“You have to recognize that it's also an economic stimulus. Every dollar of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It's the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times.”
If that’s the case, why not issue food stamps to 100 million people, or even 200 million? Imagine all the shelf-stocking jobs!
The Department of Agriculture’s website boasts that “We help put healthy food on the table for over 40 million people each month.”
You out there still foolishly buying your own groceries – come join us!
No, it doesn’t say that last line, but in the Food Stamps Make America Stronger Outreach Toolkit, page four showsa gallon of milk and a hunk of (government) cheese with a large headline:
“How to MILK THIS TOOLKIT for all it’s worth!”
If you’re a taxpayer, have you felt “milked” lately? I know I have.
During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, as the economy tanked, people were steadily added to the food stamp rolls, with an estimated 17.8 million in December 1978 to 18.9 million in February 1979, according tothe Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Jimmy, like Mr. Obama, was creating all sorts of jobs. The program then cost only $7.4 billion in fiscal 1980. The current annual tabfor food stamps is more than $85 billion.
Apart from getting more people on food stamps, where else has the administration triumphed in its quest to create jobs? Why, by imposing more regulations in a shorter time than any administration in history.
The Environmental Protection Agency alone is becoming a virtual jobs machine with its thousands of bureaucrats micromanaging America down to your backyard birdbath (“aviary wetland”—just kidding, I think). As Investors Business Daily notes, EPA claimed in February that “in periods of high unemployment, an increase in labor demand due to regulation may have a stimulative effect that results in a net increase in overall employment.”
It sure does, at least in the public sector. A Washington Times editorialnoted in September that the EPA’s “sweeping greenhouse gas emission rules” would need 10,000 new state-level employees to administer them, and 230,000 federal employees with a $21 billion budget. The EPA already has 17,417 employees and a $10.3 billion budget.
While it’s busy creating new busybody jobs, the EPA is crushing private sector jobs in most of the energy industry (oil, coal and gas) and even in the cement business. The agency’s draconian new air quality standards “will close or idle 18 cement plants, costing 1,800 high-wage jobs and a loss of up to 9 million tons of domestic production capacity,” according to a lettersigned by 25 U.S. Senators to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The new EPA anti-global warming rules also may idle up to one fifth of America’s coal-fired electricity plants within 10 years, according to the Wood McKenzie consulting firm cited inthe Financial Times (London). Blackouts, anyone? That should create jobs for flashlight manufacturers. And battery makers. And candle makers. And for more bureaucrats to regulate them!
It’s not just the EPA. The entire federal government is growing like Topsy. Back in August, IBD reportedthat the 80,000-page Federal Register expanded its list of rules by 18 percent in 2010 alone and that regulatory agencies’ combined budgets now top $54 billion, with more than 281,000 employees (out of the 2 million federal workforce).
And just because U.S. Census employees were warned recently not to sleep on the job, it’s no reason not to marvel at this federal fountain of job creation.
Yes, government jobs are booming, while the private sector, which pays for it all, is depressed, managers are afraid to hire, and the unemployed are wondering when their nightmare will end. That answer should be easy.