A record number of Americans -- about 14 percent -- now rely on the federal government's food stamps program and its rapid expansion in recent years has become a politically explosive topic.
More than 44.5 million Americans received SNAP benefits in March, an 11 percent increase from one year ago and nearly 61 percent higher than the same time four years ago.
Nearly 21 million households are reliant on food stamps.
Opponents of the program argue that money from the food stamps budget -- with what they call its increasingly lax requirements -- needs to be shifted to other programs such as education and child nutrition. The program's supporters argue that at a time of economic decline, such welfare programs are even more important to try to keep Americans from spiraling into poverty.
The cost of the food stamps program has increased rapidly since it was established by Congress in 1964.
Obama administration officials are riding in style.
A new report from a watchdog group shows that the number of limousines owned by the federal government rose by 73 percent during the first two years of President Obama's administration. The State Department was the recipient of most the new luxury vehicles.
The "Limousine Liberals?" report from iWatch News, part of the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity, showed that government data pegged the number of limos in the federal fleet at 412 in fiscal 2010, up from 238 in fiscal 2008.
The Snooper Report
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