The Corner

Food-Stamp Nation

My new Bloomberg View column concerns the furor over Gingrich’s labeling of Obama as the “food stamp president.” Some of what Gingrich says on this subject is misleading, but he’s right to raise concerns about the program’s recent growth. From the column:

A more troubling reason for the increase is that state governments have found it easy to get their constituents federal money — that is, money mostly raised from current and future taxpayers in other states — by making more people eligible for food stamps. According to a mid-2010 report from the Government Accountability Office, 35 states have no limit on the amount of assets a food-stamp recipient can possess. More and more states — the count was 36 at the time of the report — are providing “categorical eligibility” for food stamps to anyone who receives welfare services. Merely getting an informational brochure from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program counts as receiving a service.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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