Foodstamp Usage Climbs To New All Time Record Highs

Tyler Durden's picture

July foodstamp has just climbed to a new all time high. According to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the Food and Nutrion Service, July foodstamp usage rose 1.4% from June, hitting a new record of 41.8 million, and 17.5% higher than the 35.6 million on assistance from a year ago. Participation has set records for 20 straight months. And it gets worse: as per BusinessWeek: "An average of 43.3 million people, more than an eighth of the
population, will get food stamps each month in the year that began Oct.
1, according to White House estimates."  Somehow we get the feeling these almost 42 million people will have little to no use of discount window or excess liquidity usage once gas hits $10 a gallon, nor will Dow 11,000, 12,000, or even 36,000 do all that much to shorten the soup kitchen lines.


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Dagny Taggart's picture

Wouldn't it be cheaper for the gubmint to just send every American an apocalypse pallet from Costco?

Thunder Dome's picture

The 'apocalpyse pallet' is marketing genius.  You should submit that one to Alex Jones.  I'd buy it!

Ripped Chunk's picture

Or at least some more of that shitty tasting cheese they gave away a while back.

Henry Chinaski's picture

Never happen.  It's too hard to convert those pallets in to chips in Vegas, baby.

EscapeKey's picture

I don't get it. This counters all common sense. How can this keep going?


Dr. Engali's picture

Just keep printing that's how.

kaiserhoff's picture

It's like the movies.  First, you must suspend disbelief.  Tequilla helps.

Ripped Chunk's picture

It can't. Prepare accordingly.

pan-the-ist's picture

All is well as long as they adjust the food stamps for inflation...

fiftybagger's picture

Recession is over!

Dr. Richard Head's picture

That's right, it's over.  Bring on the boom times baby.  Buy equities; buy homes, financials look good. /sarcasm

At least JPMorgan can make a killing with some sort of arbitrage on these stamps since they are the ones processing them.

Long live the FED!  We can paper this shit over easy ya'll.  Liquidity providers are necessary to keep the serfs in debt and on government assistance so that Xmas bonuses may be paid in full, perhaps a few mid-year bonuses as well.

DaveyJones's picture

recession is over, depression is on

Bearster's picture

"...ehow we get the feeling these almost 42 million people will have little to no use of discount window or excess liquidity usage once gas hits $10 a gallon..."

Which is why gas won't hit $10 a gallon.  The demand isn't there to push up the price.

DonnieD's picture

Print enough money and it will.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Bearster, I agree with you. Over the long haul, someone has to buy those future contracts. If the demand is not there, prices will not rise that high. I predict $1.25 per gallon gas in a year.

tmosley's picture

You sure?  When hundred dollar bills are floating down from the sky, gas will probably be going for a little more than it was in 1995.


Hey Vamp. I'll agree to fill up your tank if gas sinks to $1.25 if you'll agree to fill up my tank if it hits $5.00.

See ya next year.

SamuelMaverick's picture

If gas hits $4 per gallon again, you will see the same result as before in 2007/2008, it will contribute or cause the economy to crash again.   Yours, Maverick

DaveyJones's picture

there is no substitute and they literally need it to build substitutes, the supply will begin falling substantially, there are plenty of entities that can not do without it, and these entities either have resource or can force it out of others.   

kaiserhoff's picture

Would you rather have an ounce of gold, or a new pickup truck?  Careful now, you can feed your family forever with a pickup.  On Monday you drive to the local food bank.  On Tuesday, you have Pedro drive.  On Wednesday, Rosasharn...

Haven't read Grapes of Wrath yet?  What are you waiting for?'s picture

I don't recall there being a Pedro in Grapes.

kaiserhoff's picture

Not trying to do a plot summary of the Joads.  OK, the sarcasm gets a little thick.  Mea Culpa.  Just trying to point out that while the need is greater than ever, so is the abuse.

Most of the money for the "poor" goes to a self-selected permanent welfare class who live in section 8 housing for generations.  Most of the rest goes to the bureaucrats who feed them.  Still, yet, again, the government is broken.

egdeh orez's picture

Now that's a bullish stat

EscapeKey's picture

It is - the more people on foodstamps, the more cash they have left in their hands after paying for groceries.


hedgeless_horseman's picture

Strongly bullish for the blue team's election prospects, too.  Not that it really matters to us, but it does matter to those whose income is connected to public orifice.

scatterbrains's picture

not if they rudely continue to prohibit the cashing of welfare checks on cruise ships and such. That could hurt travel/casino buisness if they keep this up.

nedwardkelly's picture

Cost of living - food stamps = Extra money for iPads

Gene Parmesan's picture

The Summer of Recovery is apparently over. What now? The Fall of... the Economy?

Kreditanstalt's picture

It's increasingly meaningless...

How would a stock investor sell into a Dow 10,950 market with volume off 25%?

How would you sell into a Dow 12,000 market in which volume is down 70%?

How would one sell into a Dow 36,000 market in which volume is down 99.7%?

At some point stock holders, whoever ~ or whatever ~ they are, will begin to chase their tails and, ultimately, to consume one another... 

EscapeKey's picture

Well, that, or the PDs profiting from PPT intervention. Which would essentially mean PDs outright stealing from taxpayers.

skohiu's picture

Prechter via Richard Russell


"I asked Bob Prechter what he sees for the future of the advisory business. His answer was that in five years, people will be so disgusted with the stock market that they won't care whether stocks are up or down."


wintermute's picture

I don't know what a food stamp looks like but if it can be used as paper currency then maybe the Federal Reserve and its QE-infested FRNs can be kicked into touch.

Foodstamps! The next world reserve currency. Momentum is behind it.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

That's right.  Many don't know what fs look like.  JPMorgan apparently issues a credit/debit card like device so that the user can process their food stamp payment without the same emotional ties as the soup lines of the 30's.

This new technology allows for the invisible soup line to grow and grow without scaring the plebes.

wintermute's picture

Ah. Thanks for the info. So basically a government-charged debit card. It would look to the casual observer like any other card.

Appearances are everything. We are not in a depression because food queues are not seen.

The whole problem with this paradigm, where systemic stress is hidden, is that it is like a steam engine or pressure-cooker with a blocked release valve,. Everything can look perfectly normal - then "Shazam" the whole system disintegrates.

At least in the 1930s everyone could see the pain of economic failure and this is a mental kick for the whole country to fix itself. A Potemkin village ediface fools most people into not changing their fiscally unsound ways - until it is too late.



nedwardkelly's picture

Yeah I've seen them at the supermarket. People whip out what essentially looks like a debit card. I don't know if it somehow filters what is or isn't eligible, or if it just straight up reduced teh grocery bill etc though. I mean, there is restrictions on what you can use it for right? .... right?

FEDbuster's picture

Let's not forget that the Walmart CFO said their stores start to fill up with people around 10 PM on the last day of the month.  They fill their carts up with groceries and wait for midnight on the first for their foodstamp cards to recharge.  At 12:01 they start to check out.  He said stores see a significant jump in grocery sales on the first.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

There are federally mandated machines that handle the processing of these cards. Take a look at the checkout line next time you are in there.  Two different CC processing machines. The one you use is for CC and Debit, while the other is for welfare.

Never used one in my life.  Hope it doesn't come to that.  This is the only hope I have.  HAHA

Blano's picture

Last month the guy in front of me at the grocery store had a Bridge card and he ran it through the same machine that I used for my debit card. 

Apparently you can also get cash out of those cards when you buying something.  Kid bought a Coke for $1.30 and the cashier then gave him $98.70 in cash....$100 total.  I wasn't even aware that was possible.  Frankly, I was rather disgusted.

NotApplicable's picture

That surprises me. I wonder if the cashier had to something to make it look like a $100 purchase?

Around here people have to sell them on the black market at a substantial discount in order to receive cash. One guy was buying them to supply his restaurant on the cheap.

fuu's picture

Strangely enough most junk food is covered and most healthy stuff is not. Go figure.

FEDbuster's picture

Industrial Processed Food Complex insures that Twinkies and Ding Dongs can be purchased.  At minimum, the Federal Food Stamp program should limit items available for purchase to the same ones as the Women and Infants (WIC) program. 

A recent "police story" on the local radio recounted how someone "loaned" (sold) their food stamp card to someone else so that person could buy a birthday cake and soda pop for their kids birthday party.  The amount of the payment between the two parties was disputed and it resulted in the two parties getting into a fist fight in front of the grocery store.  Police were called, the card returned and no charges were filled.

tmosley's picture

You can't use them for hot food, alcohol, or non-food products, and they only work in grocery stores.

My "next door" neighbor is blind, and I took her shopping a few times.

Henry Chinaski's picture

One card machine with Credit, debit, EBT buttons. 

EBT = electronic benefits transfer. 

Dr. Richard Head's picture

We must be low on the governmnet totem pole.  We have two machines at most of our grocery stores here.  Good news is the stimulus money has allowed for the removal of all of the concrete from Rt. 2 and made way for all of it to be replaced from Perry to Cleveland.  Dig a hole and fill it baby.  No food stamps there.

economessed's picture

I don't know what a food stamp looks like...

Well, for the second week in a row, I've got a good look at them:  stuck in the line while the shopper completed their 3 payment transaction (ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE! - 10 minutes).

Transaction #1:  Use WIC check (WI food stamp equivalent) to pay for basic generic staples like milk, fruit loops, hot dog buns, etc.  Cashier having difficulty processing check, calls supervisor, who stares at the screen, presses lots of buttons, asks for ID, presses more buttons, and then leaves.  Cashier remains bewildered, asks neighboring cashier for further instructions.  Finally done!  But wait....

Transaction #2:  Use debit card to pay for Oreo cookies, 4 pack of "gourmet" root beer, Doritos, gallon of ice cream and small pile of miscellaneous processed foods.  Transaction #2 declined for ISF.  Leave gallon of ice cream and 2 jars of Ragu pasta sauce with cashier - reprocess sale - sale completes!  Are we done yet?  No.

Transaction #3:  Pull $20 bill out to pay for 12 pack "Keystone Light" and pack of generic cigarettes.  Cashier grabs and scans wrong cigs, needs to void transaction.  New cigs grabbed, money exchanged, transactions complete.  10 minutes elapsed time.

That's what food stamps look like:  slow, annoying, and patchwork in nature.  And I remain skeptical that this couple needed them.  Having seen people in dire need but without assistance, I get angry.  Humph.

DaveyJones's picture

well at least it's light beer and generic cigs. Wouldn't want to abuse the subsidies.

Whats that smell's picture

Yea I know what you mean. I avoid the first week of the month at the grocery. Plus all the checkout girls are pissed they have to work on the 1st