November 13, 2012

Food Stamp Enrollment Is Up by More Under Obama Than During Bush’s Eight Years

Consider it a grim, hidden, unreported milestone, and yet another media failure.

The grim milestone relates to the increase in food stamp enrollment during the Obama administration. As Dave Gibson at noted on Saturday, the administration and campaign (as if there was any difference) did not release program participation data for August until three days after the election, roughly ten days after such monthly reports have typically been issued. What the data demonstrated is that food stamp enrollment during the first 43 months of the Obama administration has increased by more than it did during the entire eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, officially earning Obama the title of “Food Stamp President.”

Specifically, the 421,000 increase in enrollment recorded in August brought the Obama administration’s cumulative 43-month enrollment increase to 15.12 million, easily eclipsing the 14.77 million increase seen during Bush’s eight years:


(Source Data: Aug. 2012 and Jan. 2009; Jan. 2001 [from Jan. 2002 report to allow for revisions])

The difference between the size of the August increase (almost 421,000) and that seen in July (only about 11,600) is enough to make one wonder if the administration deliberately understated July’s number, which brought its cumulative enrollment increase to within 70,000 of Bush 43′s entire eight-year increase. Also justifying suspicion: Enrollment during the two previous months increased by almost 400,000 consisting of 222,000 in May and 173,000 in June.

A Saturday morning report at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, merely told us that “food stamps now help feed 47 million people.” A brief AP item on Monday only told readers that “A record 47.1 million Americans received food stamps in August, the government said, as stubborn unemployment kept enrollment high.”

Sorry, folks, but “stubborn unemployment” can’t possibly explain the explosion in participation under Obama. Food stamp enrollment has surged by 9.43 million, a stunning 25 percent, in the 34 months since October 2009, when the seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate, currently at 7.9 percent, peaked at 10.0 percent. Even the fully-loaded U-6 unemployment rate has dropped during that time.

A Republican or conservative administration attempting to engage in such a reporting deferral so close to an election would have been hounded on a daily basis beginning on about October 29 with reporters wondering where the August report was. Additionally, someone in the press would have noticed the record-setting nature of August’s report by now. But no one has — or if they have, they’ve decided not to tell us.

Cross-posted at


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