Just six months into his presidency, Trump’s first term has been defined by Democrats’ efforts to obstruct his agenda. Whether it’s the Supreme Court or Obamacare reform, Democrats have been pulling out every trick in the book to make sure he doesn’t get anything done. Sadly, many of their efforts have been successful so far.
Of course, Trump has worked to find ways around this obstruction. Where he can, the president has effectively used his executive authority to make improvements. The results of his executive action have been great, especially for the economy. Trump’s work on regulations, mixed with the overall business optimism in his presidency, has helped usher in a record breaking stock market and faster than expected jobs growth.
Even better, average Americans are starting to feel the relief of a growing economy. According to new data, food stamp usage has reached a seven-year low, a sign that incomes could be on the rise.
USDA statistics on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation showed that 42,609,852 people in the U.S. took part in the food stamp program in fiscal year (FY) 2017, the lowest level it has been since 2010 when 40,302,000 people enrolled in the program.
Participation in the food stamp program reached an all-time high under the Obama administration:
The increase in the number people receiving food stamps during that period can be attributed to the Obama administration’s effort to allow those with higher incomes to receive benefits. Enrollment in benefits increased by 70 percent from the year former President Barack Obama took office in 2008 to 2013.
However, usage of the program started to decline when Republicans forced cuts in 2014:
Obama signed an $8.7 billion food stamp cut into law as a way to placate House Republicans in early 2014 after they pushed for deeper cuts to the program throughout 2013.
Now, participation in the program has reached a seven-year low just six months into Trump’s first term. If Congress can act on other parts of Trump’s agenda, tax and healthcare reform could push the program back to pre-recession levels.
However, despite the disarray on Capitol Hill, Trump continues to get good economic news. With more than three years left in his first term, this could be just the start of more good things to come.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]