President Trump wrote a letter to Congress and it truly says it all: “We must reform our welfare system so that it does not discourage able-bodied adults from working, which takes away scarce resources from those in real need. Work must be the center of our social policy.”
Meaning, it’s time we get people up and working! Trump wants to get at least 6 million people off government aid and into full time employment.
This not only will help people become self-sufficient, it will get us over $1 trillion in savings just by scaling back the safety net.
The number of people on food stamps has skyrocketed recently, leaving a grand total of 50 million Americans swiping their EBT cards at the grocery store. That is 15% of the population and an outstanding increase from the 17 million Americans who received food stamps in 2000.
Now, some of those recipients are not able to work, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. However, with White House budget director Mick Mulvaney repeatedly saying that “in excess of 6 million people” on the program should be able to get full-time jobs, some overhaul needs to be done.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cost taxpayers more than $83 billion a year! And a 2011 study found that SNAP recipients spend more money on candy compared to any other food item. Now, the grandmas on the program might like to splurge on their grandchildren from time to time, but we highly doubt that the problem is with them.
Along with the pressure of abled-bodied people to work, Trump’s plan will also require states to fund one dollar for every four dollars the federal government spends on SNAP.
Some are all for the changes. Robert Rector, a welfare expert at the Heritage Foundation, said requiring people to work for food stamps was the “core” of welfare reform back in the 90s. He said President Trump is “picking the gauntlet off the ground where the Republican party dropped it.”
Many states have work requirements for food stamps. However, the Obama administration granted states waivers during the recession, and many states continue to use waivers for the food stamp requirements.
In 2014, Maine dropped its waiver for work requirements, and required everyone who could work and did not have dependents to either get employment for at least 20 hours a week, enter job-training programs, or volunteer a minimum of 24 hours a month.
Before Maine dropped its waiver in 2014, there were 13,332 food stamp recipients. By March 2015, the number of food stamp recipients dropped by 80 percent, to 2,678 recipients who decided to get a job, participate in job training, or volunteer. Roughly 9,000 people dropped out of the program, leading many analysts to observe that many of those food stamp recipients worked off the books and used food stamps to save money for other expenses. Others stipulated that many became so dependent on government welfare that they could not volunteer 24 hours a month, or roughly one hour of work per day.
Others are not so thrilled about the idea. It’s expected those who lean left will not be happy (obviously), but economist Doug Holtz-Eakin, head of the American Action Forum and a former adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign, is also skeptical of the plan’s ability.
“We’re essentially at full employment. I just don’t think we’ll move more people from government rolls to jobs,” he said.
“Full employment” is an economic term for the time when pretty much everyone who can get a job has one. Although there have been over 5.7 million job openings around the country for months, people are claiming they aren’t qualified to do those jobs. The left is complaining that Trump is slashing the budget for job training programs.
“If the Trump administration wanted to get more people working, they would invest in job training, help more people go to college and invest in childcare,” says Sharon Parrott, a senior fellow at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (a left-leaning organization).
Trump’s answer to that? Focus on beefing up the economy so businesses have no choice but to hire, train, and/or relocate more people, taking the financial burden away from the government and putting it on the private sector.
What do you think of this plan? Are you all for it or just a little skeptical?
h/t Q13 Fox