By , Dom Calicchio
Published January 05, 2018
Since Donald Trump became president, the Dow Jones industrial average has climbed to 25,000 and fewer Americans are unemployed.
Another interesting fact: The number of people collecting food stamps has declined by more than two million.
Data released by the Department of Agriculture show that the number of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, dropped to 42,182,443 for fiscal 2017 – a decline of 2,036,920 from the fiscal 2016 total of 44,219,363.
USDA figures since show that the program has gone from costing taxpayers about $250 million for about 2.8 million recipients in 1969, under President Richard Nixon, to a peak of costing nearly $80 billion for nearly 48 million recipients in 2013, under President Barack Obama.
The numbers have declined since then, in part because of the booming economy and because some states have restored work requirements needed to qualify for SNAP, Fox News reported. In many cases the work requirements had been waived because of the recession of 2007-09.
The 2017 figure of 42.1 million people assisted is the lowest figure since 2010, when the program assisted 40.3 million people at a cost to taxpayers of $68.2 billion.
President Trump has signaled that he wants to tighten eligibility rules for SNAP and have states contribute matching funds for the program – as ways of continuing to reduce the number of recipients, Governing.com reported.
The federal government is also reviewing some rules being considered on the state level for possible inclusion in federal policy, the website reported.
These include Wisconsin’s request to begin drug-testing some food stamp recipients and Maine’s plan for limiting the number of family members who can make purchases using a SNAP card, the site reported.