Earlier this week we looked at the trend of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) better known as food stamps since the tech bubble burst. It is a pretty frightening statistic to see the total number of people on food stamps explode from a little over 18mn in 2001 to just shy of 47mn today. Nevada has seen SNAP explode 311%. Florida by 260%. Even California has jumped 150% in the last 15 years.
We didn’t experience much joy in the Obama years either with around 10mn extra getting food stamps. The top 11 of 12 states that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 actually experienced the fastest food stamp growth (all growing 40-80%) under Obama.
In absolute numbers we see swing states Florida added 1.2mn SNAP recipients, Ohio 450k, Pennyslvania 250k and Wisconsin add 150k.
Looking at the cost/month of food stamps per person running at $125 we see the outlay of the program at over $70bn. $70bn might not seem much in the context of a $16 trillion economy but to have almost 15% of the population living off SNAP today vs less than 7% at the turn of the Century it isn’t hard to fathom the growing divide in America. How quickly this can be turned around is anyone’s guess but more of the same policies seen over the last 16 years is unlikely to work.