President Biden’s nomination of Tom Vilsack to, yet again, head the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) seemed part and parcel to his pitch for a “return to normal.” Replaying an Obama official to lead USDA isn’t surprising, but it only heightened the concerns of those of us who understand what “normal” under an Obama administration meant for welfare programs like food stamps. Just as a hint, when Obama—and Vilsack—left office in 2017, food stamp enrollment had surpassed the total population of Canada. An all-time high for welfare dependency.
Now, with Biden’s recent announcement that Stacy Dean will lead USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), no doubt remains that Biden is, in fact, planning to put the food stamp program back on the fast track to disrepair. Dean will take the helm at FNS after a long career with the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a liberal think tank known for pushing for unfettered growth of welfare dependency, especially welfare expansions to able-bodied adults.
During the eight years of the Obama administration, welfare programs were stretched and expanded to include more able-bodied adults than their architects ever dreamed. Programs like food stamps, which were designed to support the nutritional needs of the truly needy, became ripe for fraud and abuse as bureaucrats promoted loopholes in the law and encouraged states to waive statutory work requirements long after the 2008 recession had ended.