[Bleeding Heartland Logo]

About
Bleeding Heartland is a community blog about Iowa politics: campaigns and elections, state government, social and environmental issues. Bleeding Heartland also weighs in on presidential policies and campaigns, federal legislation and what the Iowans in Congress are up to. Join our community, post your thoughts as comments or diaries, help keep our leaders honest and hold them accountable.
Author
- desmoinesdem
Highlights
- Iowa politics in 2008
- Iowa politics in 2009 (1)
- Iowa politics in 2009 (2)
- National politics in 2009 (1)
- National politics in 2009 (2)
- Iowa 2012 election coverage
- Who's who in the Iowa House for 2013
- Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2013
- Iowa wildflowers
2014 Election Coverage
- IA-Sen
- IA-Gov
- IA-01
- IA-02
- IA-03
- IA-04
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of State
- State Auditor
- Iowa Senate overview
- Iowa House overview
- Senate district 5
- Senate district 7
- Senate district 9
- Senate district 13
- Senate district 15
- Senate district 17
- Senate district 27
- Senate district 39
- Senate district 41
- Senate district 47
- Senate district 49
- House district 8
- House district 25
- House district 28
- House district 33 (2013)
- House district 40
- House district 51
- House district 60
- House district 65
- House district 68
- House district 73
- House district 91
- House district 92
- House district 95
- House district 99
Search




Advanced Search


Paid Advertising


Bleeding Heartland
It's what plants crave.
food stamps

Year in review: Iowa politics in 2009 (part 1)

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 08:08:56 AM CST

I expected 2009 to be a relatively quiet year in Iowa politics, but was I ever wrong.

The governor's race heated up, state revenues melted down, key bills lived and died during the legislative session, and the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in Varnum v Brien became one of this state's major events of the decade.

After the jump I've posted links to Bleeding Heartland's coverage of Iowa politics from January through June 2009. Any comments about the year that passed are welcome in this thread.

Although I wrote a lot of posts last year, there were many important stories I didn't manage to cover. I recommend reading Iowa Independent's compilation of "Iowa's most overlooked and under reported stories of 2009," as well as that blog's review of "stories that will continue to impact Iowa in 2010."

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 5197 words in story)

To stimulate the economy, increase food stamp participation rates

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 14:50:26 PM CST

Jill Richardson's post on extremely low food stamp participation rates in San Diego got me wondering how well Iowa does in getting eligible people enrolled in this program.

Bleeding-heart liberal that I am, I'd like to see 100 percent of people who qualify for food stamps get them, just for the sake of reducing hunger in our communities.

But let's leave ethical concerns aside for now. Economic researchers, most recently Moody's Economy.com, have calculated that expanding the food-stamp program produces more economic stimulus than any other kind of government spending, and much more than any form of tax cuts.  Every additional dollar spent on food stamps translates into $1.73 circulating in the economy.

This page on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website contains links to many studies comparing the state participation rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the official name for the food stamp program). All of the recent annual reports are pdf files you can download.

The report for 2004 put Iowa in 22nd place for food stamp participation and estimated that 61 percent of the 286,000 people eligible for food stamps were receiving them.

The report for 2005 ranked Iowa 24th and estimated that 66 percent of the 307,000 people eligible for food stamps were receiving them.

The report for 2006 ranked Iowa 20th and estimated that 71 percent of the 309,000 people eligible for food stamps were receiving them. Data for 2007 and 2008 are not yet available on the USDA site.

As you can see, Iowa is doing a little better at getting food stamps to the people who qualify for them, but we have a long way to go to match the states near the top. In the top three states, more than 90 percent of people eligible for food stamps are getting them. That figure is above 80 percent for the next five states.

Increasing Iowa's food stamp enrollment rate from 71 percent to 80 percent would translate to nearly 30,000 more people receiving food stamps in our state. If we could get food stamp participation above 90 percent, roughly 60,000 more Iowans would be receiving food stamps. Those people would consequently have more to spend on other goods and services. Many retailers would benefit as the money flowed through the economy.

I don't know exactly what needs to be done to further improve Iowa's food stamp participation rate. There's a lot of research on the USDA site on factors that affect enrollment. I would welcome comments or a diary from someone with expertise in this area about what Iowa's doing well already and what we need to do better.

Given the multiplier effect of food stamp benefits on economic activity, this program merits attention from policy-makers looking to stimulate the economy. Government spending on infrastructure projects is worthwhile (as long as we fix what we have first), but let's not ignore other efficient ways of sparking more economic activity.

To my conservative readers who start hyperventilating at the thought of more people receiving government assistance: don't think of it as extra food for families struggling to get by. Think of it as a fast way to save jobs in the retail sector--with a lot more bang for the buck than tax cuts.  

Discuss :: (6 Comments)
Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Iowa Liberal Blogs
- Ames Progressive
- Blog For Iowa
- Essential Estrogen
- Iowa .Gif-t Shop
- Iowa Independent (archive)
- Iowa Policy Points
- Iowans for a Future That Doesn't Suck
- John Deeth
Iowa Conservative Blogs
- Hawkeye GOP
- The Bean Walker
- Caffeinated Thoughts
- The Conservative Reader: Iowa
- The Iowa Republican
Journalists' blogs and research
- 24-Hour Dorman
- Cedar Rapids Gazette government page
- Iowa Fiscal Partnership
- Iowa Policy Project
- Iowa Politics Insider
- Iowa Watchdog.org
- On Brief: Iowa's Appellate Blog
- On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts
- Newton Independent (Peter Hussmann)
- Politically Speaking
- Price of Politics, etc.
- O.Kay Henderson at Radio Iowa
Iowa Democrats
- Tom Harkin (U.S. Senator)
- Bruce Braley (IA-01)
- Dave Loebsack (IA-02)
- Iowa Democratic Party
- Iowa House Democrats
- Iowa Senate Democrats
Statistics


 
Powered by: SoapBlox