The truth behind Gingrich’s false food-stamp claims

INSTITUTE INDEX
Institute for Southern Studies

Date on which Republican presidential candidate and former Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich, speaking during a debate in South Carolina, claimed that “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history”: 1/16/2012

Number of days later that the Gingrich campaign unveiled a TV ad making the same claim: 1

Number of people who have joined the food stamp program — known since 2008 as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — under President Obama: 14,200,000

Number of people who became SNAP beneficiaries under President George W. Bush: 14,700,000

Number of people added to the SNAP rolls in the 12 months before Obama took office in January 2009: 4,400,000

Percentage by which that exceeds the number added in 2007, when the economic downturn began: 300

Number by which the SNAP rolls declined in October 2011: 43,528

Number of people receiving SNAP benefits, according to the latest figures available: 46,224,722

Proportion of U.S. residents that represents: 1 in 7

Proportion of residents receiving SNAP benefits in Mississippi, the state with the highest poverty rate: 1 in 5

Under the economic stimulus bill President Obama signed in 2009, increase in monthly SNAP benefits for a family of four: $80

Income limit for a family of four to be eligible for SNAP: $29,000

Percent of SNAP beneficiaries who are white: 36

Percent who are African-American: 22

Percent who are Latino: 10

Percent who are children: 47

Percent who live in a household where someone has a job: 41

Percent of SNAP households that also received cash welfare benefits in 1990: 42

In 2010: 8

SNAP’s annual cost to taxpayers: $75,000,000,000

Percentage by which that cost has increased since 2008: 200

Value of economic activity generated for every $1 spent on SNAP benefits: $1.84

(Click on figure to go to source. To comment on this index, click here. Image of Gingrich during the Jan. 16 GOP debate is a still from Fox News video via FactCheck.org.)

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