Fifteen percent of Americans are on food stamps, with an all-time high of 47.69 million Americans receiving the benefits, according to the latest USDA report for November 2012. That's up from 31 million on food stamps in November 2008. Monthly benefit per person is $135.72.
There is a positive way to look at the news. Liberal pundit Alan Colmes last June called the expansion of food stamps a major achievement of Obama's White House, since recipients 'only stay on it an average of nine months' and spend $1.73 for each $1 in food stamps - meaning that the program pays dividends as an investment in economic recovery.
But while the SNAP program may be a good way to stimulate the economy, its size reflects a troubled economy. Having that many people on food stamps means a large number of people who are out of work or underemployed, and shows that for a large subset of Americans, there has been no economic recovery.