One million more Americans sign up for food stamps in only a year

A homeless man named Bob waits for donations from passing motorists.(AFP Photo / Spencer Platt)
The number of Americans going to the government for assistance has once again hit a new high. More than 46 million Americans are now enrolled in the federal welfare food stamps system, more than double the amount from only a decade earlier.

The latest statistics made available by the United States Department of Agriculture reveal that more Americans than ever before are enrolled in the social welfare program, with numbers from the month of July 2012 indicating that the current roster of recipients amounts to 46,681,833 persons.

The newest figures indicate that enrollment continues to surge, with around one million more people receiving benefits now than just a year earlier. Last year, RT reported that the number of persons enrolled in the food stamps system consisted of roughly 45 million, or 15 percent of the country’s population.

By comparison, only 31.98 million people were receiving assistance in January 2009 when US President Barack Obama took office, indicating an increase of roughly 15 million in less than four years. Halfway through George W Bush’s first term, that statistic was only 19.1 million.

Republican lawmakers have pounced on the latest news and say that the Agriculture Department is openly advertising the program to non-citizens, making federally funded assistance appealing to those who do little to contribute to the country’s resources.

"USDA has engaged in an aggressive outreach and promotional campaign to boost food stamp enrollment. Among these efforts are an ongoing partnership with the Mexican government to advertise food stamps to Mexican nationals, migrant workers, and non-citizen immigrants. Partly as a result of these efforts, the number of non-citizens on food stamps has quadrupled since 2001," representatives from the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee fire back.

"Total spending on food stamps is projected to reach nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years, with no fewer than 1 in 9 people on the program at any given time. Neither food stamp participation nor spending on the program are ever projected to return to pre-recession levels at any point in the next 10 years,” the lawmakers add according to a report published in The Weekly Standard.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also blamed the left for the skyrocketing numbers, attacking Pres. Obama during this week’s televised debate over his food stamps record.

Tackling a question about the American economy during Tuesday night’s arguments, Gov. Romney remarked, “How about food stamps? When [Obama] took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps.”