White House offers food stamps, not jobs, to the nation’s poor
Posted By Neil Munro On 3:51 PM 11/26/2013
White House officials are trying to slam GOP efforts to cut food-stamp funding, even as President Barack Obama told wealthy donors that he won’t compromise on his ambitious, government-fattening progressive policies that have failed to reverse the nation’s unemployment and poverty.
The food stamp program “is one of our nation’s strongest defenses against poverty and hunger,” Cecilia Muñoz, head of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council declared Tuesday.
Food-stamp cuts “would be harsh and unacceptable at any time, but particularly so as we enter the Thanksgiving and holiday [Christmas] season,” Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, told reporters during a midday phone conference.
The officials oppose the GOP’s efforts to cut spending on food stamps, which has grown sharply under Obama’s economic policies and amid the recession. The number of participants in the food program, dubbed SNAP, has jumped from 28.2 million in 2008 to 46.6 million in 2012, boosting the cost to taxpayers from $35 billion in 2008 to roughly $80 billion in 2012.
The GOP’s planned cuts will deny school lunches to 210,000 kids, and meals to four million Americans, Sperling claimed.
But Sperling admitted that the economy is “still coming back” from the 2008 crash, after five years of Obama’s government-first policies.
The Democrats’ attempted slam on the GOP came as Obama spent two days dining with wealthy high-tech and entertainment stars and executives in Hollywood and San Francisco, while he flattered them in pursuit of political donations to advance his political agenda.
In several speeches, Obama defended his collectivist policy during the fundraising trip, saying the nation’s success “happens because, collectively, we come together and we’re willing to work for it.”
“More than anything, what we need right now in this country, is a sense that we are in this together,” he told a fundraiser hosted by former basketball star Magic Johnson at his house in Beverly Hills, Ca.
Obama also insisted that his policies are correct, despite the nation’s high unemployment and growing debt. ”Most of the time, we’ve got good answers. We know what works. And what’s stopping us is a failure of our politics and a lack of ambition,” he declared.
Obama dismissed evidence that his policies are failing. “You’ve just got to keep on going. … It requires endurance, and it requires persistence. But at the end of the day, I’m confident we’re going to be victorious,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s bumpy, and sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes there are setbacks. … That’s okay because it’s worth it,” he told another wealthy crowd Monday in Beverly Hills.
Obama’s fellow diners included enough entertainment industry stars to fill a fleet of limousines. Among his guests were Tom Hanks, Berry Gordy, Paul Reiser, Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Keaton, plus many wealthy industry executives.
The guests paid as much as $32,400 per couple to be praised by the president at seven fundraisers. Obama has held 38 fundraisers since January, according to CBS, because he’s focused on winning the 2014 midterm elections instead of compromising with elected GOP legislators on his government-first policies.
Joblessness remained very high since Obama’s inauguration in 2009, while he has extended government regulation over more of the nation’s economic sectors, including the energy, auto, food, education, health-care and banking sectors.
Although the formal unemployment rate has nudged down from 10 percent in 2010 to just over seven percent in 2013, that’s mostly because millions of Americans have given up looking for work.
The effective “jobless rate [is] in the 9-10% range … [and] the broader U-6 unemployment-underemployment rate dipped just a bit to 13.6 [percent]” in September, according to economist Jim Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute.
“The U.S. now has 90.6 million ‘non-institutionalized’ men and women over the age of 16 not working—an all-time high,” said an October article in The Wall Street Journal. “That’s 10 million above the 80.5 million when President Obama took office. … For every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job.”
Since 2000, the number of Americans with jobs has declined by roughly 1 million, despite a population growth of 16 million native-born Americans. During the same period, roughly 5.5 million immigrants won jobs, according to a recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies.
In California, Obama touted his support for a Senate immigration plan that would boost the flow of immigrants to 30 million in the next decade. That influx is roughly equal to the total number of American teenagers in 2012.
The terrible economy was highlighted by a detailed Washington Post article which shows that 54 percent of people who earn less than $35,000 a year “worry a lot” about losing their jobs. That’s up from 24 percent in 2000, and is three times the 17 percent level among people who earn more than $75,000, according to the Nov. 26 Post article.
The article also showed that every income group has lost ground since 2000. For example, the bottom 20 percent of earners lost an average of 15 percent of income since 2000, the middle 20 percent lost nine percent of income, and the top 20 percent lost four percent of income.
Other reports say the people’s lost income has been made up by increased government transfers, such as food stamps, helping the Democrats increase public dependency on government.
But the White House officials continued to blame the GOP for the administration’s economic-policy failures.
“At a time when people are about to sit around the table with their families to celebrate a meal, it is hardly seem the right time to be pulling food off the table for millions of our neighbors and fellow Americans,” said Sperling.