Food stamp use reached a record 46.7 million people in June, the government said, as Democrats prepare to nominate Obama for a second term with the economy as a chief issue in the campaign.
Participation was up 0.4 percent from May and 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier and has remained greater than 46 million all year as the unemployment rate stayed higher than 8 percent. New jobless numbers will be released Sept. 7.
……Food-stamp spending, which has more than doubled in four years to a record $75.7 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2011, is the USDA’s biggest annual expense. Republicans in Congress have criticized the cost of the program, and the House budget plan approved in April sponsored by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s vice-presidential nominee, would cut expenses by $33 billion over 10 years.
Using their logic, the official unemployment rate of 8.3% and the 16.3% of total unemployed Americans, which includes underemployed, those who have stopped looking for work, and those who ran out of unemployment benefits, is one of the best economic indicators of all fucking time.