get much worst,You can Bet ON that ONE!! I really feel sorry for this country,The takers is bring us all down!!! They out number the workes

    March 31, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  82. sandy in Ohio

    Jack, For all the people that are receiving food stamps how many do you think are too proud or embarassed to apply for them, Not too long ago, I was in a grocery store and watched an elderly lady who was trying to decide which of the groceries she was trying to pay for thet she could do without. She explained that after health expenses and utilities, she had less than eighty dollars to last a whole month. The cashier told her she should appy for food stamps and she said those were for the really poor. What scares me is that a lot of us are in danger of becoming the really poor. I'm hoping that the election will change this country around. I know it can't happen over night but all of us need to know there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we can find a way to pay for the light.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  83. Sparky

    Why not.. We need more Gov't. More gov't, more liberal voters.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  84. Rosemary Mehle

    I personally feel that any one that truly needs food stamps should have them . However , in order to re-affirm their own self worth they should be required to do 40 hours of physical labor in the state where they live and receive their food stamps as payment for their work. No work, no stamps. The work could even be the use of a few rooms for some of them to watch the kids while the others, dug ditches, cleaned highways,trimmed trees, built levees, whatever the state or county of residence needed. Too simple to work though I guess.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  85. Bob in Hopkinsville

    How about more manufacturing jobs, Jack? I lost my job last year because we could no longer compete against off shore production and the lower prices they offer.

    In my job search, I have seen a significant amount of age discrimination. Being over fifty and unemployed is a scarey place to be.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  86. betty in Illinois

    Perhaps a boost to local economies might be the eliminatuion of the tax-free status of all the churches, and their schools, in this country.

    According to a recent newspaper article, a few years ago Obama's ex-pastor bought property in a gated community in a suburb of Chicago and sold it to his church. They in turn took out a mortgage for $1.6 million to build him a faulous home on this property for his retirement gift. Is it owned by the Church or the retired pastor? Will it appear on the tax rolls?

    Churches are tax-free and openly help illegal aliens all across the country. They should sell their expensive, tax-free, properties, especially in big cities, and use that money to aid illegals instead of using tax-free donations.

    Take away the tax-free status from all the advocacy groups that encourage and aid illegal immigration. Let these advocates use their own money. Why should taxpayers have to subsidize these groups. Do these groups help you find a job or get you welfare assistance?

    Not-for-profit is big business. Directors of these groups get big salaries, cars to drive and free gas, expense accounts, insurance benefits, paid vacations, etc., not to mention advancing their careers in the field of advocacy.

    Check this out people. How many of these benefits does your tax dollar pay for.

    No wonder so many hardworking people have little left to save for themselves.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  87. Mischelle from Illinois

    The Answer, Jack Caferty, is JOBS. Eight years of allowing corporate capitalism to give the very wealthy even MORE must stop and it will in November. Hillary Clinton will put americans back to work and we will all, except maybe corporate fat cats, will be a lot better off.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  88. Ron Wacker

    But Jack. George W. says everything is just fine. We have merely hit a little speed bump on the road of prosperity. Don't you listen to the man?

    March 31, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  89. Sam of Miami, Florida

    The lame duck Decider needs to invest in improving the country's infrastructure, thereby creating jobs, and invariably get more people away from food stamps. Can you imagine if half of the money wasted on Iraq war was spent on repairing US roads and bridges?
    Tell it to Cheney and company, and he'll tell you; "So?"

    March 31, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  90. Ron Wacker

    The answer will come in November.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Glenn, Houston

    Jack, the answer is to elect Obama President.

    The cause is almost eight years of Bush/McCain and Republican control of both houses for six of the eight years.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  92. Jan

    I fear that if there was not a food stamp program we would see begging for food on American streets and longer lines at food kitchens. Our children would lack the nutricional support needed to learn in school. Appalachia comes to Main Street and we all march to Wall Street to ask for some of our money back so they can eat.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  93. Janice, Illinois

    The well-paid, nepotistic, fraudulant, defacto cheney-bush administration.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  94. Joe

    The amercian fools didn't see this coming,when they took all of our work to other countrys!!!!! and leaving the hard working amercian people fall one by one!! They though cheep was better!!! Now look at us!!! You get what you pay for!!! but theirs NO ONE to buy anymore

    March 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  95. Vince

    Thanks for voting for Bush suckers!

    March 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  96. George, Washington DC

    Give more tax cuts to the rich! The price of lobster and prime cut steaks have risen. How do you expect them to eat? Forget about the people on food stamps, we need to focus on those who really need help. For goodness sakes, you don't want to force them to give up one of their vacations do you? That would be outrageous!

    March 31, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  97. Joe

    SAID isn't JACK

    March 31, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  98. john marlton, nj

    Although more than one is too many, according to government statistics the highest percent of Americans on Food Stamps was in 1980. Today’s numbers are actually less (percent). But I guess it is election time. In respect to bailouts be they home owners or investment banks, let me suggest three points, 1) the JP/Bear Stern deal may not cost the Fed as much as the $30 billion being advertised. 2) How many home owners with pending foreclosures should actually be in the house (size & price) that is being foreclosed? How many were hood winked, how many lied, how many knowingly over bought and how many actually need a stupid stamp on their forehead. 3) Isn’t the funding of social security and Medicare by baby boomers the biggest bail out in history? Perhaps the Greatest Generation is really the Greedy Generation, who is burying who with debt!!

    March 31, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  99. Joe

    Obama, is change, that's what they think, 1929,ITS NOT far!!! A few more wise moves,will finsh us OFF

    March 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  100. Brian, Tampa, fl

    Jack,
    I makes me wonder How the heck Does Pres Bush Sleep a night,
    these number are a darn shame, this war needs to stop, I don't mean
    the Iraq I mean the war on the middle and working class people of this counrty.
    Let the rest of the middle east fight their own war. We need to focus on people here a home.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  101. J. Onofre - CA

    BUSH

    March 31, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  102. Oraymw, Rexburg Idaho

    I am a college student that is struggling to survive. We use foodstamps so that we can afford to eat, and still make our tuition payments. I work, and so does my wife, but it is not enough to make ends meet. That is the difficulty of being a poor college student. But as soon as I am able, I will become a productive and contributing member of society, so all the money that I receive in foodstamps will be recompensated. That is what these kind of programs are for. I don't think that foodstamps should go out to just anyone. But they are for people that are struggling to become productive members of society.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  103. Fish god Las Vegas

    PS My first job paid 30 cents per hour out of that I bought my school clothes,and went to the SAT EARLY SHOW EVERY WEEK

    March 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  104. Unemployed Bob from Chicago

    It might mean that the economy is a train wreck and it might mean that we have lowered the restrictions on who is eligible and it might be both. In either case, there are people in in the U.S. that are in need and we should help them.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  105. Thomas

    The answer is to send 20 million illegal aliens back to where they infiltrated form and give the other 8 million a decent wage that will allow them to live in the United States as comfortable as anyone working as a city, county, state, government, civil servant employees or teachers, policemen and firefighters. The private sector is shrinking down to about nothing. It's time we ask for concessions from those being paid by the taxpayers. When was the last time a military vet working in the private sector got veteran's day off with pay??? or how 'bout Columbus day, or better yet, President's day. It's a shame too see those state and federal employees being paid for those holiday's while other's beg for food and the other 25% of the employees work those days to pay for the taxes that pay for both the holidays and the stamps.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  106. Perry J

    I would say there are 28 million people out there that do not want to work for a living , or I would stop step back and see how many of these people are not legal citizens and they would stop getting a free ride and charges would be on there door step . Then those that are left over would start working public service for there food stamps this would get them back into a system of earning for some thing then send them to school for the jobs needed in your reign of the country . And no I would not give them a choice to chose there training any training is a start , 8 weeks after there training was over there would be no more free stamps

    Regards Perry j Council Bluffs Ia

    March 31, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  107. Barbara

    I am 70 years old, diabetic and alone. I used to get 129.00 a month for food. This past month it was reduced to 50.00. I have heard that one of the stipulations to getting the stimulus package passed was that the amount of assistance for food and medical for the needy be reduced to help pay for it. Is this correct? Also I ask, could you feed yourself on 50.00 a month?

    March 31, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  108. Sonja

    How much money would it take to hire workers to inspect bridges, construction cranes, airplanes, slaughter houses, more banking regulators to do a better job of keeping an eye on the banks and financial institutions, workers to fill the potholes, garbage workers to pick up trash on the side of our highways, workers to maintain our state and national parks, more teachers, more nurses, more police officers? I bet it would cost a lot less than what we have spent on Iraq. If we hire people to do these jobs, which certainly need to be done people would be gainfully employed and able to feed their own families. Stop the war and use the money in our country to make the lives of our citizens better!!

    March 31, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  109. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, it tells everyone that people really knows how to work the system becasue I get hit up at the store all the time people selling their food stamps (you give them 40$ the give you 60 in stamps). Looks to me that no one is really checking people out, I also know illegals who get them.. so what's really going on?!

    March 31, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  110. Bill

    It means the amount of needy is growing due to a weak economy that has been caused by poor trade practices and the Iraq war. Unfortunately this will not change until greedy corporations, self serving politicians, and ideologue think tanks of educated pin heads finally realize that well paid working masses is vital for a good strong economy.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  111. Weldon from Canada

    All of the mints should close down and concentrate on the issuance of sufficient food stamps. Food stamps probably have more value than the American dollar anyway.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  112. Patricia

    Dear Jack... Have avoided using the food stamp program.... Baseball season has started Jack!!!!! I think I'm going to be watching more baseball rather than political news shows like Wolf's. It's not that I don't like you Jack, it's just that this stuff is using up too much my heart & soul. I wanted John Edward as President, but, I'm not going to get my way.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  113. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    In a word, Outsourcing. Michigan has been hit very hard by this practice. Who do these corporate geniuses think is going to buy their products when many havn't even got enough money for food?

    March 31, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  114. Steve Roberts

    The answer is to fix fundamental flaws in education. By teaching children not only how to read - but TO READ - we will ameliorate the number of poor citizens, the numbers in prisons, and the numbers who let the pundits on television tell them what to think. Jack, keep asking questions, please. Your forum is an oasis in a sea of senselessness.
    Steve Roberts, Johnson County, Kansas

    March 31, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  115. John

    Yes there are some taking advantage of the system but that is a small percent of that. To hear people state that that all people are taking advantage and should look at the facts. We have people struggling with wages that can barely pay the rent. Food or a home is the choice for some unfortunate folks out there. With places like Wal-Mart basically telling you to get on food stamps with there pay rates, When you have children it's hard to support your family these days.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  116. Mary from Michigan

    just start getting some of our jobs back from all these countries that don.t pay their citizens any decent wages. I can't beleive that we have our pharmacutical products made over in Communist China, They could sure poison all of America. But if there are aren't any decent paying jobs, there will be 56,000,000 people on food stamps in the new future. LOL America

    March 31, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  117. Leslie

    The answer is, "At least it's not the 50 MILLION that don't have health care coverage! Honestly, if we can't get our government to care about the health care crisis, or Medicare or Social Security or joblessness or any of the other things plaguing our nation, why should we expect concern about another horrendous statistic? Our country is going to hell while we spend trillions fighting people who have never done us harm. It just gets more surreal.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  118. High Schooler in California

    These numbers underscore one of the biggest problems in the country today. Our current politicians wrongly place the emphasis of the majority of legislation on the wealthy few (Bear Stearns) or on foreign issues (Iraq). It doesn't matter what is going on thousands of miles away if we can't even provide our citizens with decent wages, jobs or financial security! If we can't settle our own house why in the world would we try to fix someone elses? Our government needs put its priorities in order.

    March 31, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  119. Barbara

    The failed Administration of GWB has brought this all down onto the American People. What can I say? You people elected HIM! Glad he didn't get my vote either time he ran! I want the Clinton Economy back! I don't think Obama knows how it works, he does not have the Experience! You don't get it from underhanded donations and Ministers! You get it from hard WORK!

    Barb-ID

    March 31, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  120. Brandon

    We need to review how people get these stamps it should not be lets just sign up. And I am 13

    March 31, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  121. Jeff - South Dakota

    28 million Amercians on food stamps = disgrace. The solution is to freeze the assets of all the corrupt politicians (Bush included) and distribute their wealth to these folks and the seniors who are struggling (Their punishment rather than going to Jail). Secondly, get out of Iraq and Afganistan and take care of our own (Those countries could care less about us).

    March 31, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  122. jim in pennsylvania

    my reaction to so many americans on food stamps is OBAMA. IN 09
    Barack Obama is the man with the plan.......
    Pennsylvania has a chance to vote for a man that will bring jobs, unity and a strong economic policy to this great america.
    wake up and make sure u vote for Barack Obama.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  123. Linda from Seattle, Washington

    Gosh, perhaps McCain and his lobbyists, um, advisors can give another multi-billion contract to France and pals..I am sure they need jobs too.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  124. greg, woodville, canada

    Short of converting to communism there is no answer Jack. Any time a country or individual gives something away for free, you will never be able to dissuade people from taking advantage of it. How many times have you heard of two or three generations living off of government handouts? If government policy makers do not address this situation soon, the United States is headed for anarchy and chaos of biblical proportions!

    March 31, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  125. lewis morton

    jack,
    Check with your experts, were fine here in florida as elsewhere in the U.S., ask our president or vice president if you don't believe me.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  126. Faith, PA

    Stop illegals and dump the wet foot dry foot along with political assylum . Do not ship jobs overseas send NAFTA there. Help our farmers (an endagered species) to become more productive and produce more to reduce the price of food. Stop importing beef–grow our own. Open the cattle yards back up . Provide more jobs for AMERICANS. Not someone with a prefix before American.. That is how to reduce food stamps . Provide good decent , hardworking people with the means to support themselves at a level they can afford to live at in our country. Poverty is no longer a third world disease.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  127. Gary from Hillsborough, North Carolina

    Vote Democratic next time

    March 31, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  128. Jessica Hembree

    Jack,
    I'm 25 years old and all I see out of our generation are people that want more and more from the government. What ever happened to personal responsibility? I asked a friend of mine who he was voting for, and he said "Obama because he'll give me stuff." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I think that we are all doomed if the younger generation doesn't wake up to the fact that a nanny state is only going to hurt us in the end.
    God Help us!

    March 31, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  129. Gene, Florida

    Rev Jeremiah Wrights is Right. When America (the government) thinks it is greater than God, by telling lies(Iraq), allowing the "oppression of hirelings in his wages (outsourcing), the widow(mortgage crisis), the fatherless (funding cuts) and strangers (aliens)(immigration policy) and no longer fears God (no bid contracts-being above the law) I can see how America may be in danger of being damned. Its in the bible (Malachi 3-5; 4:6).

    March 31, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  130. Donald W. Bertetto

    The answer! If they're in vote 'em out!
    Don

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  131. Tom

    Require IQ test for the next president!!!

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  132. Chris - Atlanta, GA

    Jack,

    I have an answer! We are spending $17 billion dollars per month on the war in Iraq. How many families would that feed?

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  133. Barbmole

    I think the record number of people on food stamps speaks for the current climate of the economy where the average American citizen is not seeing teh same porsperity that the corporate CEO's are seeing. It's the rich getting richer and the poor and middel class getting poorer. I just wonder when we are going to start killing each other for food.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  134. Roger Young

    I don't know about the nation as a whole, but here in Los Angeles County, CA; a significant, if not the majority, of people on food stamps are illegal aliens.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  135. ozie from ct

    bush must have fell and went into a coma, we are going to have to rebuild are whole financial market, and to put nafta on whole, and to focus on building usa industrial markets brick by brick, and to re invest in small busineses that export from the usa.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  136. 13 year old Rachel from Washington D.C.

    It's not what the government can do to to reduce those on food stamps, it's what the individuals can do to make themselves self sufficient. Hardship seems to be more common in our modern day America but those on food stamps must be willing to take responsibility and step up to the challenge. But yet that cannot pull everyone out, as many are doing this but are still struggling. The government needs to address illegal immigration to limit the numbers entering the food stamp program.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  137. Paul

    Deny the 12+ Million illegal aliens food stamps. I would think that would put a significant dent in the problem.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  138. Virginia

    The way to help the 28 million who are on food stamps is simple. The George W Bush or the Bush Family should fork it over since George W. is the one who caused this to happen. They have the money and all the oil profits they've made would nicely take care of the problem. Wasn't he ever taught to share?

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  139. nate dorsey

    Jack,

    It means one thing and one thing only stop taking care of the world until you can take care of america first its that simple why cant they see that i tell all those people in washington are smartiest dumb people i have ever seen good bless america please.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  140. John

    It is easy, Jack. It means we need to blame Iran, blame Russia, blame China, blame India, blame Korea or any other country, and convince us it is just not our fault.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  141. Zeny Schaffrin

    The answer? BUSH did it!

    Groveland, Illinois

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  142. peter benton

    Jack,
    Let them eat cake!

    San Jacinto Ca.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  143. daniel mahoney

    Jack- Presidential Order-Drill AMWAR. No, don't put it out to lease. Put drilling out to bid for best price with enviornmental protections. The oil belongs to the US Citizens and should benefit us, not large oil companies who take profits at the cost of our country's independence.
    Use the oil for the war, less bought from Saudi Arabia, then for a full strategic reserve, then to fund Social Security, VA benefits, food stamps and other programs. No, it won't pay for it all, but every penny is a penny we don't go into debt for with China.
    Dan – Key Colony Beach, Fl

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  144. Pat Straumann, Mt Pulaski, Il.

    The answer to your question, Jack:
    the immediate impeachment of President Bush.

    Thanks, Pat from Mt. Pulaski, Illinois

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  145. Vince

    Hello,
    I' ve just heard what you said about growing food stamp issue in america.
    Just want to tell this about that : Wake up america, you re not like you used to be, you are not anymore the place where it is good to life.
    China is financing your war in iraq, people get poorer and poorer losing their home.
    Your financial system is messed up because it wants to take money from people who are under or just above the poverty level.
    Take care of your people, and maybe you will be back on tracks.
    If not, China, then india, then europe will take the lead in the economics fiels.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  146. Jennifer Collins

    There is nothing that can be done until this administration is gone. Any plan that is proposed to help the middle class or the poor will be vetoed by our great wonderful leader.

    I can't wait for the day that Bush and his cronies pack their bags. I never want to see Bush's smirking face again.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  147. Lanette

    The answer is a change the conciousness. We are our brothers keeper. Wealthy Americans must stop becoming weathier on the backs of the ex middleclass and poorer than before class. War should not be the excuse to line the pockets of the greedy while the cost are borne by the average Joe blow. The food stamp problem is just one of many that are coming home to roost. The greed of our country is unprecedented. The powers that be are destroying what this country is all about. Shame on them and shame on us for allowing to continue.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  148. BOB

    THE ANSWER IS GET RID OF ALL THE IDIOTS IN D.C. GET RID OF FREE TRADE. GET RID OF NAFTA. GET RID OF "GLOBALIZATION" we need a revolution but try to get everyone together as so many people are afraid.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  149. John

    Jack, tell the folks on food stamps not to worry... the surge is going well in Iraq and your check is in the mail. God bless George Bush and John McCain!!!

    March 31, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  150. Joe H.

    It's a sad thing but how many of those 28 million do it because they can? Unfortunately, I see people everyday with potential to make a living but rely on stamps because they can. As for those truly living in hard times, American business should remain American business. Far too many jobs are being outsourced. The government is now guilty of this. Didn't I hear something about outsourcing passports? What can we do? What can we do?

    March 31, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  151. Rachel from Washington D.C.

    Jack,
    I'm just a 13 year old student. But it’s not what the government can do to to reduce those on food stamps, it’s what the individuals can do to make themselves self sufficient. Hardship seems to be more common in our modern day America but those on food stamps must be willing to take responsibility and step up to the challenge. But yet that cannot pull everyone out, as many are doing this but are still struggling. The government needs to address illegal immigration to limit the numbers entering the food stamp program.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  152. Jimmy from Lubbock, TX

    Jack,

    The simple answer is to elect a Democratic president and congress. Bush's republican administration got us into this mess. Both (either) of the Democratic candidates have their hearts and minds in the right place to heal our ailing economy. My only worry is, can we wait until November for a change?

    March 31, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  153. Ray Rice

    Bring our manufacturing jobs back to the US and impose tariffs on imports. End NAFTA. Our economy was strong when most of our products were manufactured here. All companies who packed up and left for places like China should be declared TRAITORS. End the war in Iraq.

    Ray Rice
    Silver Springs, FL

    March 31, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  154. A. Alyce Claerbaut

    This statistic is devastating. In recent history there has been an increase in the number of food banks and depositories and soup kitchens run by churches and other not-for-profit organizations. The goods are contributed by people of good will. Perhaps the government can provide incentives for increased giving to these centers such as tax breaks to contributors of food banks and other organizations that distribute food to the hungry.

    A good first step is the Cafferty File alerting us to this dilemma. More focus on this subject to educate and motivate the [ibloc to help.

    A. Alyce Claerbaut
    Chicago

    March 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  155. Judi Smith

    I myself receive food stamps $155.00 a month, I hate this! I have gone through 16 years of education and still owe $8,00.00 on a student loan. I am 55 years old and have worked hard all of my life. I receive no unemployment now because my 6 months of unemployment ran out long ago, I retained though a "Michigan Works" Gov. program but if there are no jobs you can not get one, so I am not even entitiled to the $300.00 tax stimulas package deal. There are NO JOBS in the area I live and I have no money to move. I have lost everything includeing my self respect! Sincerely, Judi Smith From Warren. Michigan.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  156. Ron

    Hi Jack,

    I work in social services and we are always encouraged to get more people to sign up for food support to get our participation rates up. We have a many people in our county alone who would qualify but feel the stigma of getting any kind of "welfare". The numbers would be even greater if everyone who qualified actually applied. Also, to change the subject, would someone quote the actual number of people who are unemployed and not just those who have applied for benefits. This has always bugged me because the unemployment rate is actually much high than the government states because many people don't qualify for benefits because they were fired for quit their jobs for many reasons (like daycare, transportation, etc).

    Ron

    March 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  157. Burt, Sun Lakes, AZ

    The answer is:
    1. Deport the 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S.
    2. Outlaw outsourcing.
    3. Retract NFTA.
    4 Put a tariff on all goods from China.
    That should be a good start.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  158. robert graves

    It is time for we Americans to refocus our government on Americans
    instead of other countries. Irac would be a good start, The money spent on the war, 480 billion, given to the 28 million in poverty would
    supply $17000.00 each person. Robert.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  159. Julian

    the solution should not be more food stamps. poor Americans need more education to gain skills in order to compete in a globalised world. just think for a second that in many countries people making 800$ a month working hard are considered middle class and do not receive any food assistance. they manage sometimes to feed themselves and their children despite food prices that are the same or even higher. one skill is to spend wisely. a lot of times the SSI checks are spent on beer, fast food restaurants and even illegal drugs. if anything the poor Americans suffer from obesity and poor lifestyle choices.but they do not suffer from lack of food. the American poor are a lot richer than billions of people on this Earth and they are blessed with opportunities many people don't get even though they work a lot harder.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  160. Ed from Twin Bridges Montana

    It's really relatively simple Jack, it's a three step plan. First, stop the spending in Iraq. Second, use that money as seed money for alternative energy development companies. Third, these new companies hire the people on foodstamps and in foreclosure. Viola, no more war, a cleaner environment, people with jobs, and a more secure America. Just one problem, big energy and their profit agendas.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  161. Gloria J. O'Reilly

    For a start, stop sending so much money overseas. Keep it in the USA for OUR people who are hurting so badly. OMG, when I saw on CNN that people were committing suicide because they had nothing, not ONE thing left, I cried. Why can't we put the US first? I donate first to the poor here and then overseas.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  162. Mike

    Jack
    If you're looking for a silver bullet – you won't find one.
    But a good place to start would be for President Bush to start enforcing our immigration laws and to "close the border".
    This would provide American CITIZENS more jobs and higher paying jobs.
    Ask Lou Dobbs about this if you don't believe me !!

    March 31, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  163. Charlie Rhodes II

    Jack the answer is the same for the war, Katrina, our energy policy, the financial crisis, domestic spying, or the record of Americans needing food stamps to eat, etc.etc.etc... IMPEACHMENT!!!

    Fond du Lac Wi.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  164. syd AL

    Do illegal immigrants qualify? they still get. as an immigrant from Antigua i am apalled at the amount of handouts the government is planning to add to foodstamps. The government is planning to through in the kittchen sink with it to those who will not accept the wages AT&T is offering call center reps.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  165. Sandy

    The answer is to get rid of corporate greed and bring America back to being of, by and for the people instead of being of, by and for the corporation.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  166. Mike Lochridge

    Jack, the answer is to cut off food stamps to the illegal immigrants. If your folks would do some research, I'll bet you would find this is why the numbers have increased. Please let us know what you find out.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  167. Joshua P. at North Carolina State University

    I got it Jack have them process all our passports and inspect our food hey we need a buch of those right now and they need a job. Looks like a perfect fit for to me, Jack.

    March 31, 2008 at 6:25 pm |