Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, January 24, 2012


In his extraordinarily gaseous bloviating, Former disgraced Speaker of the House and sexytime aficianado, Newton Leroy Gingrich, claims that Mr. Obama is "The Food Stamp President." explains how and why this is a lie:

Newt’s Faulty Food-Stamp Claim

Newt Gingrich claims that “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” He’s wrong. More were added under Bush than under Obama, according to the most recent figures.

The former speaker made that claim Jan. 16 in a Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and his campaign organization quickly inserted the snippet in a new 30-second TV ad that began running Jan. 18 in South Carolina.

Gingrich would have been correct to say the number now on food aid is historically high. The number stood at 46,224,722 persons as of October, the most recent month on record. And it’s also true that the number has risen sharply since Obama took office.

But Gingrich goes too far to say Obama has put more on the rolls than other presidents. We asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition service for month-by-month figures going back to January 2001. And they show that under President George W. Bush the number of recipients rose by nearly 14.7 million. Nothing before comes close to that.
And under Obama, the increase so far has been 14.2 million. To be exact, the program has so far grown by 444,574 fewer recipients during Obama’s time in office than during Bush’s.

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.

Obama’s Responsibility

Gingrich often cites the number of persons on food stamps to support his view that the U.S. is becoming an “entitlement society,” increasingly dependent on government aid. And he has a point. One out of seven Americans is currently getting food stamps.

But Gingrich strains the facts when he accuses Obama of being responsible. The rise started long before Obama took office, and accelerated as the nation was plunging 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.


Rational Nation USA said...

Bush was in office eight years, Obama four. The economy certainly had a bearing on the increasing numbers.

If Obama is reelected and serves eight years we can look at the tenure of the two, analyze the data and it might be meaningful.

At this juncture in time I believe there are more critical issues to concern ourselves with.

And Newt is well... Newt

Rational Nation USA said...

Correction Obama years.

Rational Nation USA said...

I must be getting zoned... 3 years. Helps when num lock is on!

Octopus said...

I agree that the data sets thus far are incompatible for comparison; nevertheless perhaps a point has been missed. The issue is not one stats but of "dog whistle" politics. "Food stamps" has the same cache as other race baiting slogans hurled by Gingrich over the years. Please have a look at Sheria's post on the subject. She captures the essence of how racist code words have been used, especially in the South, to engender resentment amongst the lunatic fringe.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, somehow when Gingrich gets crushed, it will be the supposed left wing lame stream media that will vilified.

I doubt many conservative bloggers will even consider what his fellow conservatives are doing to him...