‘Welfare was never intended to be a one-way handout, but a program based on the idea of reciprocity.’
Thanks to President Donald Trump, food stamps won’t be handed out as easily anymore. Now there are work requirements being put into play in order to receive welfare.
Under the Obama administration, less and less people worked while more and more landed on the list of food stamp recipients. However, now that there are new rules to the game, not so many people want to play.
States were allowed to waive those rules for able-bodied adults thanks to the 2009 economic stimulus. As the rules loosened and the economy sputtered out of the recession, food stamp enrollment soared to record levels – peaking at nearly 48 million nationwide in 2013.
But while that number has dipped gradually in recent years, some states have moved aggressively to push recipients who can work back into the job market and, in due time, off the program.
Alabama began 2017 by requiring able-bodied adults without children in 13 counties to either find a job or participate in work training as a condition for continuing to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
According to AL.com, the number of those recipients declined from 5,538 to 831 between Jan. 1 and the beginning of May – an 85 percent drop.
Similar changes were implemented in select counties in Georgia and by the end of the first three months, the number of adults receiving benefits in three participating counties dropped 58 percent, according to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there have been an additional 21 counties who restored the work requirements. In those counties, there was a 62 percent drop in SNAP participants.
Robert Door participates in the poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He said, “Work requirements have been enormously successful at reducing the number of people on food stamps. And while they made sense in the early part of the recession when unemployment was higher, that is no longer the case.”
It’s sad that people will take handouts all day long, but the moment some kind of work is mentioned, they scatter.