The answer comes in five-year periods beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2014. Some of the information used in determining the amount of funding allocated to each program is culled from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which keeps data on program expenses on its website.
When the USDA published the figures Thursday, they were based on an estimate of what the government spends each year on food stamps and Medicaid. (The government is required to publish every five-year period on its website—an error that occurred in a 2011 report.)
When the new numbers come out — or come out for some portion of years yet to come — they’ll show how much funding the government is allocated to each program (the government is allotted a certain amount of funding to each program each year, adjusted based on inflation).
It is unclear just how much of the money spent to keep food stamps out of the government’s hands ends up in the pockets of the 1.3 million people who receive them. And the fact remains that almost all of those dollars (almost $12 billion dollars, or 85 percent) aren’t used in the places the people most in need do most of their shopping.
Why is every government program funded at a different rate?
In the early years of the federal government, the Congress allocated a certain amount of revenue to each federal program.
According to a report from the Congressional Research Service back in 2007, there were 12 programs — a total of $19 trillion in annual revenue — that had different rates of government funding. (The government is now funded through the tax code, and the funding numbers above do not include the money going to Medicaid or food stamps.)
Some had their funding indexed to inflation, and some had theirs reduced by some formula. The result: Since 1990, lawmakers have slashed spending with varying degrees of success, so the cost of each program is determined largely by how much each program receives (or pays) in dollars in the year the funding levels were determined.
What does one do with $1.3 trillion?
The Food and Nutrition Service, which gives food stamps and other federal nutrition assistance and assistance programs, has an annual budget of just under $1.3 trillion, according to its website. The USDA spends approximately the same amount, around $1.0 trillion.
What happened to food stamps after the stimulus?
Food stamps were cut off because of a temporary funding crisis of 2007 and 2008. The program was kept afloat even while money
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