Roughly one-third more Americans depend on food stamps now than when Barack Obama took office. One of his appointees would like Americans to consider this a sign of economic health. Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told MSNBC’s Morning Joe the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) does not just help those who cannot afford to eat. “It’s also an economic stimulus,” he insisted. “It’s the most direct stimulus you can get into the economy during tough times.”

Explaining the steep climb in enrollment in this poverty program, Vilsack stated:

The reason why these numbers have gone up is that we’ve done a pretty good job of working with states that had done a poor job in the past in getting the word out about this program. State like California and Texas and Florida underperformed. We’re now working with them to make sure people who are eligible get the benefits and therefore help stimulate their local economy.

Vilsack claimed skyrocketing rolls were deliberate and not reflective of Barack Obama’s poor economic policies.

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Intentionally adding more Americans to the welfare rolls echoes the Cloward-Piven Strategy. Or perhaps it is another example of the administration’s misguided and muddled thinking. President Obama has stated higher unemployment rates prove his stimulus worked.

After all, last July Nancy Pelosi said unemployment insurance is a “job creator” and “one of the biggest stimulues to our economy.”

Thanks to her leadership, dozens of her former colleagues were unemployed in November 2010. Next year, voters can see that Vilsack and the Obamas do their part for the economy, too. As Obama would say, “We all need to share in the sacrifice.”

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