Donald Trump’s presidency has sparked a massive cultural shift, and now the numbers are starting to reflect what we have all felt. The Dow Jones industrial average is up, unemployment is down, and so are the numbers of Americans on foodstamps. The number of people collecting food stamps has declined by more than two million.
Data released by the Department of Agriculture show that the number of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, dropped to 42,182,443 for fiscal 2017 – a decline of 2,036,920 from the fiscal 2016 total of 44,219,363.
USDA figures since show that the program has gone from costing taxpayers about $250 million for about 2.8 million recipients in 1969, under President Richard Nixon, to a peak of costing nearly $80 billion for nearly 48 million recipients in 2013, under President Barack Obama.
The numbers have declined since then, in part because of the booming economy and because some states have restored work requirements needed to qualify for SNAP.
The 2017 figure of 42.1 million people assisted is the lowest figure since 2010, when the program assisted 40.3 million people at a cost to taxpayers of $68.2 billion (via: Topsite)
President Trump admits his work is far from over and has signaled that he wants to tighten eligibility rules for SNAP and have states contribute matching funds for the program.
States are taking this as a go-ahead to implement plans of their own to tighten the SNAP program, and plug up the drain on the economy. These include Wisconsin’s request to begin drug-testing some food stamp recipients and Maine’s plan for limiting the number of family members who can make purchases using a SNAP card, the site reported.