In response to Warning: This Will Get Your Blood Boiling:
Lisa, sometimes when I write about the stunning growth of Food Stamp Nation and its constellation of giveaways, such as the “Obamaphone” (an inaccurate name, but apparently somewhat popular with clients of the Lifeline program) I’ll get a correspondent who tries to argue that the only reason these programs are growing in size is that the economy is down. Oddly, sometimes the people who say this are also Obama supporters who, in other circumstances, would angrily deny that the economy is down, but I guess they actually view food stamp growth as more fallout from the Bush terror, and still don’t think Obama has anything to do with our current malaise.
My answer to those people is always to point out what you’ve stumbled across here: the very aggressive recruiting carried out by Food Stamp Nation. They’re literally grabbing people on the street and signing them up for these programs. A while ago, there was a scandal when a series of recruiting commercials for welfare programs were disguised as episodes of a Spanish-language soap opera.
So I would strongly object to the characterization of welfare program growth as a sadly inevitable side effect of the Great Recession. This crap is getting pushed, and hard.