Newt Gingrich has come under fire recently for his statement that Barack Obama is the “Food Stamp President.” In response to Gingrich, the left makes three claims:

1. Racist!
2. It’s Bush’s fault.
3. Well yes, but the population has increased too so Obama can’t be blamed.

It is this last claim that I wanted to take a look at and see if population growth could account for the increase of people on food stamps.

The U.S. civilian population estimate on the first day of *FY2010 was 307,518,237. SNAP participation for FY2010 was 40,302,000. The percentage of people on food stamps was 13%.

The U.S. civilian population on the last day of FY2011 was 310,800,403. FY2011 saw  44,709,000 people receiving SNAP benefits. This represents 14.3% of the population. So while the population did increase, so did the percentage of people on food stamps!

There’s more.

The population increased by 1% during this time. However, food stamp particitpation increased by almost 11%! Increases in the population does not account for the increase in food stamp usage.

Lastly, the stimulus changed the SNAP program. First, it increased funding by almost $20 billion by increasing monthly benefit levels. It also changed restrictions that were placed on able-bodied adults without dependents. The restrictions placed on benefits by the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 were rescinded.

Seems like Obama is much more culpable for the increase in SNAP than I thought.

*The reason why I chose FY2010 is because that is the first fiscal year in which Obama was the president throughout

Cross-posted at Rampart Media