More Need Government Aid

In the midst of the most severe economic contraction since the inauguration of the New Deal state, it's unsurprising that a record number of Americans find themselves on government anti-poverty programs. Fifty million Americans now receive some sort of anti-poverty aid from the government, up 17% since 2007. The Medicaid caseload has grown by 16% and cost is up 35% in nominal terms, the food stamp case by nearly 50% and the cost up 83%, and four times as many receive unemployment insurance (which has been expanded as an anti-crisis measure). The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF), a cash-aid program colloquially called welfare, has seen rolls and costs increase by only 18% and 22% respectively (it's worth noting that TANF is still a relatively small program and a drastically scaled down version of the older and more generous and expensive of Aid to Families with Dependent Children).

Note: all price increases are in nominal terms which makes program costs appear to have grown slightly faster than they really have, though the 2007-2010 period has seen very limited inflation.

SSDAN Office

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