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What does it mean when one in seven people in the U.S. gets food stamps?
FILE PHOTO: Older, traditional food stamps as seen before all 50 states began providing debit-style cards.
April 23rd, 2012
04:00 PM ET

What does it mean when one in seven people in the U.S. gets food stamps?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Forty-five million people – that's one in seven living in the United States – received food stamps last year.

That's a 70% increase from 2007, according to a shocking new report by the Congressional Budget Office.

It shows that in 2010, about three out of four food stamp households included a child, a person older than 60 or someone who is disabled.

Most households getting food stamps were very low income, only about $8,800 per year.

The average food stamp benefit per household was about $290 a month, which comes out to $4.30 per person per day.

The worst part is food stamp use is only expected to grow.

The CBO projects the number of people getting food stamps will rise slightly for the next two years, at which point it will start to drop, as long as the economy improves.

But we're still talking historic highs here. In 2022, it's estimated spending on food stamps will be among the highest of all nonhealth related federal programs for the poor.

Speaking of spending, it follows that the cost of the food stamp program has skyrocketed along with the growing number of participants.

The cost rose from $30 billion in 2007 to $72 billion last year.

The CBO says about two-thirds of the cost increase is due to more people getting food stamps. But spending is also going up due to temporarily higher benefits from the stimulus law.

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Food • Government
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Steve, NY

    It means that Obama has to go. We need real change, not a rhetoric change.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Mike Danahy

    It's quite simple, Jack. It's the result of the top 1% of the country controlling 40% of the cash! Ca-ching!

    April 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  3. steve

    It means that we need to bring the jobs back to the usa.But don;t forget about the giant corp.that are on aid ,and probably cost more than it does for the 1 in 7 on food stamps. steve from il.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  4. Doug Ericson

    That works out to about 74 billion a year in food stamp benifits total per year. Not quite the cost of a year of war in
    Afghanistan. If a person is in need of food stamps, 133 dollars a month in stamps, ( the average monthly allowance), is not really a lot. You could live on potatoes, eggs, bread, rice and tap water, but everything else has just about doubled in the past decade. So I think we should provide even more assistance to those that need it, and get out of the stupid crusading business. Thats what it means to me. Doug, Pepperell, Mass.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  5. Russ in PA

    That the welfare state is alive and well in the USA. The US distorted the free market system – that which lifted the entire country in the 1800's – into a crony-capitalist system that looks alarmingly like a fascist system, where work ethic and savings are punished in favor of hand outs to corporations and selected groups. It's ironic, isn't it, that so many in the MSM mention that wages have been stagnant or falling for the last 40 years. And what was a crowning achievement in 1971? The end of the dollar-backed gold. So much for paper money and the FED preserving the working class in America...

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    April 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  6. Phyllis G. Williams

    What does it mean when one in seven people in the U.S. gets food stamps?

    Thank God I am in the 'one' not in the 'seven' as I do not know food stamps,
    but I can imagine that it is better for them to get food stamps than have to
    steal for food, and I don't think they could be proud of it, but feel ashamed
    and should try to get out of such deep poverty.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  7. Mel - Houston

    One could easily surmise that the current form of capitalism in this country has failed. Exhibit A, is the huge seperation in wages. The conservative would prefer the elimination of all govermental safety nets. That would force the poor to work for less which would just exacerbate the situation. The conservative have always been against raising the minimum wage in the country which prove the last point. Without food stamps what is the point of forcing all pregnacies to term if the mother of those babies can't feed them. None of their thinking makes common sense.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  8. JAB in Missouri

    It means the one percent have won.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  9. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    It means the real economy - the one in which people used to be able to work for a living - is still in a state of collapse. The public has been screaming for years that the only issue that matters is JOBS JOBS JOBS. Meanwhile the Wall Street robber barons party on, the politicians play gotcha games, and the middle class is swindled, robbed, raped, and left for dead in a ditch. I used to be a proud citizen of the United States. Now I am a man without a country.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  10. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    It means that pride keeps the 4 in 10 from coming forward and asking for them.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  11. Anne

    We are doing better, because: the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition service month-by-month figures going back to January 2001 show that under President George W. Bush the number of recipients rose by nearly 14.7 million. Nothing before January 2001 comes close to that figure.

    On the contrary, under President Obama, the increase so far has been to 14.2 million, so, the program has decreased by 444,574 fewer recipients receiving assistance during his time in office, than those receiving assistance during President Bush's.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  12. Kevin SD CA

    It means that our socialist government has constipated the ability of the private sector so badly to create jobs that those of us who can create jobs refuse to waste our time serving Obama, House Speaker Boehner and the rest of the glorified welfare mafia! Corporate welfare and social welfare is destroying any incentive to share real talent; all we have left are government training programs run by idiots who have no real experience succeeding at anything except double talk! I know plenty of certified social workers who can’t teach success because they have never succeeded at anything individually!

    Chow down food stampers!

    April 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Michael From CT

    The reason so many people are on food stamps is because Americans are hurting. For example over here gas prices are at $4.25 per gallon, food prices keep going up, millions are still unemployed. President Obama broke a major campain promise from 2008 to put the brakes on the outsourcing of American jobs for the sole purpose of cheap overseas labor. The president could do something about high energy prices too by putting a complete stop to the speculators that artificially drive up the prices, stop oil companies from exporting oil, and give our friends in Canada the green light to fully build that key stone pipeline. The high energy prices are making food prices go up and it seems like both parties are completely out of touch as nothing is being done about it.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, it means that Obama and his sycophants are methodically turning this country into a nanny state, little by little. I encourage all to vote against this fool in November.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  15. pat in michigan

    It means that one in seven people are a victim of circumstanceeither by bad luck or bad decision. One in seven are in a hole and let me tell you it is tough to get out of if a group of people are activly throwing more dirt on you as you try to get out.
    Cuting a life line will not make you stronger ,it will simply help you drown faster.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  16. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    The bigger question is what does it mean when Food Stamps run out before the end of the month with one in seven families using them? Connect the dots, Jack. Hunger is rampant and it is largely thanks to one party. Hopefully, someone will convince them all that their votes count and that voting in every election is essential to their suvival.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  17. pat in michigan

    It means one in seven are drowning by either bad luck or bad decision.Cutting their lifeline will not make them a better swimmer ,they will simply drown faster.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  18. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack, it means Congress needs to get off their fat butts and start helping America instead of helping the wealthy and special interest groups. The average American citizen has no high paid lobbyist representing them, if they did you would not have to ask this question.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  19. Gary in San Jose, California

    It tells me that 8.2% unemployment understates our employment problem. If 14% of the population can't feed themselves without assistance then they must but unemployed (and not counted) or underemployed. Also, this was assisted by stimulus so imagine what it will look like when the stimulus ends and the necessary austerity arrives.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  20. Charles - San Antonio

    It means one to two things. Either there are many people who are having trouble making ends meet or there are many people receiving assitance when they really don't need it. I think the answer is somewhre in the middle. However, I do see people at the grocery strore using foods stamps, and many of there people do not appear to be that bad off.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  21. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    It means that the profits from high productivity have gone to the 1% and not been shared with the workers who earned them. unions would get us back to a living wage.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  22. CurtJ

    It means the corporate parasites are successful in transferring American taxpayer money into their coffers, thanks to the legalized conflict of interest and collusion in all three branches of our government. Legalized corruption meant to profit a certain few, condemning innocents who live in 3rd world countries, ruled by bribed dictator puppet regimes, to pain suffering and death.
    Instead of the By The People, For the People, it has become, By the Multi National Corporations, For the Multi National Corporations. America has no ethics, morality or legal standing left. As well as the literacy to realize it.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  23. JD in NH

    What does it mean? The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Wages for average workers have been stagnant for 30 years and our corporate overlords have reaped the benefits. We need to repatriate our millions of outsourced jobs and stop the trend of slashing wages. The worst part about food stamps is how the people who need them to survive are depicted as lazy at best and criminals at worst.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  24. Tony from Southport

    You can tell the rest of your viewers and those who comment here, that it means Obama is still president. Food stamps, bailouts, give-aways, tsars, executive orders, backroom deals, thuggery, voter fraud, and just plain un-American actions that will accomplish what the Nazis and the Japanese could not accomplish during WWII.....the total decimation of the United States of America.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  25. Gary H. Boyd

    The dictionary's definition of the word DEADBEAT seems appropriate: " A person who does not pay his debts. A lazy or lethargic loafer". 1 in 7 on food stamps confirms Obama's "Robin Hood" approach to his job. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  26. David in Ottawa ON

    John Edwards was the only candidate to really talk seriously about poverty in ages – unfortunately he turned out to be just as sleezy as the rest of them, at least with regards to infidelity.

    It would be truly great to see Obama take up that mantle, and frankly I'm surprised that he hasn't given his background as a community organizer. Cry about "socialism" all you want, but it's not hard to see something's horribly wrong when you've got so many obscenely wealthy people in one country who refuse to give back any of it. Athletes & movie stars who are multi-millionaires, CEO's making 500 times the pay of an average worker (no way in hell they actually do 500x the work) and equally as disgusting are the members of congress (most of whom are already quite wealthy) with 6-figure pensions.

    This is what happens when you let Capitalism run rampant with no restraints – there needs to be some sensible checks to reign in corporate greed.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  27. Karl from Flint, MI

    It means that George W. Bush was the worst president in our history, he demolished the economy beyond comprehension and since he left office the GOP's in Congress have blocked every effort by the current president to speed up the recovery. If the millions of jobs that were eliminated or sent overseas hadn't disappeared at the behest of the wealthy, most of these 1 in 7 would still be earning a living and wouldn't need food stamps. It' seems to be the ones that created this abomination are the ones screaming the loudest about what their greed has done to America.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  28. gg

    it means the republican war on the middle class is working

    April 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  29. Bill of New Mexico

    The US is crash-landing into the "poor house."

    Will it be "one in two" by 2025?

    Citizens are not motivated–as well as the growing poverty.

    Men are not providing child support, as well as women are raising children without being married.

    More jobless people are supporting a $300 a day drug habit.

    The US is reaching a tipping point of collapse.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  30. Pete in Georgia

    It means we are well on our way to Socialism. BIG government, from cradle to grave. If left to this lunacy, it will only get worse.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  31. David in Tampa

    Jack, What I think it means is that the upper crust is doing quite well thank you, and that most of the rest of us aren't doing as well as our politicians and the upper crust want everyone to believe. Wages for some have gone up, while wages for most have at best remained the same, and many have taken cuts in pay and benefits. I live in the world of the most of the rest of us. Mostly, I think it means we need a change away from the two party system that has plagued this nation since its inception.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  32. jk in MN

    The GOP attack on labor in this country is working (as is the unchecked greed). So many good manufacturing jobs were outsourced overseas and the displaced workers don't have the skill set for today's jobs. It a shame especially since the one's most responsible for this also claim to be Christian. Hypocrisy at it's finest.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  33. Ron in Ohio

    Conservatives would claim it is because the poor are lazy. Actually, it is more due to the sometimes tax supported outflow of jobs overseas. We are tired of seeing so much made in China and other low-paying salary countries. Conservative de-regulation and government run by billionaires have been fighting their class war agenda for decades even though they complain about class war when we desire the wealthy to pay their fair share. Conservatives do not, I repeat, do not serve us, yet they are good at fooling enough voters to keep giving them the power to diminish our lives. We are the greatest country in the world and our citizens are suffering more and more. Go figure. Gear up the food stamp presses.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  34. Bill from Fairport

    It means we need to give millionaires, billionaires and Willard more and greater tax cuts so they can lay off more and hire them back at lower wages! Can somebody explain to me the difference in the cost of food stamps opposed to the welfare we give the blessed fortune 500?

    April 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  35. Martha Brooks

    Well, duh! It means that one in seven of us are truly POOR! Or marginally so. Because of the general down-spiral in the economy in general, it's putting folks either out of work or working in much lower-paying jobs. And more Social Security recipients due to an aging population. And food costs keep going up-up-up so the whole program will costs more even if the numbers who qualify remain static. It's sad...$4.30 a day buys an unhealthy diet which will only make the Health Care problem worse down the road. It's a vicious circle, Jack, and one for which there seems to b no ready solution.

    Martha, Rew, PA

    April 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  36. Paul From Round Rock, Texas

    It means that we have a large problem that most just have a blind eye on. The number will only increase if things stay as they are. We need to get more people back to work with jobs that have a fair wage and bring back the outsourced jobs. With Romney that will not happen and I am not so sure if Obama will or can do any better.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  37. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    It means 14% of us need assistannce. There was a time in my life after getting laid off from my job my family needed food stamps untl I became re-employed. Luckily things weren't that bad back in then 80s.

    It's beyond my comprehension that the food stamp issue is being debated and that Republicans want to do away with it

    I don't think funding has anything to do with it. I think they want to punish people who live on assistance. Like Puritans of old they live in cnstant fear that somewhere, someplace, someone is not suffering because they are getting governmetn assistance..

    April 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  38. Doreen in Canada

    It can only mean one thing. So many people are either unemployed or in bad shape financially and require help!

    April 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  39. Pete in Florida

    It means that the Republican/Conservative long-term plan for America is working. Soon after they regain power over all three branches of goverment, the rich, powerful, and well-connected will own and/or control everything, the transfer of almost all weath into their hands will be completed, and the majority of Americans will complete their unwitting transition into slavery, working extreme hours and schedules for just barely enough pay and benefits to support themselves and their families. Vital services such as food stamps, health care, etc, will be withheld from the "uncooperative". Vote Republican in November folks, and help America commit national suicide.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  40. Leo Garcia

    !This is something to think very seriously!!!!!The bottom of the problem comes simple from poor education.Unfortunely it seems to be one answer............... we do not know how to make it work............................

    April 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  41. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    It means those eating lunch or dinner at an expensive restaurant, or possibly at a local fast food joint, probably think this is the greatest country in the world. Those hungry probably have had a bellyful of that.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  42. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    It means that the "trickle down" theory that Republicans are in love with, has been a colossal failure since it's inception. When you artificially enrich corporations through legislative design, fail to impose effective trade regulations that protect American made products, and endorse the tranfer of wealth and jobs to foreign countries, you better not start whinning about the percentage of the country on assistance of any kind. The food stamp program is the direct result of the " job creators" never have intended to create any jobs, choosing instead to pocket the windfall gains for themselves.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  43. Paul in NC

    It means that the inevitable outcome of trickle down economics has come to pass. The economy, suffocating form Bush's policies, hit bottom in 2007. What followed was long term unemployment, under-employment, foreclosures and stagnation. The fact that one seventh of our nation can't afford to feed their families is a national disgrace. And the fact that Mitt Romney has endorsed the draconian Ryan plan, which cuts funding for food stamps and other safety net programs, is an abomination. This is no longer the America I grew up in.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  44. Larry in Houston

    What does it mean when one in seven people in the U.S. gets food stamps ?
    Answer : You're right, food stamp use will grow, and is expected to grow. Why ? let me use this quote : "It's the economy, stupid" – and as long as the factories & manufacturing sector stays in the 3rd world countries, with no penalty shipping goods here, and no penalty for the factories leaving this country, and our debt keeps rising, especially when our own government is going to keep a 10 year committment to sending billions of our tax dollars to afghanistan, to a corrupt nation, we're sunk. Government Does Not Create Enough Jobs – Small Business Does Not Create Enough Jobs, these are Facts. Small Business only creates a minimal amount of Jobs. They aren't the Manufacturing, and the Factories – where this country has lost 4.5 million Factory / or manufacturing Jobs in the last 35 to 38 years.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  45. Ed from California

    It means six in seven are doing fantastic....unless you're the one in seven. Jack, when is congress going to address the the real issues....Jobs!! When are our jobs going to be returned? Did you see the paper today that we have a crude oil glut!! We've been drilling, but no one has enough money to buy gas or that they don't need to drive because people are unemployed. I sure love it that we drill for oil here and the world market sets the price. It's Wall st speculators looking for a quick buck. It's the new housing bubble!!

    April 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  46. David of Alexandria VA

    It means we are a compassionate people who put programs in place for those that need it when they need it - and we stick by our promises despite the worst economic times an at least 50 years. It should also mean that 1 in 7 Americans has some plan or program in place to get off food stamps within the next 5 years. Otherwise, the number will only grow and we'll be kicking yet another can down the road.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  47. Jake in Omaha

    What does it mean when one in seven people in the U.S. gets food stamps?

    That we need a Republican president to put an end to this socialist program. If was quite feeding them they will do one of two things, Move to socialist Canada or go hungry. Both work for me.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  48. CJ in Alabama

    Mmmmmmm, means many people in this country are not making enough money to keep up with the cost of food and groceries. I am retired and see my money not going up , but take a walk into Wally World each week see the cost of food going up up up. If I had to feed more than my spouse and myself , not sure we could manage it for long. The middle class is going down hill fast , thanks to all the tax breaks given to the 1% over the last 30yrs. We had to give the IRS another thousand bucks this yr and realized that our percentage was much higher than the GOP nominee ....Mmmmmm knoiw who I will vote for and it will not be a someone helping the rich get richer!

    April 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  49. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It means we need to change the requirements especially for military service personnel who get a housing allowance, subsistence allowance, commissary privileges, free medical/dental care, and a 20 yr retirement which is not counted as income. We also need better monitoring of the program to detect fraud and abuse.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  50. Susan UP of MI

    It means that we're spending too much money propping up the economies of countries overseas and not enough money propping up this economy.
    Wake up congress! Spend the taxpayers money on the taxpayer and not on foreign governments!!

    April 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  51. Saint George

    Americans deserve foodstamps. Feed All People! To all you hungry people out there;may you eat and drink to your heart's content!

    April 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  52. Richard Texas

    Food Stamps are not just given out. One must qualify for them first and they do not help much. They may stop your stomach from growling but they will not keep you warm in winter and will not keep you cool in the summertime. What America needs is jobs and until that happens the need for government assistance is only going to go up. Idle people means more time for other things like sex so now the population rises making more mouths to feed. It is a vicious cycle.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  53. Ted

    This is why we should tax the rich. Hard work should not be rewarded with wealth. We should give the money to the politicans so that they can give the money away to people who do not want to work ( this is called buying votes ). Sadly, most people on food stamps never tried to get a job or will ever try to get a job as long as the people who work have to take care of them. I think the president ,and the rest of our politicans who say tax the rich,should give half of their money back to the government as an example of good will. I am sure hell will freeze over before this happens.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  54. TomInRochNY

    It means that Corporate America, you know the "Job Creators", aren't paying people enough to live on. If they paid us for making them profitable, then we could easily afford to buy our own food. Since most people seem to think our best way out of this is to give those who already have a lot of money even more money, let's try giving more food to people who already have a lot of food and see if that works. But, don't worry. It will all fix itself when the economy totally collapses and we all have to grow our own food.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    April 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  55. Brad, Portland, OR

    It means that the Republicans under George Bush wrecked the economy, and have been fighting to prevent Obama from fixing it ever since.

    As you pointed out, most of the people on food stamps make less than $8,800/year, and the households include an elderly person, child, or disabled person. So clearly the system isn't being abused.

    But just as clearly there's a huge need for this program, if 1 out of 7 people in the US rely on it. Of course, Republican Paul Ryan wants to cut the food stamp program, along with other programs for the poor, in his budget plan. And Mitt Romney supports the Paul Ryan plan whole-heartedly.

    Not sure what Paul and Mitt expect to happen to these desperately poor people they want to take food stamps away from. Maybe they expect to solve the problem by letting them die of starvation.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  56. Rod99b

    It shows the lengths this administration will go to buy votes.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  57. bonnie from NJ

    So let's get rid of food stamps for the people who can't find jobs. But don't even think about punishing corporations who pay no income taxes or the "job creators" who aren't creating jobs and keeping the profits from taking those jobs overseas for themselves. Really, Jack you are ready for Fox!

    April 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  58. hank

    fair trade not working,take a look at you labels,American companies making stuff over seas cheap,selling here for larger profits

    April 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  59. Duane North Dakota

    Jack:
    Interesting statistic, for a family of 4 earning less than $30k annually (Federal poverty level times 130%) qualifies for SNAP. For a family of 3 that figure drops to $24k annually.

    An E2 in our military with two or less years is paid $20k annually (calculation for SNAP $26k). If our military member has a non-working spouse and two children—our military member qualifies, with just one child, the member does not.

    The bottom line is this: The working poor. The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour ($15k annually). In most states a “living wage” is near $20/hour ($42k annually). The quality of our wage structure will not change until we deport the 20 million illegal immigrants willing to work for nothing. Our citizens deserve better.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  60. Virginia - Atlanta

    It means that we need to keep the programs that help them. If the Ryan plan is implemented, we will have that many dead and a new crop of folks in line, to take their place. Soon only the very wealthy will be alive and have no one to do their work for them.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  61. Kyle S Irvine, CA

    It means the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  62. Jenna Roseville CA

    What does it mean when one in seven people in the U.S. gets food stamps?

    It means that the Republican bright idea of "trickle down" economics proved to be a complete and utter failure.

    BTW Jack, if it were up to Republicans, no one would receive aid of any kind – including food stamps.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    April 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  63. Evinia Bruce

    It means the "greatest " country in the world ..is a farce and Americans are living in a propaganda fed utopian state of denial ...there is only one way to get the food stamp population down .and that is with JOBS!!!! but when your corporations have sent jobs over seas... Republicans cutting back on training and education ,, Congress refusing to work across the aisle ..and have no other plan but to make Obama fail... you don't have prayer ....GOOD LUCK!!! ....what a sad..sad..sad..state of affairs ..and it's not going to get much better ..except for the 1% .....they are counting on the despeartion .of the unemployed and hungry ..willing to work for peanuts ....and you think Romney "feels your pain!!!???...where do all those HUGE donations come from ?? ...B.C. Canada

    April 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  64. James Rupert

    It means it time for BOTH parties to end the partisan bickering and get to work on improving our economic situation. It's not a problem caused by the Right or the Left, Republicans or Democrats, Rich or Poor. It's multiple problems faced by all Americans in a global economy. – James Rupert, Lincoln, Nebraska.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  65. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    Take another look at the average income of recipient families, just $8,800.00 per year. Then consider that the cost to help feed those 45 million people was only 72 billion dollars. It means to me as a foreigner that the food stamp system is desperately essential to America and remarkably cheap. Anyone who implies that this program is a waste of money is heartless. The shocking statistic imbedded in your question, Jack, is how little income so many households in America exist on. Something has gone dreadfully wrong with the American dream, probably caused by Iraq and Afghanistan or perhaps by the greed and recklessness of Wall Street.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  66. Tom in Desoto, TX

    It means that in spite of Bush being out of office for over 3 years he policies continue to inflict misery.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  67. Gordo from NJ

    Yup! The Tea Party was all about ranting, but it had no coherent policies. As a friend of mine summed it up: "keep your filthy socialist hands off my medicare."

    April 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  68. Arthur

    It means the middle class is vanishing, the rich are getting richer and the poor are staying poor. Whatever happened to the American Dream?

    April 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  69. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, it means that 30 years of Republican economic policies have failed this country, well, have failed all but the top 1% of the country. 1 in 7 people get food stamps, roughly half don't make enough money to pay federal income taxes, good jobs sent overseas simply to allow investors to make huge profits rather than some profit. The Reagan legacy is one of failure, we let the rich become even richer and the only thing that has trickled down is hard times.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  70. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Is it possible that the corporations that own grocery stores are complaining about the food stamp program because far to much money is flowing into their coffers? Perhaps they've heard an outcry from shareholders who say that lining their pockets with all this lettuce is messy and results in to many trips to the dry cleaners. These corporations could do something about lowering the unemployment rate by hiring workers. But they despise anything that effects their bottom line, especially Unions. So, in effect, the food stamp program can also be viewed as a corporate welfare program.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  71. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    It means that we are well on our way to seeing "Hunger Games" right in our own nation, as a result of the greed (spelled – Free Market Capitalism) of a very few.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  72. Ray E. (Georgia)

    The Liberals, Unions, and Socalists are winning. The Welfare to Work Program started back when the Republicians took Congress in 1994 went to the dogs. People lost site of reality. The Politicans gave the people what they wanted. A house for everybody weather they could afford it or not. Can't blame the Conservatives or Republician's for that.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  73. Cee.Louisiana

    It means that many of us dont realize that we are trying to come out of the worst economic crisis, since the Great Depression......it means that its a good thing its not 1929, or we would be jumping out of windows, stealing,or just starving to death..........it means that that the the people at the top, Lehman Brothers, AIG, etc should be on trial for fraud......

    April 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  74. Ed in California

    It means that many people are hurting economically. That's not really new is it???

    April 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  75. Cres from Florida

    It means that two wrong still don't make anything right. It's the combination of GOP trickle down economics that promotes
    the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer at the expense of the dwindling middle class and the Dems spending money on social programs like it grows on trees. And as long as the partisanship and polarization are the norm or the
    rule of the day, nothing will improve.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  76. Mark from New Jersey

    With the top 400 "earners" in this country making more money than the bottom 150 million, it means that something is very, very wrong with the system. And don't blame most of the people who are in that situation. The deck is clearly stacked against them, The most egregious thing is to blame then blame them for having been cheated. This is not America.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  77. Dave - Phx

    It confirms what the Republicans have been saying. That class warfare is going on. It's too bad the 1% class won, and has turned out country into a bunch of out of work, co-dependent wage slaves. Those people on food stamps don't get the privlege of being a wage slave. Keep the population afraid, uneducated, and ignorant and they will vote against their own interests every time.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  78. Carole

    Like when Kennedy said to McNamara "We can learn or jobs together,"– The President's Club" by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy - O'Bama is not doing well with his on the job training. Someone else more qualified should be leading our country back to prosperity.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  79. Kevin in CA

    It conclusively shows a failure of leadership in this country.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  80. Mr. D

    I just checked my latest corporate investment statement and found food stamps listed instead of dollars. What's this world coming to?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  81. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    We need to revisit the qualifications for food stamps. I don't want anyone to go hungry, but fraud is rampant and we need to change what food stamps can buiy. I suspect they are being traded for drug money.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Ryan & Sam in Chicago

    Jack, all things considered 1 in 7 is really not that bad, that equates to roughly 14 % of the population. I think our focus should be on the roughly 80% percent of the American population who are total morons.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Gigi Oregon

    It tells me many things. First of all Capitalism doesn't work for anyone but the greedy. We could be rebuilding the United States which hasn't had a make over since the late 50's. Creating jobs for millions. I'm wondering who is receiving theses food stamps. Could it be veterans returning home...from a war in the wrong country, ten long years. All those who lost jobs from the Bush years with the fraudulent deals from banks and mortgages companies, the other business that took a dive from those who were robed ... while we were being capitalised by our rich bankers... again ten long years. And President Obama gets the Enemy #1 with out losing or crippling one of our own. Why? are we giving oil companies kick backs...that could pay off our debt. The only reason our food stamp program is needed is...because we don't take care of our own by rebuilding our country... JOBS. Giving entitlements to the rich which NO one complains about. I'd rather give food stamps to the innocent victims, than the elite and the War mongers. The innocent who are capitalized upon by greed and low taxes received by the elite to hoard in overseas bank accounts. And they want to be the caretaker of "we the people"...

    But that seems to be what the people clamor for. So lets build bigger jails, neglect the widow, orphan, veteran and the stranger in a strange land. And be sure to add "God Bless America" in our conservative chant.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  84. Nancy, Tennessee

    It means that food stamps have replaced the long soup lines of the Great Depression. With the mass number of people out of work, it would be hard to reach everyone in need with a volunteer program. It is a good thing that the government has a program so that American citizens don't go hungry

    April 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  85. Mike Grayeb

    The late singer-songwriter-humanitarian used to describe hunger as an obscenity - and hunger in the U.S., the richest country in the world, as the ultimate obscenity. How right he was. And the fact that his words are more true now - more than 30 years later, makes it even more obscene.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  86. jpaullanier

    It's another sign that poverty is increasing.
    Paul
    Albuquerque, NM

    April 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  87. Mike Grayeb, Larchmont, NY

    The late singer-songwriter-humanitarian Harry Chapin to describe hunger as an obscenity – and hunger in the U.S., the richest country in the world, as the ultimate obscenity. How right he was. And the fact that his words are more true now – more than 30 years later, makes it even more obscene.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  88. stephanie

    It means that 1 person out of 7 people qualify for food stamps, but that does not take into the fact that 5 out of the 7 may only make 100-500 too much each month. If they do qualify, it does not help with big families since any extra money they save goes into paying for gas just to get to their low paying job.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  89. Bob Schroder Piedmont Quebec Canada

    What does it mean? It means you invest your money in a food stamp printing company. The market solves everything.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  90. Mike Grayeb, Larchmont, NY

    The late singer-songwriter-humanitarian Harry Chapin used to describe hunger as an obscenity – and hunger in the U.S., the richest country in the world, as the ultimate obscenity. How right he was. And the fact that his words are more true now – more than 30 years later, makes it even more obscene.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  91. Larry

    It means that the rise in costs of ALL the staples have gone out of reach by our poor. All in the name of boardroom applause. Get as much as you can.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  92. Theo

    It just shows how much of an income gap there is in this country!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  93. acelaflyer2

    It means that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer

    April 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  94. Steven D

    It means either we are all poor or lazy or both. This is what a socialist system is and we are living it now.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  95. Mark, Lasvegas

    Us poor and middle class folks might be starving but at least we're paying our taxes, unlike the richer folks, Who are eating pretty good!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  96. acelaflyer2

    It simply means that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  97. Eric Keating

    It means that the distribution of resources is rooted in fear and its derivatives rather than love and its derivatives. It is unjust! #

    April 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  98. Mechelle Schneider

    Gee, maybe if Newt Gingerich had done better in the primaries we could solve this problem! Not! This problem will not go away until it is realized by the conservatives that the wealth must be more equally distributed. When people are paid a living wage, they will not need to rely on the government or food banks. I'd like to see Romney answer this question.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  99. execspec

    Jack, What it means is we need to ban all foreign made products from being imported into America. We need to get American's working and paying taxes, and the rest of the problems will take care of themselves.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  100. gv

    Is anybody else thing "The Hunger Games?"

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  101. Kim

    It is the result of electing a president who has used the last 3 years as on-the-job training. It also means the agency should look at their recipients to see if this benefit is indeed going to the those who are in need of them validly, or going to the freeloaders who abuse the system. Remember that lottery winner who continued to receive food stamps and would have continued had her situation not made the news.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  102. Thom Richer

    It means the rich are getting richer and the poor are starving without any alternatives. It means there is something very wrong with our economic and educational priorities. It means we have committed to being a warring nation for much too long. It means we are the most elitist country in the world. It means greed is our creed. It means workers are considered to be expendable and undeserving of being paid a living wage. It means Congress is non-representative of the people. It means we are selfish and uncaring of our fellow man. It means government has failed to govern and we don't give a damn as a nation.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  103. Dr Gothican

    What it means, well it means that when the FS program goes away, one in seven will die of starvation, isn't that a happy thought, Mr Romney!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  104. James Flindt

    Jack, I'm a Cancer Patient ...I receive SSI and medicare so I can't complain to much..Paid into the system since I was 16 so 42 yrs now...But my Food Stamps is 16 bucks a month...So the Numbers are NOT as bad as they look..Sure, I'm on them, But it ain't keepin' me ALIVE!!!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  105. Ryan

    It means that the last thing we need is the same gop policies that got us into this mess.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  106. Jimmy Bran

    If they would just keep food in its 3D form they wouldnt need to make it into stamps. Romney '12

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  107. Renee

    Prices on just about everything are rising, salaries are not. Some fields want/prefer to hire someone who has a Doctorate degree, but then want to keep salary from 35,000-45,000 per year.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  108. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    A 70% increase in 5 years A that rate. by 2024. 50% of everyone living in the U.S. will be collecting food stamps.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  109. gv

    Is anybody else thinking "The Hunger Games?"

    April 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  110. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    It means it is a sad statement of the social climate in this country. It is time for Washington to get in gear, especially the obstructionist Replublicans, and do something about the economy and jobs in this country. Start working with the President instead of against him. Do the jobs we elected you to do, enough is enough.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  111. Tyler Goad, Arkansas

    1 and 7 Americans receiving food stamps means the economy sucks. You said people are living on 8000$ a year? Wow im guessing that work for minimum wage. How about we raise 7.25/hr to 8.25/hour. That could help a lot of starving people

    April 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  112. Cindy

    It means the US is becoming a poor nation. Republicans kept minimum wage down for years, and now complain they have to pay for food stamps now that these people are working for 1968 wages.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  113. Dan

    It means no matter how many jobs we add, unless they are decent paying jobs, we are going to see this trend continue. One in seven represnts those that receive benefits, not those who actually qualify for them. The real problem, which highlights the class structure, is the imbalance of pay between those on the floor and those in the offices.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  114. Lisa in Stillman Valley IL

    That means we the people are paying 1 out of 7 people to not have to go out and find work because we will cover their groceries. This comment is for the folks who have been on them for over 6 months. I speak from experience watching real folks in my radius. If you're not hungry, you don't need to work. Right? By the way, I am a white female without formal education and without children. I've never qualified for a dime from any state I've lived in. And.....I've been unemployed 8 months. I have never had anyone pay for my groceries in addition to unemployment!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  115. Georgia from PA

    Could mean the US is becoming more socialist; not for individual citizens, but for corporations and business...Taxpayers pay for employer lack of morality by subsidizing food so a worker can survive. Many people receiving food stamps work over 40 hours a week, it is not their fault jobs aren't paid a living wage...Not everyone can be successful, we need workers and we need workers to be paid at least enough to buy food! New foodstamp useage is part of an ongoing problem with bailing out the rich while we all get poorer.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  116. Onalee Williams, Lecanto, Florida

    It means America is no longer the promised land. We can blame immigrants, but the real blame lies in American greed. A bank, a corporation, a wealthy person is no longer satisfied with healthy profits or wealth. They continue to want more. We're a young country that was built with equality and fairness the rule. Our leaders no longer lead for the benefit of the masses. They are all bought and paid for by those seeking to take more from the masses and give to the few. We virtually have only two classes now, the rich and the poor.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  117. Hugh from Bronxville

    Jack: "What does it mean when one in seven people in the U.S. gets food stamps?" It means that responsibly taxing the wealthy is long over due. Did you know that President Bush was the first president in 150 years to put troops in harms way and NOT raise revenue. The Bush tax cuts seriously weakened the U.S.'s finances.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  118. Michael

    Jack to me it shows that the greed of Wall Street and the largest bank in the US, (which has the gaul to call itself "Bank of America") has no bounds and that these people care not one bit about whether the average American lives or dies, just their bonuses! These are the average American citizen's biggest enemies.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  119. M.Fairley

    Jack, there are people who live in 1/2 million dollar homes who receive food stamps. Its not that 1 out of 7 people "NEED" food stamps but the checks and balances are so lax that fraud is so rampant. "Single" mothers living with their childrens father get assistance even if the income in the home would disqualify them from receiving food stamps if the fathers income was included.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  120. ERnurse

    True story. The other day I was at the store, and watched a woman pay for food with welfare, then pull $70 out of her pocket to pay for two cases of cigarettes. She also had a cell phone better than mine, with very pretty nails. Hate to tell you, but the great majority of these people are just lazy and refuse to get a job. See it every day in the emergency room I work in.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  121. Lex

    I think it's tragic that so many people feel that they need to rely on handouts. Having lived in different countries, I've learned one glaring truth..... The United States has the largest population of poor FAT people. Stating that "without foodstamps, people would go hungry," though dramatic is false.... we would simply begin to alleviate the obesity problem in the US.

    Lex
    Dayton, OH

    April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  122. Sirned

    Don't get your panties in a twist Jack... Put it in perspective we spent more than that in just one war. We need to raise the minumum wage. Bring our jobs back. Put tariffs in place like we used to have in this country...Then tax the millionares a few more % points to cover food stamps until we get back on our feet...Problem solved

    Ned from Virginia

    April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  123. andy henderson

    This is a direct result of the previous administrations policies; which caused the great recession. To pretend otherwise, is just political spin. Jack and CNN, please tell it like it is.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  124. Michael Grant

    I'm on food stamps since my DUI since I can't get a job now thanks to MADD and the overzealous US gov't. But ha the jokes on them because now the very government that squashed my job prospects is supporting me. Well bettter me than some Arab in the middle East at least. So what does it mean? It means I'll kick back on everyone's dime wasting my healthy, able body and 159 IQ and 25 years of experience in marketing. I'm glad it pisses all you Republicans off. If you don't like it, tell your House of Representitutes. Oh yeah, they don't give a spit about their constituents. Time for a lobster. Thanks. What are you eating tonight?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  125. George in Reno

    It means that the 30 year experiment of Reagonomics, something I once believed wholeheartedly in, was based on an incorrect model. I can tell you that living on disability, relying on food stamps, is not easy. It is a very humbling experience to file for benefits (you think filling out your taxes are bad? You ain't seen nothing, my friend). And then you have a choice–fill your stomachs with cheap rubbish or leave them a little emptier and eat something healthy. Some folks need to learn to walk in other peoples' shoes, as a wiser man than you or I once said, as I am now doing. Like I said, it is humbling.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  126. Robert

    It means the rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer. Additionally they are growing in numbers at an alarming rate. If the GOP gets their way, they would cut of their benefits and then tax their income of $8800 at a 25% tax rate. And then, if they were asked what if this family lives or dies, would reply "WHO CARES" and proclaim their love for the constitution, shoot a couple rounds into the air and yell freedom.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  127. GE

    I just saw your story jack; right while me and my partner are deciding to go to a food pantry for help. Chronic unemployment has devestated us. We are a week or two away from potential homelessness. after serving our country in vietnam, and working for over 30 years...we have been reduced to the humiliation of seeking foodstamps and help from food pantry's so we dont starve. And the leaders of our country continue to "fiddle"..as the middle class burns.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  128. Shawn Joseph

    It means the Bush polices have created masses of poor Americans and the Obama Administration is taking care of them!!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  129. Frank Nardo

    Maybe if Washington politicians would stop spending our tax dollars on useless programs and international aid, we would have money for programs that benefits Americans, and yes congress take a cut in pay would help.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  130. Neil

    Simple Jack, it means the system is broke, with a failing economy due to a failing president more and more people are using the system as a crutch because the current president has left them no choice, he pushes more and more money into the welfare system and pork barrell spending then any other president in history, and now we are preepping for our four year bully beatdown in wasted taxpayer money towards a campaign to re-elect this guy, can we just tap out instead?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  131. Orlando

    It means that the Market is over 13000, top 1% are making the largest percentage of the nations income in our history and the Republicans plan is to gut this program to starve children, the elderly, and single parent families so we can give millionaires and billionaires hundreds of thousands of more tax breaks above and beyond the BUSH tax cuts. Where is the humanity?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  132. dave

    dave from michigan. I am 62 years old and have seen the gap between the rich and poor getting bigger for along time . We can't afford to pay for food with federal dollars anymore so they say. Its time for the federal goverment to teach people the right way to search through the dumps of big cites to show people the best way to find things that they can eat everyday. Welcome to the beginning of the new third world america! The only growing market for jobs in our future is for those who know how to build big tall walls around rich peoples houses so they can be safe at night!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  133. The_Mick

    Much of the food stamp expense is an indirect payment to high-income employers. Our minimun wage, which is equal to low-cost-of-living Greece and 60% of France's, does not pay enough to keep people surviving and showing up for work. But many employers who skim a lot of money off what their workers earn for them know that they can pay the minimum wage and the taxpayer will kick-in food stamps, low-cost housing, free school lunches, SCHIP health insurance for kids, etc. There are, or course, small businesses where they can't afford to pay more than the minimum, but that's certainly not true of the large companies making billions in profits, in part due to eminent domain arrangements for land and local tax breaks.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  134. Manny in Roseville, Ca.

    Why should we worry, Jack. You heard the man!! Those at the bottom have a safety net,we don't HAVE to worry about them. You know, just like fish feel an overwhelming sense of security when THEY see a net?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  135. Mike

    Jack as with all things these days when all else fails just put the blame on President Obama it's all his fault. At the same time how do we explain the massive corporate profits with so many people out of work?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  136. Janice from Illinois

    Jack,
    It means that I thank my lucky stars I am one of the 92% who are employed. I don't like paying taxes anymore than anyone else, but I am glad, in this case, to be able to lend a hand during these hard times.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  137. curious

    This article is disingenuous. The real increase comes from retiring baby boomers who can not afford medical prescriptions and food at the same time.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  138. wahela

    It means that the top 1% is getting 93% of the money in this country this year. We need to demand the foreclosures stop, utilities quit cutting people off, get single payer health care, medicare for all, and take about 6 B dollars to build low income nice but cheap that people can afford, and build up our roads and bridges. That would stimulate the economy and ensure that people were able to live until we get through this recession. Who the heck said it was a recession? It looked pretty deep for awhile.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  139. Tom, Virginia

    The United States doesn't have a monopoly on the poor or those living in poverty, or that require assistance. We spend more money trying to avoid spending money than we would if we would just figure out what's best for everyone. Most disenfranchised people don't want handouts, they don't want assistance, they would all love to live a comfortable life without having to worry about a roof over their head, or how to feed their children.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  140. C Oliver

    Jack, if the big oil company, big bank, and car industry are receiving welfare from the government why dose it offend you that the poor need help!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  141. writingmomma

    It looks like those that wanted Bill Clinton out, probably now wish he would have stayed in. At least he knew how to make the American money grow.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  142. Jeannie

    Those of us babyboomers who are becoming/became seniors were forced to apply for our SS early (at 62) because there was no work for us and we had to keep a roof over our heads. As a result, we lost part of our SS which left us at or below the poverty level and forced us to apply for food stamps or we would starve. We have worked for years and years but when you live in a state that thinks $8.00 an hour (before taxes) is big money, you don't make much! So we were penalized for no fault of our own. We received a 3.6% raise which is NOTHING and because of that, our food stamp amount was reduced while everything else has gone up. We can't win for losing.

    How do we live on what we get, especially with the cost of living increasing? Very, very carefully!!

    Jeannie in AZ

    Don't blame Obama – the man is trying but getting bucked every step of the way. WHO is calculating the cost of living?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  143. Dr Gothican

    What this means is that when the food stamp program goes away, one in sever will die of starvation. How about that Mr. Romney!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  144. Susan from Idaho

    I think it's similar to the Robin Hood syndrome, Taking from the poor and giving to the poorer.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  145. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – This means two things – that one in seven Americans cannot afford to eat without financial assistance, and that 6 out of seven Americans still can. Foods stamps is actually a sort of farm price support program, because the farmers and the food industry actually receive the money which the food stamps recipients spend at the market. That is why the program is enacted in the Farm Bill and managed by the US Department of Agriculture. The Right Wing, of course, wants to blame President Obama, but the sad fact is that whatever Federal control of the economy exists is in the hands of the Congress, not the President. It was Congressional Republicans who ran up 12 trillion of the current national debt, who deregulated finance and caused the crash of 2008, and who shortchanged the Recovery Act (aka the stimulus) making it one fourth the actual size that the economics experts recommended. As always, those at the bottom of the economy suffer first and recover last from a capital crash, and with Republican efforts to hamstring the recovery in the name of nineteenth century economic theories, it is no wonder that food stamps needs will keep rising for another two years. Economic recovery will solve the Social Security shortfall and the Medicare shortfall, eliminate one third of the deficit, and decrease all the needs for assistance at the bottom of the economy, including food stamps. Federal retrenchment will not promote recovery, quite the opposite, as has always happened in these kinds of economic circumstances for the past century. The real issue is not how much we spend on assistance for the poor, or how many more or fewer unemployed there are each month – it is that Federal spending is the last best hope for faster recovery, and the present Congress wishes to do the opposite.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  146. Orlando

    How quickly people forget we went through a near depression collapse of our economy. 1% recovered (the ones that created the mess) but the economy will take a decade to recover on the unemployment side. Any one who thinks different doesn't understand the economy or is just Lying. So of course more people need more help.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  147. Joe Seattle

    It means one in seven people living in the U.S. (mind I didn't say U.S. citizens) don't have any need of a job.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  148. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    It means the republicans are on the right track. Cut services, cut regulations, cut education, cut taxes for corporations and the 1%. When the remaining 92% are collecting food stamps they can cut that and have it all.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  149. RickFromDetroit

    Food stamps are another example of the unequal distribution of wealth whereas we have to many wealth and to few middle class. Food stamps are also another way of attempting to increase consumer spending without increasing low income wages and another excuse for not raising the minimum wage. The political jokers figure it is cheaper to issue "temporary" food stamps during economic slow downs than to issue a permanent wage increase for low income wage earners. Food stamps provide the same benefit as tax cuts & tax rebates to the poor by providing these individuals with more available cash [consumer spending] to stimulate the economy.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  150. atouchofcrystal

    It means that there are no jobs and no middle class. The government (I won't blame any one party, that's a waste of my energy) has steadily allowed the corporations to move overseas which deflated the middle "working" class. Until we bring the jobs home, revalidate our unions (job security), get rid of 401K's and put our people back to work so they will have buying "power" we will continue on a downhill spiral. This just didn't happen yesterday, try back in the 1970's when started on our downhill slide into oblivion.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  151. Mike

    It means most couples are having kids they can not afford. Where are the fathers??????????

    April 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  152. odguy

    It means a lot (e.g., that our current system has been hijacked now to a point where most wealth has been transferred from the many to the very few) but will largely be ignored by the two ruling parties since they are owned by the bankers and corporations with which they have co-created this mess. Sure, the two parties may pause briefly to blame each other but then swiftly go into "head in the sand" mode.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  153. Warren in Ohio

    It's worse than that, Jack. Nearly one of every two single mothers in the richest country on earth receives food stamps to survive. That shameful statistic reveals the depth of our hypocrisy regarding family values, leave no child behind, and Mothers Day. We don't practice what we preach, and even the preaching is getting pretty awful.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  154. STLguy

    SteveNY, that makes absolutely no sense. We have over 8% of the working population without a job and giving people food is a bad thing? I have no problems helping people when they are down and out, even if it involves my tax dollars. The percentage Americans pay tax wise is a fraction of what other developed nations pay. Let me guess, you deem yourself a Christian, don't you?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  155. William

    How many Americans live on large parcels of land? We don't have the means to support ourselves at least by growing our own food. Republicans have denied any responsibility for anything since 2000 till 2008. From day one they blamed Obama! Hoped he would fail ask Mitch McConnell if the first priority was jobs, No it was to make Obama a one term President.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  156. Mike

    This country is in big trouble! It's not A Democracy any longer, Jack. It'a a Plutocracy(rule by the rich for the rich)Let's have more tax cuts so the rich can get richer!!!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  157. Ron, Denver, CO

    I know this is an offensive statement, but I watched with my own eyes as a young lady in black leather boots and a white fur coat paid for groceries with food stamps and then drove off in a late-model Escalade. SNAP is a well-intentioned program that is being ruined by casual fraud and lack of accountability.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  158. jerry

    Aside from the tax implications, I really don't see a problem with so many people on food stamps during dour economic times. In fact, I'm rather proud that we aren't letting our brothers and sisters starve or creating a generation of undernourished children. It is a better use of my tax dollars than half of other things they get spent on.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  159. Boo

    It means I can't wait to retire and get the hell out of the USA.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  160. Thetrickster GA

    We are getting stamps witch give five about 500 per person but they are only for food at least we don't starve Jackson descendant of stonewall Jackson Evans GA

    April 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  161. Dave in Ohio

    1 in 7 is a small number compared to the greater majority of people that make 100 dollars a yr over the cap. That food stamps are for people with a 8500 a yr income but not those making just few hundred dollars more a yr is the ral problem. A great majority of people that fall into that catagory are told, too bad you have a job, or if you had more kids, or if you were married. Well, im unmarried and i have a job and at 34 no childern. I fall into the segment that doesnt get the coverage it needs, the low wage working poor.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  162. Jen-Seattle Wa.

    It means the Currency has dried up and sent over seas while whats left is gobbled up by corporate financed debt leaving us with inflated costs for everything needed to make ends meet, while wall st is skimming off everything we need to live a first world life.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  163. EJ

    It means the Bush-Cheney Regime ruined the lives of a large number of middle class americans and they are not done yet. If you think that is bad let Romney get into office and that number will sky-rocket.
    The Obama Administration has said repeatedly 1% of the people cannot hold the majority of this countrys wealth. This is just one of the reasons why. It means the republican agenda is working for them and their wealthy friends but not for the majority of the country.....

    April 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  164. Jen-Seattle Wa.

    Out of the 1 in 7 , you would be surprised how many are selling thier food stamps at 50 cents on the dollar..You should see the homeless buying Malt liqour and Cigarettes with the Cash Side of the food stamp card, the convenience stores are some of the lowest form of offering in 1 st world.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  165. Pat

    Is it really that surprising to people that safety net programs would be more heavily used during a massive recession? That's why it's there.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  166. pat

    I am appalled at those who think that the disabled, young children and the elderly should work harder to get themselves out of poverty? What is a 5 year old supposed to do that he or she is not already doing? How is an 80 year old who has run out of savings to avoid being a "deadbeat"? How should we motivate those for whom every day tasks are a challenge supposed to earn their way? Someone has to have more compassion than to throw bricks at those who are already struggling. If that is being a "nanny state" than we are guilty as charged and would be prouder of our government if we could to do more for such as these.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  167. Louis in Rhinebeck, NY

    It means if we don't raise taxes on the wealthiest people and do raise taxes on the middle and lower class pretty soon 99% of us will be on food stamps

    April 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  168. Jen-Seattle Wa.

    It means the Obama Admin. is trying to buy votes with tax payer money

    April 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  169. Trevor

    It means that all of my previously held beliefs have been confirmed. My team was right all along. The opposing party is destroying America. If only we could enact change on my pet issue, then everything would be fixed. Panacea 2012!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  170. Al - Orlando

    Can the end be that near. Work for food signs no longer required.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  171. fardin

    It means that the Republican Party's trickle down economy has been successful.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  172. Jen-Seattle Wa.

    It means we need to over throw the commodity speculators and the grocery middlemen and the fuedal landlord..i

    April 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  173. Marcus

    Please let’s not forget about the refugees and other folks that our government keeps bringing to the US and subsidizing them with a place to stay, welfare, and food stamps. Most of these folks never even get jobs to contribute back to society. Not to get me wrong here… I’m fine with folks wanting to become US citizens. However, they should pay their own way just like the rest of us.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  174. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Food Stamps Up! Tax Rates DOWN! So, tell me again how tax cuts for the wealthy are helping out the country? It was something about creating jobs wasn't it? Were we talking job creation in the U.S.? I've never heard anyone say these jobs were getting created in the U.S. Are the job creators busy helping out India and Southeast Asian job markets?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  175. Boris in NYC

    This has little to do with politics but a lot to do with economics: American taxpayers are subsidizing the salaries of CEOs by supplementing their extremely low wage employees. If people were paid more than $8,800/year they may not suffer from hunger and require nutritional assistance. But saying that is "class warfare" and against the "free market", and everybody on TV is already a millionaire, so poverty gets no attention in the media. Thanks, Jack, for not letting 16% of America suffer in silence any more, but the suffering won't end as long as we pretend the robber barons don't have their hands in all of our pockets.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  176. Micheal Louisiana *

    Trickle down economics! Big joke! The minimum wage and tax bracket isn't designed for the lower class to make that leap into the next bracket! My wife and I combined don't even hit 60k, 40 hr work weeks and 4 kids! Help me to help myself!

    April 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  177. KaraOK

    The numbers don't lie. But the Hope & Change sure does.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  178. Christina Gillam-Fl

    I'm a young college student, not an economist, so I'm not sure exactly what it means. It seems to me that the government is overwhelmed to the point that it can only offer temporary solutions to help the needy. It could also mean that minimum wage is insufficient. Judging from the above comments, it also looks like the USA has decided there are only two diametrically opposed solutions to alleviating poverty, neither of which I have seen work in my short lifetime.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  179. Boris in NYC

    They say they want to "starve the beast", but the beast is all of us! They want to drown government in a bathtub, well how's that for a death panel? They signed a pledge, pledging they would never do anything good for America, just their patrons and benefactors. I'm not feeling a sense of urgency from Congress, probably because our political system is broken.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  180. Edward

    Jack it is very clear what this means. Business is not paying a living wage and demanding that government make up the difference in food stamps, so they can have obscene profits.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  181. homer

    Jack,
    You should try to live on $8,800 per year, pay your rent, utilities, and transportation costs. Tell me how much would you have left for food? You question should be can you live on $8,800 per year without food stamps?

    April 23, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  182. Jim A

    If I owned a store that accepts food stamps more revenue for me. Sounds fine to me.
    Jim A Georgetown TX

    April 23, 2012 at 4:54 pm |