Clarence Page Tries to Make Bush 'Food Stamp President' But Numbers Don't Lie
On the Chicago Tribune's Web site today, columnist Clarence Page writes of "The umbrage card trick." Page lights into GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for assorted misdeeds, one of which is calling Barack Obama a "food stamp president":
Yet Gingrich's food stamp claim is misleading on several counts. For one, food stamp recipients increased during seven of President George W. Bush's eight years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The growth came largely because of policy changes that encouraged more participation by eligible Americans. But Gingrich is not about to let details get in the way of a chance to sound offended.
Page asserts Gingrich misleads "on several counts," but then doesn't cite them. The food stamp program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is administered by the Department of Agriculture. According to its figures, average food stamp participation during the Bush administration was 17 million in 2001 and increased to 28 million in his last full year as president. That's certainly nothing to brag about. But during Obama's three years in office, that number skyrocketed to 44 million by last year and was more than 46 million last October.
So how is Gingrich misleading on food stamps? He's not. The awkward truth that Page and other liberals are loathe to admit is that Barack Obama is the food stamp president. After three years and trillions of dollars spent on his failed recovery schemes, the economy remains in shambles.
His cheerleaders in the mainstream media are reluctant to acknowledge that, so they do some misleading of their own.