July 12, 2013

The politics and demographics of food stamp recipients

Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans to have received food stamps at some point in their lives—a participation gap that echoes the deep partisan divide in the U.S. House of Representatives, which on Thursday produced a farm bill that did not include funding for the food stamp program.

Overall, a Pew Research Center survey conducted late last year found that about one-in-five Americans (18%) has participated in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. About a quarter (26%) lives in a household with a current or former food stamp recipient.

Of these, about one-in-five (22%) of Democrats say they had received food stamps compared with 10% of Republicans. About 17% of political independents say they have received food stamps.

The share of food stamp beneficiaries swells even further when respondents are asked if someone else living in their household had ever received food stamps. According to the survey, about three in ten Democrats (31%) and about half as many Republicans (17%) say they or someone in their household has benefitted from the food stamp program.

But when the political lens shifts from partisanship to ideology, the participation gap vanishes. Self-described political conservatives were no more likely than liberals or moderates to have received food stamps (17% for each group), according to the survey.

Beyond politics, equally large or larger gaps emerge in the participation rates of many core social and demographic groups. For example, women were about twice as likely as men (23% vs. 12%) to have received food stamps at some point in their lives. Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to have used this benefit during their lives (31% vs. 15%). Among Hispanics, about 22% say they have collected food stamps.

Minority women in particular are far more likely than their male counterparts to have used food stamps. About four-in-ten black women (39%) have gotten help compared with 21% of black men. The gender-race participation gap is also wide among Hispanics: 31% of Hispanic women but 14% of Hispanic men received assistance.

Among whites, the gender-race gap is smaller. Still, white women are about twice as likely as white men to receive food stamp assistance (19% vs. 11%).

The survey also found that adults 65 and older are significantly less likely than other age groups to say they have received food stamps. For example, about 18% of adults aged 18 to 29 have benefitted from this entitlement program compared with 8% of those 65 and older. Those who have a high school diploma or less formal education are roughly three times more likely than college graduates to have been helped.

The farm bill passed by the House on Thursday, after a day of intense and sometimes hostile debate, was stripped of about $740 billion in funding for food stamps, setting up a confrontation with the Senate which has approved a very different version of the legislation.

The legislation represented the first time since 1973 that a House version failed to provide support for food stamps. The vote Thursday was 216-208, with all 196 Democrats present voting to oppose the measure. Twelve Republicans also voted against the bill.

While politically, congressional Republicans have focused on reducing spending on federal entitlement programs, the Pew Research survey found the U.S. to be “a “bipartisan nation of beneficiaries.”

The survey found that significant proportions of Democrats (60%) and Republicans (52%) say they have benefited from a major entitlement program at some point in their lives. So have nearly equal shares of self-identifying conservatives (57%), liberals (53%) and moderates (53%). The programs were Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, unemployment benefits and food stamps.

Category: Social Studies

Topics: Domestic Affairs and Policy, Entitlements, Political Party Affiliation

  1. Photo of Rich Morin

    is Senior Editor at the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

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169 Comments

  1. Gayle18 hours ago

    Let’s see, we can afford to squander a trillion dollars in Iraq, but we can’t afford to feed our own people because a few defraud the system.

    Reply
  2. Mike Franken23 hours ago

    Social security recipients do pay into the system, but nearly everyone collects more than they ever paid in. That is the problem with any social program. If you only withdrew what you paid in, then why have a social program to being with? Why wouldn’t you simply have a (tax deferred) payroll deduction made into a private savings account and withdraw it in hard times? Why have the government do this? All that any of these programs have ever done is create government jobs.

    Reply
  3. Barbara Sonin2 months ago

    Social Security is not an entitlement program. Although it’s technically possible to collect after 40 quarters of work, most people pay into the system for 40 or more years before collecting. Medicare IS an entitlement program. What most people have paid into the system is dwarfed by the costs that will be paid on their behalf.

    All of these programs have suffered from fraud. Social Security loses money to people who “forget” to tell the government the beneficiary died. Medicare loses money to doctors who bill for procedures they didn’t do. Food stamps are sold for cash. You can never completely eliminate fraud. We either do or don’t support these types of safety nets. But cutting off all funding for food stamps is not a way to have a reasoned political debate.

    Reply
  4. Marcia Gaskins2 months ago

    Soldiers, widows and their children, senior citizens, disables vets, disabled employees and other hard working people for no fault of their own receive food stamps. You self righteous bigoted people stop hating and complaining because a few people are getting food stamps. So few pennies of your tax dollars go to food stamp program, find out what the rest of your money is spent on! Power to the people!

    Reply
    1. jim2 weeks ago

      Pretty sure no one is complaining about the small percentage of people you noted above.
      It’s the people who make a life of living off assistance that passes people off. And, or should pass people off whether it’s a few cents or not.

      Reply
  5. Denice3 months ago

    Social security and Medicare are not to be grouped in with welfare etc. Both of these programs are funded by payroll deductions and therefore paid by the recipients.

    Reply
  6. Frank Komitsky Jr3 months ago

    I paid for my social security and I paid for my medicare through payroll deductions! Given the choice, I would much rather have opted out of social security and invested the money on my own which would have brought a much greater return! Instead of being invested as the government claims, social security contributions are spent! That is why we are in trouble with the program! I paid taxes when I was 11 years old and I am still paying now at 76. I have never received welfare or unemployment benefits or food stamps. I worked full time until I was 72 and part time since then!

    Reply
  7. George3 months ago

    They had to add social security and medicare so that it didn’t seem like only democrats are mooching entitlements. It’s the way the statistics game is played.

    Reply
  8. Kay Yetter3 months ago

    Wondering, why Social Security is included in this. It is NOT a freebee. We pay into this Account our entire working life, along with our employers. It should NEVER be included along with Welfare and Food Stamps.

    Reply
  9. Nelson3 months ago

    This informations are misleading when number are not shown, percentage does not show anyone the number of people we are talking about. can we see the Number of people involve and not the percentage.

    Reply
    1. Ron2 months ago

      Agree! the Department of Labor Statistics tells a different story.

      Reply
    2. Don Odom1 month ago

      Percentages are used because it’s a more accurate gauge when there are differing sizes in the groups being discussed.

      If you have 100 whites, 20 blacks, 15 Hispanics, and 10 “others” and 50% of each are found to be doing the same thing; it is statistically misleading to say:

      “There are 50 whites doing _____________ for every 10 blacks, 7.5 Hispanics, and 5 “others” This means whites are 5 times more likely to do _______________ than blacks. ”

      Of course this method is used every day to push the preferred agenda according to which method works for the “pushers” purposes. As it has been said:

      “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

      Reply
  10. Fay4 months ago

    It really annoys me that you call Social Security and Medicare entitlements. I PAID for both ALL my life. It is true that I’m entitled to them but the word entitlement has come to mean that it’s free to me, like food stamps or welfare. Also I’m sick of hearing the Affordable Care Act referred to as Obamacare. Yes, he called it that to start with but the Republicans seized upon the name to denigrate it. STOP calling it that so that it gets well deserved respect.

    Reply
  11. Shanimal4 months ago

    Your statement seems misleading as 63.4% of the us population is white-non-hispanic. What are these numbers per capita?

    Reply
  12. Haze5 months ago

    This is a survey that interviewed individuals so it is based on individuals being honest, not facts. Check the US department of commerce website for facts. Whites make up the total percentage of welfare recipients.

    Reply
    1. Patsy B3 months ago

      GEEZ…………………………..

      Reply
    2. Lolly2 months ago

      WHITES make up the TOTAL percentage of welfare recipients? Really? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Of course, they don’t! Welfare and food stamps are received by people from every spot on the brown range. Members of the human race (the only race there is in regard to human beings) are all just on the brown spectrum: Blacks having more brown on the brown spectrum and whites having much less on the brown spectrum. Perhaps, you are a troll; but I just had to respond to your ridiculous and completely false assertion.

      Reply
  13. Ace Truth6 months ago

    As a frustrated “frugal” 47 year old… I say let’s take RACE, demographic, sex, gay, straight, democrat/republican, bisexual OUT OF THE CONVERSATION.

    Please people…let’s remove the labels. Leave the President out of this conversation.
    It’s not important.

    We as people individually are smarter than buying into this DIVISIVENESS mentality. “Us vs. them.”… “those” people… “those” (fill in the blank). THIS is what the media DOES.

    WE…YOU…reading this aren’t stupid.

    All I ask is this. Please ponder this fact quietly in your own heads. When faced with the following fact, please ask yourself HONESTLY if it “bothers” you…if you REALLY believe that this is GOOD for America. Does this fact makes you PROUD, as an individual or an American?

    We in this nation have more people on Food Stamps than the entire population of Spain!
    Don’t take MY word for it…here is what I googled:
    Food Stamps than population of Spain

    Ask yourselves…is THIS the America we once knew?
    Is THIS something to brag about on the World Stage?
    Is THIS a statistic that makes you PROUD?
    Is THIS the shining beacon of light in a rotten world?

    Reply
  14. bob6 months ago

    minority women? how does that make sense? if you a female, you are a minority!

    Reply
    1. squid6 months ago

      Do you even know what a minority is?
      51% of the US population is female making men the minority.

      Reply
      1. Lolly2 months ago

        While that is true, females have been considered a minority because males are the ones in power–generally. Doesn’t completely make sense, I know, but there it is. The previous speaker was commenting with that fact in mind.

        Reply
  15. EC_Esq6 months ago

    How does this jibe w/ the fact that residents in Red states, presumabely Republicans, are the greatest recipients of Welfare programs?

    Reply
  16. Faye Norton6 months ago

    Social Security and Medicare should not be part if the equation with Medicaid and food stamps. I started work right out of high school and had both taken out of my check. The government should have kept there hands off our money. How can they change the name and call it theirs. They should be in prison for embezzlement.

    Reply
  17. BG6 months ago

    My analysis of the breakdown by ideology is different than yours. While you wrote that “Self-described political conservatives were no more likely than liberals or moderates to have received food stamps (17% for each group), according to the survey.”, I interpreted that as conservatives were JUST AS likely to have received them or that liberals or moderates were the ones who were NO MORE likely than conservatives. So you know, I consider myself to be conservative.

    Reply
  18. Tyshaun Johnson7 months ago

    I haven’t read all the reply’s but I still feel the need to write this just from what I have read thus far. So let me start by saying that I am a 18yr old male graduating high school in a matter of months. I identify as African American-fully African American, not mixed and i will go on to say that I was raised by a single mother whom never completed high school. With that being said i’ll start by speaking to the basic facts of our nation. There ARE in fact more White-non Hispanics receiving government benefits than any other ethnicity in the nation, that is a fact. But the thing that all the die hard arguers must realize is that minorities are called minorities for a reason people. There are far more White-non Hispanics in this nation than any other single ethnicity within this country. So people with that in mind the issue becomes the percentages of each ethnicity that rely on these programs White-non Hispanics account for roughly 64% of the united states population and occupy only 35% of EBT participation, while African Americans account for 12% of the overall population but occupy 22% of EBT participation. There has been a lot of injustice in the past against my ethnicity and there is still injustice occurring, but simply complaining about this will change nothing. We as a people need to become more self-sufficient and not content to live under this government pacification. Now on to another issue, this program in meant to be a stimulus and to sustain only the severely needy. People of all ethnicity have become content with simply existing under these programs instead of using them to better themselves. This is not to say that all people who use these programs abuse them, since there is an actual need for these programs, but the number of people who abuse the EBT and other programs is much to high and is steadily growing. People we need to change some root issues instead of trying to point fingers and assign blame, assigning blame without accomplishing anything is a useless waist of time. if you acknowledge wrong or injustice make a move to change it instead of arguing on a blog with people who you will most likely never meet in person.
    Now i am currently working on my graduation project and would welcome any useful views and opinions on the topic of EBT even if the clash with my own feel free to reach out to me AS LONG AS YOUR INPUT IS PRODUCTIVE i have no use for offensive of oppressive works or ideals.
    -Thank You

    Reply
    1. Jettie6 months ago

      Tyshaun, that is a well-researched and thoughtful post.
      You are correct in wanting to address the core issues of why folks depend on benefits. In some ways, it could be the breakdown of the traditional family unit, the destruction of the stigma that accepting hand-outs was shameful, a culture that is shifting from self-reliance to dependency. However, you may want to add these factors as backup so you do not clutter the focus of your project.
      I wish you well and much success. I admire your fortitude and your mother’s love and strength to raise you so well.

      Reply
    2. AuAgFinder6 months ago

      What a lucid and well-written post, Mr. Johnson. I’m sorry I have no inside knowledge of this topic with which to help you, sir, but you have my admiration for clearly presenting your position.

      Reply
    3. Ray Potter6 months ago

      I am half Latina half Caucasian. One thing I can tell you that’s vastly different from my caucasian & mexican sides are 2 simple things: no marriage & illegitimate babies. There are at least 60% more of these issues on my Hispanic side & have caused poverty, govnt dependence, & indefinite living w/ mom & dad. I grew up in the Barrio determined to be married & have kids LATER in life & boy has my life turned out different than my cousins!

      Reply
    4. bob6 months ago

      MINORITY does NOT mean ”NON WHITE”. white women are considered minorites! gay white men are cindered minorities. the word minority is so misleading

      Reply
    5. Jessie4 months ago

      I really liked your response and your input was valuable :-) you sound to be a very intelligent young man. I am a non Hispanic white woman, as well as a single mother of three children. I work a full time job while attending college and am also a recipient of food stamps, you were one of the few people I have heard say that while these programs are necessary and needed they are a means to get ourselves in a position to take care of ourselves not to position us so as to never have to do for ourselves. my only grief in life is knowing at this time that if it was not for the food stamp program I would have to choose every month between feeding my children were putting a roof over their heads. my goal is the day that I am able to pay it forward. Good luck in life and congratulations on graduation

      Reply
    6. Denice3 months ago

      Congratulations young man. I wish you well in your studies and hope that you have the opportunity to further your education.

      Reply
    7. iz2 months ago

      very well said young man. most of the information on this page is biased. we all know that white americans take the bigger chunk of government assistance.

      Reply
  19. pRIS7 months ago

    Yes, and the fact remains: MORE WHITE FOLKS ARE ON WELFARE AND FOOD STAMPS THAN ANY OTHER GROUPIN AMERICA….period!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Jessie4 months ago

      well gee that’s probably because they’re the highest percent of the population! all that really proves is that there is a far greater percentage of people who claim themselves to be Caucasian nothing more nothing less :-P

      Reply
    2. Lolly2 months ago

      pRIS, It would help you greatly to go up a few posts and read Tyshaun Johnson’s post. He has put in a great number of cogent FACTS which would help relieve your vehement misinformation. I’ll sum it up for you:
      MOre white folk are on welfare, etc. because white folk make up 64% of the population. Meanwhile, black folk make up 12% of the population. Now, consider this fact, pRIS:
      35% of Welfare is used by white folk who make up 65% of the population.
      22% of Welfare is used by black folk who make up 12% of the population.
      Do you see where the vehemence in your post is misplaced? Look at the numbers and analyze them.
      By the way, this isn’t an issue of race for me–YOU made it into such a thing. This is an issue of poverty.

      Reply
  20. JLP8 months ago

    Let’s look at the numbers the way the media doesn’t want to:

    8.94% of white people are on food stamps
    27.85% of black people are on food stamps

    How so?

    There are 47.6 million people on food stamps. The population of the U.S. is 309 million.

    White people use 37% of food stamps (17.6 million) and are 63.7% of the population (196.8 million).

    Black people use 22% of food stamps (10.5 million) and are 12.2% of the population (37.7 million).

    17.6/196.8 = 8.94%
    10.5/37.7 = 27.85%

    So, it is dishonest to simply say white people use more food stamps, without taking into account population percentages. When one segment is 63.7% of the population, it makes sense that they would use more food stamps.

    Reply
    1. Howard Louis7 months ago

      But no matter how you try to twist it, 17600000 is greater than 10500000.

      Reply
    2. PRIS7 months ago

      Numbers don’t lie: More white Americans on food stamps and welfare than any other group in America….period.

      Reply
      1. Brian7 months ago

        Do you always have such a hard time comprehending the facts, or are you in denial?

        Reply
    3. Gwendolyn Carter6 months ago

      @JLP

      Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t 17.6 greater than 10.5 and istn’t 196.8 greater than 37.7? I’m just asking, I do not know about your math however mine works just fine and 17 will always be greater than 10.

      Reply
      1. Mike6 months ago

        Yes, there are more total white non-Hispanics on food stamps and welfare than any other group. There are however about 6 times more white non-Hispanics paying for the programs than there are blacks. Are there 6 times less blacks receiving benefits? My math says no.

        Reply
    4. darwin mcleod2 months ago

      True that

      Reply
  21. Emmanuel Nkono8 months ago

    What about passing also a bill to suspend government free hand-outs (called subsidies) to corporations? Why should tax-payers’ money be used only for those that already have? The government should either assist all that are in need of assistance, disadvantaged individuals and struggling companies, or no one at all. Uhh, I forgot most senate and house of representatives members are owned by big corporations, so tomorrow ain’t the eve of the day when such a bill will be passed.

    Reply
    1. PRIS7 months ago

      Totally agree but righties treat corporations with kid gloves while denigrating its people….shameful!

      Reply
  22. Annette Burns8 months ago

    I enjoyed reading this article, however; I take exception with the last paragraph. I do agree that Medicaid, Welfare, and Food Stamps are Major Entitlement Programs. As for Unemployment Benefits, I am on the fence. Unemployment is charged and paid for by the Employer, not the employee. What one is paid from Unemployment is a complicated mix of Federal and State laws. As for Social Security and Medicare, I would be hard pressed to call them entitlement programs. Retirement Social Security Benefits are based on each Individual’s work record. There is no Poverty Line that the benefits must meet, it is just based on what you or you spouse have contributed, period. Both the worker and the Employer equally pay into the Social Security Fund. If Congress had not decided years ago to use the huge sum of money that was coming in from Social Security contributions, there would still be a surplus. When has Congress ever paid back, with interest, any government program that had a surplus? I don’t remember a time when that happened. It was not Congress’ money to spend. All the money in the Social Security Fund was to pay the Benefits to the workers or their surviving dependents.

    Reply
  23. chris8 months ago

    You are correct!

    Reply
  24. spayyourpets8 months ago

    I read this article 15 minutes ago:

    politicalblindspot.com/the-food-… In spite of the prevailing stereotypes and assumptions about who uses SNAP Food Stamp benefits the most in the United States, the highest usage is not in Compton, Queens, nor the South Side of Chicago. Instead, a city that is 99.22% white and 95% Republican comes in the lead. Owsley County, Kentucky is a community of about 5,000, residents earning the lowest median household income in the country outside of Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Census.

    Reply
  25. N.Jones9 months ago

    These claims are unsubstantiated. Clearly by the lack of detail regarding research methods, sampling groups and the obvious lack of use of the U.S department of commerce that clearly states whites are the main consumers of U.S welfare. Certainly someone of your background should be ashamed of publishing such a backless piece of foolishness. Try again…

    Reply
    1. JDub9 months ago

      Source please

      Reply
      1. E8 months ago

        Food Stamp Use By Race* (as of the 2010 FY)

        Whites: 35% participation | 63.7% of US population
        African Americans: 22% participation | 12.2% of US population
        Hispanic: 10% participation | 16.3% of US population
        Asian: 2% participation | 4.7% of US population
        American Indian: 4% participation | 0.7% of US population
        Unknown race: 19% participation | 0.2% of US population

        *Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census

        Reply
        1. JLP8 months ago

          So, blacks are 12.2% of the population, but use 22% of the food stamps? Wow.

          Reply
          1. SAW8 months ago

            No, try again. 22% of that 12% of the population is participating in food stamps. That means they use, what, .03% of the food stamps? Unless you want to tell me where the other 3.2% went after adding all those percentages up.

          2. Brian7 months ago

            You’re right! Blacks make up 12% of the population but over 22% of food stamps takers. Sad SAW you are wrong. Go back and read it again.

          3. Kim Kowalski7 months ago

            I hate to say it, SAW, but you are incorrect. Those percentages are based on their respective categories. The fact of the matter is that more whites (total numbers) receive benefits (more overall, but lower percentage of their population), but a higher percentage of the black population receive benefits. This shows you how easy it is to skew statistics to suit one’s agenda. Present the same exact stats in two different ways and assign two different meanings.

          4. LK6 months ago

            Why are you stuck on race? Clearly there is a reason why anyone needs this type of assistance. Who cares what group uses it the most. How about focusing on ending the abuse of this assistance and helping people get off of it!

  26. Almost got ME9 months ago

    Interesting article Rich, but due to the lack of data source citations and sampling methodologies I’m inclined to believe that these figures and percentages are not as accurate as you present them to be.

    Reply
    1. S.M.9 months ago

      Um yes, more white people are on welfare type benefits. You failed to take into consideration that Blacks make up a significantly smaller portion of the population. They’re looking at per capita. 31% of blacks in the U.S. is a smaller total number than 15% of whites.. it still means if you’re black you are more likely statistically to have been on some type of benefits. Mostly due to overwhelming social/economic disparities between the races.

      Reply
      1. FJ8 months ago

        Blacks are 13% and use a much higher per capita rate of welfare programs, as do American Indians and Latinos. Asians? Not sure.

        Reply
  27. Ashley11 months ago

    don’t know the percentage of the us correctly but down here in the south its about 30/30/30 white black and latin, but i do know that not very many white men recieve any goverment aid except SSI if you don’t believe me find a white guy send him into the dhs and wait a mouth and half in the mail for a denail and do the same for the others its not racist its facts if you feel so strong realy try it. Another thing to look at is the amount recieved i know some white men only get abouts 20 bucks a month (and others can’t get anything)

    Reply
  28. Gary Gross11 months ago

    It seems to me that this thought provoking data could have been used by lobbyists to prevent the huge did stamp cuts in the recent House farm bill. Where are the boxes of reasons? .

    Reply
  29. Stephen Ard11 months ago

    I don’t consider Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements” as they are paid for through taxation of the workers that receive them. I would happily opt out of these programs if I could. I only feel “entitled” to them because I have payed for them.

    Reply
    1. Nathan11 months ago

      People receive more from those programs than they pay in, in general.

      Reply
      1. Grue11 months ago

        True for Medicare. Not true for Social Security.

        The government has been raiding Social Security funds for decades to pay for other spending.

        Reply
        1. SteveD9 months ago

          Grue

          The trust fund is an accounting fiction. The trust fund exists only on paper in a three ring binder at the National Accounting Center in Parkersburg, WV as required by law. The federal govt creates T-Securities (the federal debt) out of thin air, just like it creates dollars out of thin air. Dollars are not physical. Dollars for FICA or any other federal tax ‘sent’ to UDT are destroyed and simply no longer exist (instructions are sent to banks to DEBIT the taxpayers account). The govt creates ALL dollars by SPENDING (sending instructions to banks to mark up numbers in bank accounts). With Congressional approval, it can do this infinitely, no taxes or borrowing (except to offset the deficit) are necessary.Prior to 1971, dollars were essentially physical, as based on the gold standard. In ’71 Nixon closed the gold window and instituted a fiat based currency. Yes, over 40 years ago the trust fund was raided. Today that is impossible under a fiat currency regime.

          Reply
      2. Jim Moore11 months ago

        While one may argue that receiving more Social Security benefits than one pays into the program constitutes ‘entitlement’, the term itself infers an expectation of deserved benefit by the recipient over and above actual achievement – “I am entitled”. Such is not the case with Social Security.

        The only reason many receive more in Social Security benefits than they have paid into the program is political – Congress refuses to increase qualification ages to levels of actuarial reality. Receipts that exceed contributions are NOT the fault of the recipient, therefore they are not receiving them due to a sense of excess value entitlement. They receive them because the program was and is misdesigned, implemented and structured by the federal government.

        Many would be glad to simply be given back the value of the money they paid in and walk away from Social Security, but federeal law will not permit it – the government requires they receive more than they paid in (in many cases) and then labels such payments “entitlements”, as if the recipient is “on the dole” and receiving something he did not earn based upon his own desire to do so.

        Only in government do such contradictions exist.

        Reply
        1. Ed Fickey10 months ago

          The problem comes as Social Security has been bastardized to include many entitlements. It is no longer only the payment received post retirement – but includes many programs that the government has decided to use the funds directly from the SS administration to pay – disguising payments of SS. Backdoor is open, wide. Unfortunately most would never believe this.

          Reply
          1. SteveD9 months ago

            Widow(er) benefits,Children’s benefits,Disability benefits

            In the case of Widow’s benefits my mother was able to obtain a college degree and spent over 40 years as a Public School educator. In my case, I received ‘benefits’ until 22 yoa, which allowed me to obtain an advanced degree and was applicable to me being gainfully employed for over 45 years. Gee, I guess we both pretty much paid back those entitlements.

        2. SteveD9 months ago

          Please research Monetary Sovereignty as to WHY it is no problem for a currency issuing nation to pay for anything beyond taxation or without actually borrowing. Borrowing for a Monetary Sovereign only drains reserves (to regulate the overnight lending rate at the FRB), it does not create new dollars for spending. In the case of SS, only the ready availability of goods and services to be consumed by SS recipients is a NECESSITY. Output and productivity (especially now on a worldwide scale) , NOT a lack of dollars is the key to sustaining SS.

          Reply
          1. SteveD9 months ago

            ‘NOT a lack of dollars is the key to sustaining SS.’

            I should rephrase this to read:

            Not a LACK or ABUNDANCE of dollars is the key to sustaining SS.

  30. Don Birkholz11 months ago

    Would like to see a study on the reasons for starting the need for food stamps. Divorce, death of a spouse, medical costs, loss of job, DUI costs, mandatory auto insurance costs, etc. A food stamp survey done at my request, done in Billings, Montana showed 18 of the 96 food stamp applicants said auto insurance, DUI, or traffic fines were a reason for needing food stamps. Can’t we give community service instead of traffic fines and get these people off food stamps? That would equal 70,000 over the last 30 years.

    Reply
    1. SteveD9 months ago

      Federal taxes DO NOT pay for federal spending. Federal taxes smooth demand and basically force you to use the currency ONLY. Federal tax liabilities can only be paid in US dollars. SNAP rolls have nearly doubled in less than a decade, yet for 98% of the population, federal taxes have NOT increased. How is this even possible? Monetary Sovereignty. The govt pays its bills by spending (debits), which CREATE dollars. ‘Taxpayers’ pay their federal taxes which destroy dollars (credits) on the UDT ledger spreadsheets. These federal ‘dollars’ do not enter the banking system, unlike your state or local tax payments which are indeed bank transfers of ‘dollars.’

      Reply
  31. Tafari Shambe11 months ago

    According the percentages listed Whites are about 3 times more likely to use food stamps than Blacks even though Whites account for 5 times more of the population. So yes, more Whites use food stamps but it still shows how much inequality persists in education and opportunity for non-whites versus whites. For those who are mathematically challenged as seems the case from some posts below here is a simple way to break it down.

    (Total Estimated Populationn) 313,914,040 x (Percent of population that is White only) 77% = 241,713,811 Whites
    (Total Estimated Population) 313,914,040 x (Percent that is Black only) 13.1% = 41,122,740 Blacks
    (White Population) 241,713,811 x (Percentage that used food stamps) 15% = 36,257,072 Whites who have used food stamps
    (Black Population) 41,122,739.24 x (Percentage that used food stamps) 31% = 12,748,050 Blacks who have used food stamps

    Reply
    1. Nathan11 months ago

      So your point is that whites are less likely to use food stamps as a percentage, but more whites are on food stamps than non-whites because they account for a greater percentage of the population?

      I thought everyone knew that..

      Reply
      1. PRIS7 months ago

        Not if you read many of the comments on this site. Folks here refuse to believe that more whites are on welfare and food stamps.

        Reply
    2. LMAO11 months ago

      In your attempt to mislead and twist the numbers you have shown that blacks are twice as likely to accept food stamps than whites, exactly what you were trying to say in the other direction. No matter how anyone tries to twist it, there are less blacks (13%) than whites (+/- 70%) in the USA but the demographics are nowhere close to that in “government aid” category. The amount of blacks on “welfare” is very close to the amount of whites even though they make up more than 5X less of the population. Twist it however you want, black people as a group are far more likely to use government aid than white people as a group.

      Reply
      1. chuck10 months ago

        @LMAO: You state “black people as a group are far more likely to use government aid than white people as a group.”How is that possible when in fact whites get 69% of Government Benefits and that includes welfare? You may want to do some fact checking before you post.

        Reply
  32. NoLie12 months ago

    This story is 126% false, because whites, republicans, and conservatives has never used food stamp or accept handouts. and they are the only ones who pays taxes.

    I know, because they say so all the time on the forums.

    They repeated it so much, that I must believe it.

    Reply
  33. cd12 months ago

    lets us see who suffers the most, 15% of whites = 31 million whites receiving food stamp.
    39% blacks = 14 million blacks receiving food stamps.

    Reply
  34. Kile James12 months ago

    Why the flying circus kick does it matter which race is receiving food stamps? As long as they are actually poor and actually need them, who cares what their skin color is?

    Reply
    1. Bill Gryan11 months ago

      Yes, we should endeavor to hide data if it’s not pretty or does not fit our preconceived notions.

      Reply
      1. ARG5 months ago

        Why is the race of recipients important? Unless you want to generalize an entire group in a more than likely negative way, it shouldn’t be. Factoring race into something that should generate concern for the welfare of all humans, not black or white humans only, is the reason for preconceived notions in the first place.

        Reply
    2. Deborah Hill2 months ago

      Because of Racism! Having a big number of white people (in fact the majority of snap recipients being white doesn’t play well for the TeaGOP who like to perpetuate the non white welfare recipient image on our social safety net.) Of all recipients benefiting from SNAP over 50% of them are children under 6 years of age. Tell those lazy little slackers to go back to work in the coal mines or cotton mills like they did at the turn of the century! No work no food! (Oh wait farmers benefit from the SNAP program in more than one way. Some of them get better prices when they sell their crops as a result of increased demand. Some farmers are actually poor enough to qualify for the program themselves and depend on it and medicaid as well for insurance. The grocery chains will lose a huge revenue source to if the SNAP program is discontinued so we can all expect to pay for yet another increase in prices at the checkout counter as the stores pass their losses on to the buying public.

      Reply
  35. Datruth12 months ago

    Wayne you are wrong, its 21% of black men vs 11% of white men. Not really close in fact black men are twice as likely to receive food stamps.

    Reply
  36. Wayne12 months ago

    So white men are nearly as dependent on food stamps as black men (21% for black men and 19% for white men) and white men are also more likely to use food stamps than hispanic men (14%). Also, while black and hispanic men use food stamps at a lower rate than black and hispanic mothers (likely single mothers contribute to the higher number), white men use food stamps at a higher rate than white women. Ain’t that something.

    Reply
  37. Dave1 year ago

    Obviously, Jenene Cook has never taken a math or logic class.

    Since white people are, for the moment, still a majority, one would expect more whites to benefit from food stamps than non-whites.

    But when one looks at the *percentages* of whites vs non-whites on food stamps, it’s clear that whites benefit less from them than do non-whites.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supplement…

    Liberals – they they just don’t like to do math.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy1 year ago

      Actually Dave, you are wrong and seriously need to retake those math and logic classes you’re referring to because it seems like you failed. 72.4% of the U.S. population is White, so 27.6% of the population is non-White. 15% of 72.4% is 10.86% of the U.S. population, for non-Whites let’s just take the 31%, so 31% of 27.6% is 8.556% of the U.S. population. So that means more white people have received food stamps at some point in their life than non-white people.

      The disparity in percentages only speaks to the income and social inequality that still exists in America today.

      Reply
      1. Jarvis10 months ago

        That’s an interesting take.
        Most whites would refer to that as the work ethic and cultural inequality that still exists in America today.

        Reply
        1. wiseoldsnail8 months ago

          of course most whites might say this, because most whites are intentionally ignorant of systemic sexism and racism, which still creates inequities in employment and pay scale, regardless of laws that prohibit such inequities . insinuating that a working person (eligible for assistance when pay is below poverty level) has no work ethic says much more about you than those whom you judge

          Reply
  38. Informer1 year ago

    Percentage of whites vs blacks in the USA? Now let’s look at the percentage of whites on welfare vs blacks on welfare….

    Reply
    1. SteveD9 months ago

      Not many blacks in the hollowed halls of Wall St. where entitlements and handouts , AKA”corporate welfare’ reign supreme. read on:

      JP Morgan’s board decided to give Jamie Dimon a raise. The amount was not disclosed, but it will be somewhere above the $11.3 million he earned last year. And the year before that he earned about $20 million.

      JP Morgan, the firm, earned $17 billion last year on assets of $2.5 trillion. That is a 0.7% return on assets. For this he’s making tens of millions?

      In contrast Ben Bernanke steered the Fed to a 3.0% return on assets of around $3 trillion (2012) yet he earned only $199,000.

      Both the Fed and JP Morgan are banks. Their investments are roughly the same–government securities and loans. So why does Dimon earn anywhere from 50 to 100 times more than Bernanke?

      Not only that, but the Fed’s earnings ($90 billion in 2012) were pretty much all turned back over to taxpayers whereas JP Morgan’s earnings were a result of PAYMENTS FROM ‘TAXPAYERS.’

      That’s right, the vast reserves of JP Morgan, which were put there by the government (‘taxpayers’) earned interest from payments made by the Treasury (‘taxpayers’). So in reality, were it not for ‘taxpayers’ GIVING JP MORGAN MONEY, it would have earned nothing.

      In other words, not only does JP Morgan serve no purpose other than maybe transaction clearing (and that’s only if I want to be kind), it’s also a parasite on ‘taxpayers.’

      At the very MOST, Jamie Dimon should earn $46,000 based on performance when you look at what Bernake did at the Fed.

      And this guy is treated like some god. It’s really outrageous. -details at Mike Norman economics

      Reply
    2. PRIS7 months ago

      Percentages are good but remember raw numbers show what groups receives the most welfare and food stamps. Get over it!

      Reply
  39. Jenene Cook1 year ago

    Thank you Tom Crumley. The way this information is being presented using percentages is quite deceiving. If you were to look at the raw numbers, there are MANY more white people benefiting from food stamps than Black and Latinos but that would take the wind out of the “better than thou” attitude white people have toward all those lazy Black and Latino people getting food stamps and living off of our hard work.

    Reply
    1. eric1 year ago

      Facts never seem to work for liberals do they – unless they work for liberals…

      Reply
    2. LMAO11 months ago

      Ok so I am going to break it down for you in a way hopefully you can understand but I have my doubts. You mentioned lazy black people so that is what I am going to use as well. (people on welfare are not necessarily lazy or sorry) 31% of black people report using welfare to 15% of white people, then by a per capita group statistic black people are more than twice as likely to be lazy than white people. Can you not understand that using raw numbers only shows your ignorance? If we are discussing whites or blacks are more likely to be on welfare it is not even close.

      Reply
      1. chuck10 months ago

        Sorry LOMAO you’re incorrect. This is from the New York Times and not my opinion, they state and I quote ” blacks comprise 22 percent of the poor, but blacks only take in 14 percent of government benefits. Conversely, whites make up 42 percent of the poor , but take in a disproportionate 69 percent of government benefits” So your comment ” black people are more than twice as likely to be lazy than white people.” is not based on facts but is based on your nonfactual opinion.

        Reply
        1. Mindy Utz9 months ago

          Regardless of color…the “fact debate” here is wrong on both accounts. The MAJORITY of people receiving aid are children, elderly, disabled, and people who have lost their job and are looking for work or to further their education to better themselves. The majority, regardless of percentages being thrown around, are not lazy whites, lazy blacks, etc. They are people who are getting help they honestly need.

          Reply
          1. Deborah Hill2 months ago

            Exactly Mindy. Most recipients of aid would prefer to be working a job that would pay them a living wage so that they wouldn’t have to put up with all the Bull hockey thrown their way when they present a SNAP card at the checkout. They would prefer to only have to go to one job rather than work 2 or three minimum wage jobs to try to keep a roof over their heads and pay bills. I am tired of paying the WALTON family a huge subsidy in the form of SNAP benefits and Medicaid for their workforce because they refuse to pay their employees a living wage. It is not the workers fault. It is the fault of greedy corporations who are the biggest welfare queens in the USA.

  40. Tom Crumley1 year ago

    Percentage by nature can be misleading. Does anyone have the actual numbers. It would appear there are a lot more whites that have received benefits than all others combined. To make it truly food program Congress would have to do some hard work. Do not pay deposit on pop, possibly not allow pop to be purchased. Food would have to have a minimum nutritional value(to be worked out)
    Sugar as a ingredient would need to be regulated. Salt as a percentage should be minimized. Of course is a real preservative, so this would be tricky.

    Of course many special interests would fight against this. These are the groups that actually get the money. Sugar companies, soda companies, retailers, and a myriad of other groups that suck at the teat of the taxpayer. It would reduce fraud also, because retailers would need to show they actually ordered nutritional items to sell. Pringles, candy, Oreos, etc. This would really take some work, but it could be done with the technology available today. Congress is just too lazy, and dependent on these special interests to even try and improve the food experience, and make some real demands on the people that receive these tax payer financed safety nets. I do not begrudge someone from using SNAP, but it should be for real food, not just something you can shove in your mouth. If this is too demanding, do not accept them.

    Reply
  41. nvwhitehawk1 year ago

    Why are programs like Social Security and Medicare considered “social welare” when workers have put money into the program from every paycheck they get? You are calling it a tax and are condemning any who collect on their “investment.”

    Reply
  42. Canof Sand1 year ago

    You don’t “benefit” from Social Security. You are FORCED to pay into it and then, when you’re old enough, if you live that long, you can attempt to get your money back — less than you COULD have gotten if you were allowed to invest it wisely even in programs with fairly conservative returns.

    Reply
    1. Thomas1 year ago

      Like the stock market circa 2006-2009?

      Reply
      1. Nathan11 months ago

        Yes, it’s still better than Social Security.

        cato.org/publications/policy-ana…

        Or one could invest in Treasuries, gold, silver, whatever they want. It’s their money. Should people only be allowed to invest in what you deem to be safe?

        Reply
  43. Marilyn Wheeler1 year ago

    What is the percentage of Blacks who receive Food Tamps?

    Reply
    1. Eddy1 year ago

      The article contains a nice little chart with the answer to your question.

      Reply
    2. Cam1 year ago

      I agree. They wanted to avoid that question. According to USDA, 36% whites, 22% blacks, 10% Hispanics.

      Reply
      1. Kevin1 year ago

        Your numbers are the exact opposite of the survey.

        Reply
        1. noobystok1 year ago

          This survey is based on asking people questions, and generally speaking people are dumb and will not always be accurate. Also, the percentages in this article are for the percentage of people who HAVE received benefits. Current numbers are much different. This article helps in no way to identify anything about the current program. The current numbers, according to the agency that oversees the distribution of funds (USDA) are exactly what “Cam” said. When “liberals” talk about how there are so many white people it’s because “right-wing” people out there try to paint the president as the Welfare president probably because he’s black and they’re trying to get old white people to watch their shows and because the numbers have exploded since 2007. People don’t think to wonder why it hasn’t grown even more, since the number of unemployed had doubled or gone up by about 96% and SNAP benefits have gone up only by 70%.

          Reply
    3. JD Straw1 year ago

      Miss Wheeler, even if the race if people you hate weren’t getting ANY food stamps would cause you to sleep better at night? On other websites that have charts breaking down the percentage of Caucasians vs other races, the percentage of Caucasians far out number those people you have such hatred for. I’ve seen the same numbers on many other sites showing that Caucasians have the highest percentage followed by the race of people you hate, with Hispanics being the next group. Do some research on various sites and you’ll see the same thing. Stop hating so much. You’ll be more content once you shed your hatred and racial biases.

      Reply
      1. Lolly2 months ago

        How do you know Miss Wheeler hates people of the HUMAN RACE who happen to be brown in color?

        Reply
  44. Gregory Krabbe1 year ago

    Do you have any idea how many defraud the taxpayers by either buying candy or drinks and selling for cash or fill up their canteen trucks and ice cream trucks? Yeah trust me i see it and similar abuses all the time! The food stamp recipients who utilize the program as it was intended and are legitimately in need are few and far between. People no longer feel the shame they since did for receiving charity, Except people who really need it. Do It Is a sign of the time.

    Reply
    1. Croot11 months ago

      Is there any research on food stamp abuse? I imagine it is hard to quantify but isn’t that the most important issue. That and seeing that children are sufficiently fed?

      Reply
      1. wiseoldsnail8 months ago

        there is research, and it doesn’t back up the claims of the krabbe . in fact, it’s a waste of money to finance research, because it always finds the same truth : nobody wants welfare if are able to work and can find a job …

        unfortunately, folks like krabbe don’t want to know that a large percentage of those receiving benefits are working full time … and the taxpayer subsidized benefits they receive are basically supporting the continuation of massive profits to the likes of walmart and mcdonalds … which pay so low that we subsidize their profits by subsidizing their workers’ income

        Reply
      2. Deborah Hill2 months ago

        Actually there has been research on food stamp abuse and there is actually very little abuse of the system going on. People who go to the system for aid have to demonstrate a genuine need of it. I would rather see all of the people in this country well nourished than see a single dollar go to another war for profit. Too bad we have a government that doesn’t listen to the people who vote them in and only seem to want to serve themselves these days.

        Reply
    2. Mindy Utz9 months ago

      Do you know how stupid that sounds? They are not committing fraud by purchasing candy, soft drinks, chips, etc.
      They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. You food nazi’s think you can tell others what they can and can’t eat. Pathetic.
      The system is set up to fail. Most healthy foods cost more than junk food. So if these people want to actually eat for the entire month, they are generally going to purchase the cheapest foods.
      One moron goes and buys steak or lobster on a food card and suddenly EVERYONE is accused of doing it. I guarantee you…the average person on assistance can not afford to buy steak or lobster. By doing so, they would be using a weeks worth of their food allotment on one item. That is simply asinine.
      Let me break this down for you…
      A family of two receiving $93/month in food assistance.
      $93.00 x 12 months = $1,116.00 per year
      $1,116.00 / 365 days per year = $3.058/day per person
      $3.058 / 2 people = $1.529 per person
      $1.529 / 3 meals a day = $.51

      Wow!! $.51 for a meal. I would like to see YOU go purchase healthy meals with that…and lobster and steak to boot.
      That is exactly what my disabled child and myself receive. We are both disabled. I began working at the age of 15 and worked for many years in the health care field until I could not anymore after my spine surgery and brain surgery…all while raising an autistic adult son after my divorce alone. So sorry if you find if offensive…but with all due respect…suck it up, Cupcake. I have busted my butt just like you and every other hard working american. Our only “crime” is being disabled. So if my son wants a Reese’s Cup once every couple months he’s going to get it! When it’s his birthday, he is getting a cake and ice cream! If he want’s an occasional bag of chips, you guessed it…he’s going to get it! How DARE you think you have the right to tell someone else what they are allowed to consume. You can use the argument that YOU are paying for my food. Well, let’s go with that. If we are going to think that way then I guess since your boss pays YOU…he/she should now have the right to decide what you and your family are allowed to eat or not eat. Don’t say it’s different because it’s not. That would not only make you a food nazi…but a hypocritical one at that!

      So there go the ignorant stereotypes!!

      Reply
      1. wiseoldsnail8 months ago

        thank you

        Reply
  45. Sandra Miller1 year ago

    I’d like to point out that in the last paragraph, and consequently in the survey, a number of entitlement programs have been omitted skewing the racial statistics at the very least. One major omission was the GI Bill, and post World War II especially, white veterans took significant advantage of education and housing entitlements that were often denied blacks. Indeed, in my personal experience a great number of conservative Republicans began to accumulate their property wealth and access to high paying jobs through this program.

    Reply
    1. Kevin1 year ago

      It isn’t an entitlement if you did something to earn it. Nice try though!

      Reply
      1. JD Straw1 year ago

        No, welfare and other give-away programs are NOT entitlements and I get sick of these programs being called “entitlements.”

        Reply
      2. ARG5 months ago

        And you’ll address the black soldiers who earned it but were denied because of racism…when exactly?? Didn’t think so.

        Reply
    2. Lolly2 months ago

      We paid for the G.I. Bill!! During my first year of active duty, money was taken OUT of every single one of my paychecks and put into the G.I. Bill fund for my later use. Additionally, every single one of the non-white veterans who put had money taken out of THEIR paychecks for future use RECEIVED it, also. People of our human race–NO MATTER THEIR COLOR–who DECIDE to get an education and work hard at a job that will eventually pay them well are the ones who (ahem) get jobs that will eventually pay them well. NO MATTER THEIR COLOR.

      Reply
  46. Independent NYorker1 year ago

    Nobody saves for Social Security
    It was designed as an insurance policy

    From Wikipedia:

    A limited form of the Social Security program began, during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term, as a measure to implement “social insurance” during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when poverty rates among senior citizens exceeded 50 percent.[8] The Act was an attempt to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children.

    Reply
  47. ErikKengaard1 year ago

    The middle class pays into Social Security & Medicare. They are lucky to get back what they put in, with interest. Medicaid, welfare, unemployment benefits and food stamps – different story.

    Reply
  48. ErikKengaard1 year ago

    Those who are dependent on government are more likely to vote democrat, and democrats are more likely to effect policies that increase dependence.

    Reply
    1. dietrich1 year ago

      As usual, Erik, the facts fly in the face of your beliefs. “The survey found that significant proportions of Democrats (60%) and Republicans (52%) say they have benefited from a major entitlement program at some point in their lives. So have nearly equal shares of self-identifying conservatives (57%), liberals (53%) and moderates (53%). The programs were Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, unemployment benefits and food stamps.”

      According to your reasoning, Republicans and Conservatives are more likely to vote democrat, and they are more likely to effect policies that increase dependence since more than half of all Republicans and Conservatives have benefited from at least one major entitlement program.

      Reply
      1. Canof Sand1 year ago

        The facts only speak to your beliefs if you believe the nonsense the writer of the article above seems to believe, that programs you are forced to pay into like Social Security are on par with programs like food stamps.

        Reply
  49. Mark Smith1 year ago

    I think you should mention that 80% of all households who receive SNAP benefits have at least one person working with 25% of all households having 2 jobs.

    That might go some way to dispelling the myth that SNAP recipients are “lazy” and “should get a job”.

    Reply
  50. Bill Govier1 year ago

    Social Security IS NOT an entitlement. I have paid into it for 53 years and so has my employer. I will most likely never receive even what I paid in.

    Reply
    1. bmtt1 year ago

      As taxpayers, we “pay into” all social entitlement programs. Food Stamps recipients pay into the Food Stamps program in the same way that Social Security recipients pay into Social Security. Moralizing about and stratifying social entitlement programs into good ones and bad ones makes sense only for those trying to demonize others and sow resentments. The truth is that most “make and take” – at different points in their lives – whether they see it that way or not.

      Reply
      1. Russ1 year ago

        Not true. You can get food stamps without ever having a job. Just need a kid.

        Reply
  51. Tom Young1 year ago

    You wrote, “significant proportions of Democrats (60%) and Republicans (52%) say they have benefited from a major entitlement program . . . Social Security . . .”
    Excuse me, sir! I saved 40 years for my social security payments. Unlike the other programs mentioned, I EARNED THE RIGHT to my SS checks. Lumping Social Security in with Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, ADC, etc. and combining the results in a single figure is like counting potatoes, oranges, apples, and bananas. Where were you taught statistics?

    Reply
    1. Eva1 year ago

      Well, I don’t know about you, but I also have a deduction for medicare taken out of my check.

      To be honest, I don’t really care if recipients are Republican or Democrat, or what race they are. It matters to me that half of the recipients are children and therefore legally could not have “earned the right” to food stamps. Maybe we should just make children go back to work! Or maybe just the poor ones! Tell those kids that eating is not an “entitlement” and that they must earn their keep! And those gawdawful disabled people are another drag on society (especially the vets ;-) ) . If someone is too handicapped to work, they should be subjects of medical research if they want to eat! Now, what’s to be done with all of the old people? Well, I say they’ve outlived their welcome anyway! Let’s face it. They are pretty useless. Unless you want to consider them a cheap protein source for all those working poor children!

      What? Too far? Ok, but if you get rid of the elderly, disabled, and poor children (and their single moms) then you’ve gotten rid of almost everyone who depends on a government handout. So let’s just get rid of the freeloaders!!! Only then can we live in a truly just and fair society!

      Reply
      1. wiseoldsnail8 months ago

        thanks for the laugh . this thread was making me feel ill

        Reply
  52. Petra1 year ago

    ALL recipients of government assistance of ANY, (other than social security retirement benefits) kind should be randomly drug tested.

    Reply
    1. Carlos Sanchez1 year ago

      I agree. All government workers and Congress should be drug-tested before they receive taxpayer money. All military contractors, oil and gas CEOs and their boards who receive gov’t money and subsidies should be drug tested. All farmers who recieve subsidies, all hospitals, doctors, and nurses who receive federal dollars, and all businesses that deduct business-related expenses from thier tax bill (i.e., a subsidy or gov’t assistance) should be drug tested. Even the average Joe who itemizes on his tax return has his hand out for taxpayer dollars shoul dbe tested. Guess we will have to drug test the entire country.

      Reply
      1. Bar Kokhba1 year ago

        I actually agree with some of what you write, Mr. Sanchez, but the fact that you equate business-related tax deductions with ‘subsidies’ or ‘govt. assistance’ shows a serious flaw in your ideology. The money belongs to those who earn it – but you seem to think it’s the government’s money, and they merely allow you to keep what they think you need. A tax deduction is nothing like a handout – it’s allowing an entity to keep the money it worked for. And you’re against this?…

        Reply
        1. wiseoldsnail8 months ago

          this is not true . the system was built on taxes … giving exemptions to, for instance, churches (which violate the terms of those exemptions daily), and large corporations … places a larger tax burden on the rest of us . this results in higher taxes for the majority of hard working people, loss of services : everything from infrastructure on which corporations depend (roads, bridges, etc) to education … the loss of which degrades society as a whole

          tax exemptions are not different than subsidies

          look at the situation with companies like walmart … which is basically subsidized indirectly :::

          first of all, they manage to convince small and large towns alike to give them exemptions for supposedly bringing ‘jobs’ to town … when in fact what they do is run all the existing jobs out of town, by undercutting the prices small businesses can charge

          next, they pay below living wages … below poverty level wages … which makes their full time employees eligible for assistance …

          that assistance, in the form of food stamps and housing subsidies, comes from us … from our (and their own) taxes

          so … our taxes are subsidizing big business ::: they’re CLAIMING billions of dollars in profits (and of course not claiming some of their profits) … paying little to no taxes, relatively speaking … while their employees depend upon us to make up the difference between the pittance they earn by WORKING, and the amount they need to survive and hopefully send their kids off to college

          Reply
  53. Neeferduir1 year ago

    It would be interesting to know what the breakdown is on which Americans got food stamps for children and themselves verses just themselves.

    Reply
  54. David1 year ago

    Thanks. Your update on Social Security only reinforces the notion that its is NOT an entitlement program.

    Reply
  55. M B NEACE1 year ago

    I’m on Social Security. I paid into to the system from the time I was 18 till retirement at age 70. I DO NOT consider this an entitlement. It’s funds I paid into the SS system, now being returned as required by law because I earned it. SS was deducted regularly from every paycheck. Is this a benefit? NO – it’s a return on monies invested for many years. Because Congress mismanaged SS funds, does not entitle them to now tell me, and millions like me, that faithfully paid into the system, we’re receiving an ‘entitlement.’ NOT TRUE. These are funds I EARNED and paid into the system. Yes, my employer paid into my account which I always considered a part of my total earned income – not an employer ‘benefit.,’ which was accounted for every year when I prepared my tax forms.

    Reply
    1. Rich Morin1 year ago

      My smart colleague Dee Cohn has looked into Social Security payments and found something interesting: According to the government, it is no longer true that Social Security recipients take out more in benefits than they contributed in taxes. In fact, it’s just the opposite for the latest crop of retirees. Here’s what she found:

      CBO numbers on this point are on page 21 of this: cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbof… “The first generation of Social Security participants received more in benefits than they paid in taxes. However, for people retiring today, the present value of taxes will be, on average, more than the present value of benefits. Moreover, scheduled taxes are projected to be insufficient to pay for scheduled benefits, so benefit-to-tax ratios for payable benefits are even lower.” (The CBO document distinguishes between “scheduled” benefits, which are those that would be paid if funds are sufficient, and “payable” benefits, which are those that will be paid with funds available under current scenarios.)

      Reply
    2. wiseoldsnail8 months ago

      entitlement |enˈtītlmənt| noun
      the fact of having a right to something

      ‘entitlement’ is not a bad word

      as i just posted in response to another comment ::: ‘i sure wish people would stop allowing extremists to take ownership of words’

      we are entitled to receive benefits from the program we paid into for decades to support … to save for ourselves in time of need : disability, retirement, etc … social security belongs to us . we are entitled to it

      Reply
  56. David1 year ago

    I think the ending paragraph skews the numbers on entitlement program recipients by including Social Security and Medicare. Most of the recipients of these programs paid for them via payroll deductions in their working years. I would suggest that entitlement programs (welfare) are programs in which the recipients were basically non-contributors; otherwise, I guess one’s pension would be an entitlement as well – just one provided by an entity other than the government!

    Reply
    1. Seanmom1 year ago

      Also, the first portion of unemployment isn’t a “free” benefit fr gvt. The employer paid into it on your behalf, and probably reduced your potential income because of that cost.

      Reply
    2. bmtt1 year ago

      It’s not true that “entitlement programs (welfare) are programs in which the recipients were basically non-contributors.” This is easily fact-checked.

      Reply
  57. TONY1 year ago

    I have a brilliant idea – What if all Government Contracts currently being serviced by Republican / Conservative thinking contractors were abruptly terminated due to the fact that they [conservatives] don’t believe in Big Gov’t spending – Where would they get their major contracts from ? Globally is cool, but, prior to Globalization where did the majority of the contracts come from ? Big Gov’t !!

    Reply
  58. Micheal1 year ago

    This does show where the money has not trickled down to!

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  59. Lidia R1 year ago

    Perhaps the reason race is so divided is because Whites have a below state average unemployment, in southern states Blacks are double and whites are extremely below, Hispanics are of course in the middle, still above the state level in unemployment. Of course blacks and hispanics will need it more than whites when their unemployment level reflects this. As to Republicans and Democrats, Hispanics and Blacks are more likely to be independent or Democrats. Obviously, the conclusion is that Hispanics and Blacks will more likely need this because they lean towards being Democrats and with their high levels of unemployment in almost all states. The real question should be is why is the white level of unemployment not reflective of other races in our society, they should be similar (in a fair society)?

    pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/26/w…

    epi.org/publication/unemployment…

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  60. cHERYL mARTIN1 year ago

    If a Republican was receiving “food stamps” they would never admit it. Anyone i”ve ever known to get foodstamps have been either hard core republicans or apolitical with very few exceptions.

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  61. Rob Houck1 year ago

    No surprise that more women than men are (direct) recipents – they are traditionally more responsible for feeding the family, including children and possibly husbands and boy friends. I wonder if men who are indirect recipients (or even direct) are reporting reliably – or even view themselves as recipients. I also wonder how recipients feel about the program – more or less likely to support it for others. I also wonder if Republicans – generally more rural than Democrats – have more non-cash sources of food. As to Pew – clearly the best source of lots of kinds of information. Thanks. I have heard Bruce Stokes several times recently, on both sides of the Atlantic. 1st rate.

    Reply
    1. Rich Morin1 year ago

      Good questions. We did ask about “people in your household,” which might capture some but not all of the shy esponders. As for Bruce, I agree: He’s a rock star.

      Reply
  62. Jim1 year ago

    Rich–Do you know when the survey data upon which this report is based will be made public?

    Reply
    1. Rich Morin1 year ago

      We usually wait a year before releasing SPSS datasets, which means November. But email me.

      Reply
  63. Emm1 year ago

    Not sure why the author uses the term “food stamp” so liberally when the current program is called SNAP. SNAP recipient or SNAP benefits would be the precise term.

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  64. arrai4561 year ago

    curious about the states where the recipients are highest, lowest. . . .

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    1. Rich Morin1 year ago

      Even with our large sample (about 2,500) we don’t have enough to break down results by states. I wish we did! I hope some of the state pollsters add a question on food stamps and other entitlement programs to their polls. It certainly is a timely topic and likely will stay in the news for quite a while I expect the feds have stats by state on current recipients though they might not have figures estimating use over a lifetime (but they may), Perhaps someone reading this could supply a link.

      Reply
      1. Ann Myatt James1 year ago

        Greetings,
        I research food assistance policies and programs in the US. The USDA makes a variety of county and state data available to the general public.
        A couple of good starting links:

        Time-Series Data on SNAP participation (and documentation): ers.usda.gov/data-products/suppl…

        US Food Environment Atlas: ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-…

        FNS program data: fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm

        Good luck in your search!

        Reply
        1. Rich Morin1 year ago

          Thank you for the great links! I’m copying them as soon as I post this reply.

          Reply
    2. Pia Elworthy1 year ago

      In recently speaking with the manager of a local Walmart store (Charles Town, W.V. about an hour outside of D.C.), I learned that 7 out of every 10 sales at his store were paid with food stamps. I also became aware today that West Virginia has recently eliminated all taxes on food products…even the good old candy bar. So evidently the cost of food has become a significant burden to a great many people, wouldn’t it be wiser to tear down the food commodities trade which is causing food prices to rise at such unfathomable rates, than make tax payers struggle to subsidize the people who cannot afford their food?

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  65. Kipran Wise1 year ago

    I love the stats… May I ask to see the total breakdown of the overall total recipients… The total number of Whites, the total number of Blacks, the total number of Hispanics (Non-Black) and others… I am not asking about the percentage, the total amount…

    Reply
    1. Rich Morin1 year ago

      Very good question, Klpran. The data we reported came from a nationally representative sample of about 2,500 adults (click on the link in the post to view the original report, which contains a detailed description of the methodology). We do not produce actual point estimates of the numbers of adults in each of the groups, just as we do not produce estimates of the actual number of adults who approve of the job that Barack Obama is doing as president or say they plan to take a vacation this year. But it could be done if you wanted to do it. Here’s how. Take any group of interest; I’ll use non-Hispanic whites. if approximately 77% of the population is white non-Hispanic and about 75% of the white population is 18 and older (that’s close but I could not find an exact percentage) and 15% of all non-Hispanic white adults have ever received food stamps then non-Hispanic white adults who have gotten food stamps comprise about 9% of the total population (check my math by multiplying .77*.75*.15). Okay, we’re almost there. Now multiply that estimate by the total US population (about 313 million in 2012) and you get–finally–about 28 million adult whites who ever received food stamps. BUT since your estimate is based on a survey, you have to compute the margin of sampling error factoring in the design effect for the white subsample (or whatever group you’re interested in) and apply that to your estimate to get the upward and lower boundaries of the range. Roughly speaking, it’s about +-3 percentage points. Stir all of this together and you have your answer: You could be fairly confident that the total number of whites who ever got food stamps is somewhere between 25 and 31 million, with 28 million being your “best” guess. We find it more useful and understandable to report percentages rather than estimates of actual numbers, which take some work to produce, can imply a false precision and might be misinterpreted. That said, I might take a crack at it on Monday and post the results, just for fun. (Apologies in advance for any arithmetic errors I committed in the production of this comment.)

      Reply
      1. Emm1 year ago

        You can obtain the data you mention from the USDA Economic Research Service.

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        1. Rich Morin1 year ago

          Thank you! Always knew the Pew Research Center served the most informed audience in the country.

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      2. Jeremy1 year ago

        Hi Rich,

        Although the information that you provide is important, I think it is also just as important to provide the greater context associated with the frequencies and percentages of total food stamp recipients, even if those frequencies and percentages are inferred from a random sample. While providing an accurate snapshot of the proportion of those who have ever received food stamps, your infographic, for example, could exaggerate minority participation in the supplemental nutritional assistance program among those who do not take the time to understand what it means fully. While it is true that a higher proportion of minorities receive supplemental nutritional assistance, it is also just as true that minorities constitute a minority of all Americans, a minority of those who are poor, and a minority of those who receive supplemental nutritional assistance. Despite this, however, news coverage of poverty and social welfare programs in the United States over the past 40 years has disproportionately personified the poor – especially when it comes to social welfare programs and abuses of those programs – as minorities (particularly black) (see Gilens’ Why Americans Hate Welfare). This exaggeration primes Americans to believe that minorities actually receive the lion’s share of social welfare benefits, when, in fact, this perception is grossly untrue. Gilens argues that this exaggeration is largely responsible for this disparity between the proportion of Americans who report that they want the government to do more to help the poor (which is high) and the proportion of Americans who report that they support government funding of social welfare programs (which is low). Using your formula above (% population * % adult * % SNAP * total population) and data from the U.S. census bureau (quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states…), here is the greater context that your story misses: the frequencies and percentages of total food stamp recipients by race:

        White (0.64 * 0.75 * 0.15 * 313,000,000 = 22,536,000 (51.5% of all food stamp recipients)
        Black (0.13 * 0.75 * 0.15 * 313,000,000 = 9,533,198 (21.8% of all food stamp recipients)
        Hispanic (0.17 * 0.75 * 0.15 * 313,000,000 = 8,728,005 (19.9% of all food stamp recipients)
        Other (0.07 * 0.75 * 0.15 * 313,000,000 = 2,957,850 (7.8% of all food stamp recipients).

        As you can see, even though a higher proportion of those within minority groups have ever received food stamps, white still account for the lion’s share of all food stamp recipients. I realize that your story does not mean to imply anything different; I only think the additional context is important.

        Reply
        1. Rich Morin1 year ago

          Excellent points, all. I agree about the importance of Martin GIllen’s contribution to the national conversation about entitlements. Thank you for enriching the thread.

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          1. Dena M Dall-Pickett1 year ago

            Jeremy, great continuation of the article…

            I think the ratio or men to women who use food-stamps (SNAP) is also important to point to. Even within white communities your article shows that the need is two to one women over men who need this. By isolating this number to also show which party they are voting for would also reveal why the Republicans feel they garner support for doing this within their voting ranks.

            I would also like to know what level employment that these families have that are using this supplement. I think this speaks to the living wage and what I perceive a false view of the lazy american.

        2. Rich Morin1 year ago

          PS: The estimate I used for the non-Hispanic white population is the Census “white alone” estimate. I now see that the “white alone” number includes white Hispanics so the true non-Hispanic white percentage (and population estimate) should be lower. I see you use an estimate of 64% to derive a total of about 22.5 million non-Hispanic white adults who ever received food stamps, which doubtlessly is closer to the truth. It’s wise for readers to remember that all sorts of little problems contribute scraps of error to nearly all population estimates derived from survey data. We typically don’t factor in the institutionalized population from the base, telephone surveys don’t cover the total population, design effects can be tricky to compute, etc. With enough time and resources, some of these problems can be addressed but it still pays to be careful.

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        3. Kipran Wise1 year ago

          Thank you Jeremy for the clarification. I wish I possessed your math skills. This article has been a wonderful eye opener.

          Reply
  66. Thomas Lutey1 year ago

    Interesting report. However, it is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that replaced food stamps. Mr. Morin state’s the exact opposite in the second graph of his report.
    SNAP replaced food stamps Oct. 1, 2008.

    fns.usda.gov/snap/rules/Legislat…

    Reply
    1. Rich Morin1 year ago

      Thank you for your comment. The second paragraph is not intended to suggest that the food stamp program replaced SNAP. As you note, the food stamp program is now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The program is still popularly referenced as “the food stamp program,” as it was today (7/13) in the headline and text of the lead editorial in the New York Times (“Missing: The Food Stamp Program”).

      Reply