What Government Programs Are Comparable to The Cost of Food Stamps

We are having elections in Illinois and already the politicians on both sides are picking at the cost of govnerment. Of course food stamps comes up as the easiest slam. Too many people on food stamps.

In this economic mess, I don’t begrudge anyone that, but it got me to thinking, about the cost of the Food Stamp or SNAP program ( Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the cost.

Here’s what I found out:

Source: Food & Nutrition Service

So I got to thinking what other government programs cost similar or more than Food Stamps.

I’d like to avoid any debate on whether or not food stamps are needed or good for etc, that’s best addressed in a seperate thread.

But I’d be interested in at least others giving me ideas of programs they think would cost just as much so I could look them up.

Here’sa link to a NY Times graphic breakdown of the 2011 budget.
It lists $80 billion for food stamps, which a 16% increase from 2010 even. Don’t know how many people that’s for

That’s more than most things, except the big 4 (defense, SS, and Medicare - all overall and debt interest)

Less than veteran’s benefits (as a whole)

About the same as Unemployment Insurance Programs

A little more than military R&D, Federal employee retirement and disability, SS scrip drug benefits.

Lots of (relatively) little programs too.

Interesting data. Esp if you click on the “hide mandatory spending” button.

You can download a copy of the 2011 budget for free from Amazon.com (gotta have an account and download the kindle for pc program to read it though).

Or you can just get it right from the source

Snap benefits are actually supposed to stimulate the economy - many grocery stores would close if people didn’t spend them in their stores. Most snap recepients are children and older people - though right now with the economy in a bad situation - many more people are applying. Lots of people get just 50 a month - or even less. I would think a great deal of that budget is on paying employees and building costs - not the actual benefits. T

There are government programs that pay farmers to NOT plant a crop.

We have the wic program.

Tanf - which is formerly called welfare.

Heating and cooling assistance programs.

Section 8 programs for housing.

Rehabilitation programs.

Drug and alcohol programs.

SSI - disability programs.

Workmens compensation.

Ok, just to throw another number out there, the Congressional Budget Office reports that the baseline budget for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program is $64 billion for 2010. Here are some other Federal programs that cost approximately the same amount of money:

The entire Department of Homeland Security budgeted $51 billion for 2010.

The Pentagon’s total research and development budget for that year was $80 billion.

Unemployment insurance benefits paid out by the Department of Labor totaled $93 billion in 2009, and went up to $126 billion in 2010 because of the recession.

The entire budget for the State Department and foreign aid programs totals $55 billion for 2010.

The Department of Transportation, from the FAA to building highways, cost $76 billion in 2010.

Spending on veterans benefits (not including medical care, but including things like pensions and education benefits) will be about $73 billion in 2010.

Hope that helps.

Where is this a government-supplied benefit and not a government-mandated insurance policy?

I was just brainstorming some ideas - I haven’t done all the research on the whys of all these programs. Just giving you some ideas.