Things are going wrong in the American economy right now — and in a way that no one expected, least of all an incumbent president with Election Day three months away.
The man who said in 2009 that “if I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition” had better believe in the audacity of hope yet again: the hope that he was wrong.
To say Barack Obama hasn’t gotten “this done” is putting it mildly — if by “this” you mean an economy that is providing sufficient employment, sufficient opportunity and sufficient momentum for a populous nation that needs a certain level of growth in all these areas every month just to keep pace with the number of new workers who enter the playing field.
But by another measure he has gotten “this done” — if by “this,” you mean increasing public dependence on government programs simply to get by.
I don’t say this flippantly. The whole concept of the “social safety net” is that government should provide assistance to help those suffering from the immediate practical consequences of a problematic economy.
Food stamps aren’t supposed to be a permanent form of relief. They exist to help those in crisis (and to pour government dollars into the pockets of food-processing companies).
So it stands to reason that food stamps are more in use today than ever: We have more people out of work for longer periods of time than at any point since the Great Depression.
More than 46 million people in the United States are availing themselves of them.
That is more than a tragedy; it’s a horror.

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