Several decades ago, 1 in 50 Americans were on food stamps. Now it's closer to 1 in 7 and will go higher if some Federal officials have their way.

The SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the official moniker for the U.S. Government's food stamp plan. New literature issued by SNAP tries to convince us to apply for the program because it would allegedly benefit the economy. The information claims if participation rose just 5 percent it would pay out $1.3 billion in benefits but have a $2.5 billion-impact on economic activity.

What the SNAP program is not telling people is where the money comes from: taxpayers.

Encouraging people to enroll in the program creates a greater drain on tax coffers and makes more people dependent on the government for at least part of their existence.

More interesting, however, is the terminology and psychology used by the USDA, which oversees the food stamp program, to convince Americans to enroll in SNAP. The USDA is working to "overcome" Americans' pride and self-reliance to try to get them to jump in. SNAP officials in local and regional offices are often rewarded for helping people overcome their "beliefs" that might preclude them from joining.

Rather than pursue the long-time American ideal of working to become more self-sufficient, create a better life for one's self and become financially independent, the Feds are doing their best to encourage people to become -- at least in part -- wards of the government.

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