A record 15.2% of Americans are on food stamps, as Politix reported recently. Reasons for the growth in food stamps are often portrayed as complex, but the bottom line is simple: 14.7% of Americans live below the poverty line, a number that closely tracks the number on food stamps.
A small proportion of recipients live above the poverty line, as The Wall Street Journal reports. Changes to the program have "enabled states to ease asset and income tests for would-be participants...allowing into the program people with relatively higher incomes as well as savings," according to the WSJ.
But these loopholes have only expanded the program by a small fraction. "Only 3.5 percent [of food stamp users] had incomes higher than 130 percent of the poverty line," writes Jordan Weissman at The Atlantic. He concludes, "our food stamp rolls are eye popping, but they're not the problem. Poverty is."