Food Stamps on the Rise and Beneficial to the Economy?

The Cato Institute’s “Downsizing The Federal Government” Web site has recently posted the following graph showing the increase in users of government food stamps and the amount of money spent on the program:

Obviously during a time of economic downturn with higher unemployment, the use of this program would be expected to spike. However, Cato notes that benefits have also expanded.

The report also points to a recent Fiscal Times story that quoted a Center for American Progress staffer arguing that “For every dollar invested in [the food stamp program] over $1.84 goes back into the economy.” Rightfully, the Cato report points out the obvious that every dollar “invested” in food stamps represents a dollar taxpayers couldn’t spend to stimulate the economy — negating that fallacious argument.

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