In the raging debate over who is the Food Stamp President – Obama or George W. Bush – Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack a few months back cast a vote for his boss.
Newt Gingrich of course raised the issue by labeling Obama the Food Stamp President, citing the skyrocketing number of people participating in the welfare program under his stewardship of the nation. But in an interview a few days ago with Diane Sawyer, Obama pushed back:
First of all, I don’t put people on food stamps. People become eligible for food stamps. Second of all, the initial expansion of food-stamp eligibility happened under my Republican predecessor, not under me. No. 3, when you have a disastrous economic crash that results in 8 million people losing their jobs, more people are going to need more support from government.
Enter Vilsack, who in an interview last year touted Obama’s Food Stamp President qualifications, asserting that Food Stamps are part of the Obama economic stimulus program!
So, let’s work with the logic here. Enlarging the culture of dependency by assertively expanding a welfare program is good for the economy. It’s not a necessary evil. It’s pro-growth economic policy.
I would say that makes Obama the Food Stamp President.