Apparently, if Newt Gingrich is to be believed (and why would anyone do that?), he doesn’t understand how food stamps stimulate the economy:
Well, you know, I carry around a bumper sticker that says 2 plus 2 equals 4. So I’d be very curious how a dollar given to somebody becomes a $1.79. And I think if we could get that to work with the U.S. Treasuries, so if people gave the Treasury $1,000, it became $1,790, we could pay off the federal debt and never worry about spending or anything. I mean, I — you know, somehow, I don’t understand how liberal math turns $1 into $1.79.
As I’ve mentioned before, only idiots don’t realize how money has velocity–that is, that $1,000 can ultimately yield more than $1,000 of services. So let’s turn it over to that bastion of Dirty Fucking Hippies, The Wall Street Journal:
Money from the program — officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — percolates quickly through the economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture calculates that for every $5 of food-stamp spending, there is $9.20 of total economic activity, as grocers and farmers pay their employees and suppliers, who in turn shop and pay their bills.
While other stimulus money has been slow to circulate, the food-stamp boost is almost immediate, with 80% of the benefits being redeemed within two weeks of receipt and 97% within a month, the USDA says.
And it’s not just USDA claiming this, Mark Zandi, who was Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s campaign adviser, has made similar claims.
Of course, this assumes that Gingrich is stupid–and I don’t think he is. He certainly possesses a well-develop feral cunning. I think he’s just lying (again). He knows this is a stupid argument, but he also knows demonizing food stamp recipients is a good way to mobilize his base (because food stamps are such a cushy living).
Admittedly, he said this on Fox ‘News’, whose business model is to misinform its viewers, but the sooner this man is no longer taken seriously in any way, shape, or form, the better off we will be.
And really, does anyone really believe that he carries around a bumper sticker that says “2 + 2 =4″? He must have very full pockets (and here I was, thinking he was happy to see me!), what between the bumper sticker, the copy of the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. Or something.