This week on DemocracyNow!, I got to talk a little about Newt Gingrich’s poisonous comments on Obama being the food stamp president. First, the facts. Under George Bush, the number of people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (what food stamps are more properly called in the US) rose by 14.7 million. Under Obama, the number rose by 14.2 million. It’s true, however, that much more money is being spent by Obama. As part of the stimulus bill, entitlements rose to a whopping average of $134.
The entitlements help, to some extent, to dampen in the impact of poverty. And in the teeth of the recession, it’s hard to argue against strengthening the safety net when so many Americans were falling into it.
Which brings us to Gingrich’s racial coding of ‘food stamp president’. Larry Wilmore deconstructs this nicely on The Daily Show.