Newt Gingrich just can’t stop using that old canard, the Southern dog whistle, that code for the term “welfare queens” (which don’t even exist in reality). Here’s Newt when asked what he would say to the NAACP if given the opportunity:
“More people are on food stamps today because of Obama's policies than ever in history. I would like to be the best paycheck president in American history. ... And so I'm prepared if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.”
Really, Newt, really?
Give me a freaking break. Calling President Obama the “food stamp president” and insinuating that black people are all on food stamps, i.e., too lazy to get jobs thus live off food stamps, for Christ’s sake, is old, racist, and not based in truth. [Gingrich’s association with truth is always tenuous, but this is to the point of utterly ridiculous.]
Yes, enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has increased during the Obama administration, but as experts continually point out, and which Gingrich continually ignores, this is because of the near depression caused by the policies of Bush and company, a deep, deep recession which continues today, necessitating assistance to many more people than would be the case during better times.
Watch Fox News amplify Gingrich’s message:
So did President George W. Bush preside over the highest number of food stamp recipients in history? Thus far, yes. 11 Alive in Atlanta [emphasis mine] fact-checked Gingrich:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition service tracks month-to-month figures dating back to January 2001. The numbers show that the total of food stamp recipients rose to 14.2 million during President Obama's administration.
The highest in history so far is President George W. Bush. The number of food stamp recipients grew to nearly 14.7 million while he was in office. But, that's eight years in office, compared to President Obama who has not finished his first term.
It's possible that when the figures for January 2012 are available they will show that the gain under Obama has matched or exceeded the gain under Bush. But not if the short-term trend continues. The number getting food stamps declined by 43,528 in October. And the economy has improved since then.
One out of seven Americans is currently getting food stamps, according to the Department of Agriculture.
The figures also show the rise in food stamps began before Obama took office, and accelerated as the nation plunged into the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.
The economic downturn began in December 2007. In the 12 months before Obama was sworn in, 4.4 million were added to the rolls, triple the 1.4 million added in 2007.
So, who gets food stamps?
The most recent Department of Agriculture report on the general characteristics of the SNAP (food stamp) program's beneficiaries says that in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010:
-- 47% of beneficiaries were children under age 18.
-- 8% were age 60 or older.
-- 41% lived in a household with earnings from a job - the so-called "working poor."
-- The average household received a monthly benefit of $287.
-- 36% were white (non-Hispanic), 22% were African American (non-Hispanic) and 10% were Hispanic.
Oh, and by the way, Newt and Fox liars, the state with the highest number of Americans eligible for and receiving food stamps is Nevada. [Nevada, where if I had to venture a guess, I’d say that there might be maybe fifteen whole black people living in the entire state of Nevada.]
Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), a prominent supporter of the food stamp program:
“People now see that it’s necessary to have a strong food stamp program.”