Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a report that lays out the shameful details.
Last March, they issued an analysis of just how efficient and effective the program is.
The folks at the Food Research and Action Council describe the economic benefits (yes, you heard that right, economic benefits) of the program:
Just one dollar of SNAP/Food Stamp benefits creates a “ripple effect” through the economy. A study by industry research firm Moody’s Economy.com looked at the potential impact of each stimulus dollar. According to economist Mark Zandi, “some provide a lot of bang for the buck to the economy. Others … don’t.” Zandi said that the study shows the fastest way to infuse money into the economy is through expanding the SNAP/Food Stamp program. “If someone who is literally living paycheck to paycheck gets an extra dollar, it’s very likely that they will spend that dollar immediately on whatever they need – groceries, to pay the telephone bill, to pay the electric bill,” he said. That single dollar helps to pay the salaries of the grocery clerks, pays the truckers who haul the food and produce cross-country, and finally goes to the farmer who grows the crops. Plus, USDA research shows that each $5 of federal SNAP/Food Stamp benefits generates nearly twice that in economic activity.
Why do this? Dr. Krugman suggests it’s mainly out of spite, and, frankly, I’m inclined to believe him.