Failing Bush policies foster dependence, create permanent drag on growth
Bumped by Brendan
For those of you who believe that the Bush economy has been generally a success, here's a couple facts about the Food Stamp program which might give you pause:
Food stamp expenditures are have skyrocked up 163% in Ohio in the past seven years. The number of recipients has nearly doubled during that period.
In Iowa, the annual cost of the Food Stamp program has ballooned from $100.7 million to $273.2 million since 2000, a staggering 171% increase . The average number of food stamp recipients each month has nearly doubled, from 124,000 to 241,000.
The number of food stamp recipients has doubled in Michigan in the past 6 years. More than 12% of Michiganders receive food stamps now.
And it's not just the midwest. Nationwide, expenditures on food stamps have exploded under Bush , nearly doubling in six years from $17.8 billion in FY2001 to $33.2 billion in FY2007, as rising food costs, stagnant wage growth, and dimming job prospects drive more and more people onto the government dole-- more than 9 million people, in fact: food stamp recipients have increased from 17.3 million in FY2001 to 26.5 million in FY2007. And with unemployment rising and no end in sight to food inflation, FY2008 will just add to the ugly picture.
Bush, however, has apparently not been too troubled by this burgeoning wave of dependence on government, because even with this staggering evidence that millions of formerly self-sufficient Americans were becoming dependent on government, President Bush still bragged that the economy was "strong" in this speech less than six months ago. Be assured that there was no mention of Food Stamps in his speech. I guess millions of newly poor people are no big deal when one views federal debt as a bottomless well from which more money for government spending can always be drawn.
There was little surprise, then, that when faced with incontrovertible evidence earlier this year that the economy was tanking, Bush, a multiple-time loser on a variety of counts involving fiscal irresponsibility, resorted for a second time to the staggering crime of cutting tens of millions of bogus checks, this time to jury rig the collapsing economy until he leaves office (or so he hopes). Amazingly, there was almost no Democratic resistance to this blatant Bush ploy to postpone the worst effects of the current recession until January 2009, when he would be able to go off onto a speaking tour-- where he will simultaneously badmouth Democrats on the economy AND fill the ol' coffers.
What's amazing to me is that Bush has pretty much gotten a free pass on the economy as he has squandered trillions of dollars of borrowed money on an increasingly bloated, incompetently run Federal government. We have nothing to show for this spending spree, except for Bush-- he got to brag about GDP growth numbers that were a point or two higher than they would have been otherwise been. Those numbers came at a dear price; we will pay for them with interest, literally, as we make interest payments on that debt in perpetuity, crowding out other government expenditures and dragging GDP growth down every single quarter from now until the debt is paid down, which may be never.
But at least we've all got our food stamps, right?