On Friday, CNS News posted a story about one area of President Trump’s proposed budget–the area of food stamps.
Here are some numbers from The Gateway Pundit in 2015:
Under Obama the poverty rate has stood at greater than 15% for three consecutive years (2010-12), the first time that has happened since the mid-1960’s. A record number of people have been on Medicaid (72 million or 1 out of 4 Americans) and Medicare (more than 47 million Americans) during Obama’s presidency. When Obama entered office in 2009, 31.9 million individuals received food stamp benefits. As of January 2015, 46 million people received food stamps for a 44% increase in food stamp usage since Obama took over and record numbers. Food stamp users had topped 46 million for 38 straight months as of January 2015. (People don’t reach out for food stamps when good paying jobs are plentiful.) Due in part to the increase in food stamps, Welfare spending (not counting social security) reached nearly $1 trillion in 2013.
Obviously change is needed. The article at CNS News details some of the suggested changes:
In reality, the president’s proposed policy is based on two principles: requiring able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits, and restoring minimal fiscal responsibility to state governments for the welfare programs they operate.
The president’s budget reasserts the basic concept that welfare should not be a one-way handout. Welfare should, instead, be based on reciprocal obligations between recipients and taxpayers.
Government should definitely support those who need assistance, but should expect recipients to engage in constructive activity in exchange for that assistance.
Under the Trump reform, recipients who cannot immediately find a job would be expected to engage in “work activation,” including supervised job searching, training, and community service.
This idea of a quid pro quo between welfare recipients and society has nearly universal support among the public.
Nearly 90 percent of the public agree that “able-bodied adults that receive cash, food, housing, and medical assistance should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving those government benefits.”
It is time for those sitting in the economic wagon being pulled by working people to get out of the wagon and help pull.
The article reminds us that when Maine placed a work requirement on food stamp recipients, the number of people collecting food stamps dropped sharply. I believe Americans are basically generous people who want to help the less fortunate, but I also believe that Americans do not like being taken advantage of.
The article reports what happened in Maine:
In December 2014, Maine imposed a work requirement on this category of recipients. Under the policy, no recipient had his benefits simply cut. Instead, recipients were required to undertake state-provided training or to work in community service six hours per week.
Nearly all affected recipients chose to leave the program rather than participate in training or community service. As a result, the Maine caseload of able-bodied adults without dependent children dropped 80 percent in just a few months.
We need to learn from Maine’s experience.