April 15 2014

The New Normal: More Women on Food Stamps than Working Full Time

Charlotte Hays

If you want to know who’s waging a “war on women,” it’s whoever created this sorry economic situation:

People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.

In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau’s report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.

For each woman who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, there was slightly more than 1 other person collecting food stamps.

I’m not a statistician, but I am willing to bet that a lot more American women than the 44 million who have full-time jobs would like to be fully employed but can’t find jobs in this pathetic economy.

Added to that, food stamps aren’t free—somebody is paying for them, and that would be working men and women who today will file their tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service. If women on food stamps outnumber women with full-time jobs, this system has to be unsustainable.

Another alarming facet of the rise in food stamp use is dramatically increased use by a group relatively new to dependency but already with its own acronym ABAWDs--able-bodied adults without dependents. President Obama gave states a way to waive the modest work requirements for ABAWDs and thus made it easier for people who are physically able and don’t have kids at home to obtain food stamps without a time limit.

On tax day, as you perhaps are mailing a check to the IRS, ponder this.

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