If only we had more people on food stamps….

then the economy would really be booming. Or, so implies Patricia Anders, an attorney at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty about Medicaid in a front page story in today’s Albuquerque Journal. How else is one to interpret her statement that “Every dollar spent in SNAP (food stamp) benefits actually generates $1.79 in total economic activity.”

Obviously, that is a pretty sweet multiplier — even better than the $1.50 we’re supposedly getting back on film subsidies — so I guess it makes sense to add even more New Mexicans (and Americans) to the program. Of course, this is indeed being done as there has been a concerted effort by the Agriculture Department to expand the program. But, as I have pointed out repeatedly, multipliers are almost entirely bogus and are simply used to prop up bad policy.

Ultimately, while I’d prefer to rely on charity, I can go along with state-run and financed food programs. Unfortunately, advocates like Anders benefit greatly from the status quo and will fight any such fiscal restraint tooth and nail as it is a direct threat to their jobs.

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