Yikes: Look what FOOD STAMP recipients are spending their benefits on

Remember during the last State of the Union when Obama told us that “The United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world.”

Who knew he had a knack for comedy?

There are undoubtedly areas of the economy that are better off than when Obama took office, but it’s never hard to cherry pick a few statistics that improved. When Obama claimed on Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” that the economy was better off on “every metric” then when he took office, even the center-left fact checkers at Politifact had to rate the claim “mostly false.”

Yes, unemployment is lower than when Obama took office, and yes the stock market is much higher. But wages remain stagnant – and it’s not like the poor own stocks. Poverty is just one of the various problems that has been exacerbated under his administration.

As Breitbart reports, it’s not unfair to refer to him as the food stamp president:

The fastest-growing category of food stamp users under President Obama has been among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), according to Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector.

“In 2008 there were about a million [ABAWDs] now they’re at about 4.7 million. This is the most rapid growing part of the caseload,” Rector said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News Wednesday, previewing his upcoming report on food stamp use among ABAWDs.

“ABAWDs are largely young adults who don’t work or are working off the books and hiding that income. They get a maximum of about $200 a month from the food stamp program,” Rector said, adding that this group of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamp users cost taxpayers up to $11 billion a year.

While many ABAWDs make money off-the-books in the “gray market,” Rector said, they are not necessarily spending it on food.

“What we found was 50 percent of the ABAWDs smoke cigarettes regularly and those who do smoke are spending about $111 per month on cigarettes. That’s about two-thirds of their Thrifty Food [Plan] allotment — what they are supposed to spend on food,” Rector said.

“What is clearly happening there is these individuals are electing to spend their own revenue on cigarettes and then requiring the taxpayer to pay for their food for them and that doesn’t make very much sense,” he continued.

Since Obama took office, there has been a 370 percent increase in able bodied individuals receiving food stamps, cause by both an increase in poverty and relaxed eligibility requirements.

So what would happen if we tightened requirements up a bit? As we reported earlier this week, when Maine required able bodied food stamp recipients to either work or undergo job training, use fell 90 percent. Hopefully our next president takes note of that.

[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]

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