Since the current recession began, it has become even more obvious that TANF is not responsive to the real level of need. The number of people receiving food stamps, to which there is a statutory right, now exceeds thirty-three million, while the number receiving TANF has remained stuck at around four million. The numbers have increased somewhat in some states in recent months, but even a 25 percent average increase nationwide would bring the total caseload up to something like five million. And there are states where an eligibility administrator will routinely approve an application for food stamps and just as routinely turn away the same person's application for TANF. A sideshow barker might say, "Step right up, step right up. Only a nickel to see the incredible shrinking TANF program."
What is meaning of the underlined sentence?
What is "sideshow barker"?
Thanks in advance.