Mixed Messages

Barney Frank says if we had more government stimulus spending, we would have less people on Food Stamps. But Democrats have repeatedly said that spending money on Food Stamps is stimulus spending.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack touted the “economic stimulants” that food stamps provide, arguing that such benefits curb unemployment and funnel millions of dollars into the hands of American business owners: “Well, obviously, it’s putting people to work. Which is why we’re going to have some interesting things in the course of the forum this morning. I should point out, when you talk about the SNAP program or the food stamp program, you have to recognize that it’s also an economic stimulus. Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It’s the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times.”

Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that the continuance of funding government welfare programs is vital to a struggling economy. “If you talk to economists,” Hoyer contended, “they will tell you there are two things that are the most stimulative that you can do — one’s unemployment insurance, the other’s food stamps, okay?”“Why is that?” Hoyer posited. “Because those folks who receive those resources must spend them. And they’ll spend them almost upon receipt. Most economists with whom I talk believe that those with significant discretionary income — that that’s not the case.”Anyway you slice it, the Democrats want to spend more and drive us further into debt.

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