Gingrich Lies, Media Repeats: False Obama Food Stamp Claim

English: In January 2009, President of the Uni...

Which U.S. President put the most people on food stamps? Hint: It's not Obama.

FactCheck.org : Newt’s Faulty Food-Stamp Claim.

[FactCheck.org] 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.

FactCheck.org isn’t a history site; it verifies or disproves a specific claim. I’m not overwhelmed with facts to check, so I poked around a bit: Here’s a few lines from the (pdf) summary for 2003.

Nationally, the participation rate among individuals rose by nearly 2 percentage points between 2002 and 2003, the second annual increase after declining for seven years.

This documents the second annual increase, meaning the number of SNAP participants also increased between 2001-2002. Before 2001, the number had declined for 7 years. Let’s break it down: 00-01, 99-00, 98-99, 97-98, 96-97, 95-96, 94-95.

The decrease began one year after President Clinton was inaugurated, in 1993. The increase began the year George W. Bush took office.

Trivia: 20,589,000 plus 2% equals 21,000,780. The math isn’t exact, but during the 02-03 year, another 410, 000 people joined the nearly 20,600,000 already on them. And that’s when the war-machine was cranking up.

“…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. [Emphasis added.]

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.

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