Number Of People Receiving Government Benefits To Rise Through At Least 2014
Kevin Drum, points to the above chart from a new Congressional Budget Office report that essentially projects that the number of people receiving benefits like food stamps will continue to rise for at least the next two years. The report also suggests that spending on these programs will follow roughly the same pattern:
The takeaway from this is that the Great Recession is still nowhere near over. Technically it might have ended three years ago, but out in the real world things are still mighty fragile for a lot of people.
The report largely agrees:
Almost two-thirds of the growth in spending on SNAP benefits between 2007 and 2011 stemmed from the increase in the number of participants. Labor market conditions deteriorated dramatically between 2007 and 2009 and have been slow to recover; since 2007, both the number of people eligible for the program and the share of those who are eligible and who participate in the program have risen.
About one-fifth of the growth in spending can be attributed to temporarily higher benefit amounts enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The remainder stems from other factors, such as higher food prices and lower income among beneficiaries, both of which have boosted benefits.
If nothing else, these numbers are yet further evidence of just how pathetically weak the “recovery” has been, especially out in the real world, and how vulnerable we really are to another recession that would be rather painful for a lot of people.