U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack backed a White House claim that food stamps, which the Department of Agriculture administers, actually constitute a stimulus program, describing it as “the most direct stimulus you can get into the economy during these tough times.”
Vilsack was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” responding to questions about a recent Agriculture Department report that showed 1 in 7 Americans is on the program, called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“Obviously it’s putting people to work,” Vilsack said. “Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy . . . If people are able to buy a little bit more in the grocery store and then someone’s got to stock it, shelve it, package it, process it, ship it, all of those are jobs.”
The reason the number of recipients has increased is that the federal government has been working more closely with local governments to get more Americans on food stamps, Vilsack said.
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