Skip to comments.Here Are 2 Ways Trump Can Help Americans Move From Food Stamps to Work
Posted on 12/20/2018 12:16:36 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
President Donald Trump has an opportunity to do what Congress should be doing, but isnt: Help Americans who are on food stamps transition to work.
The farm billwhich reauthorizes the foods stamp program for five yearswould have been a prime opportunity for Congress to enhance work requirements. Under current law, certain work-capable adults must work 20 or more hours per week, participate in a supervised job search or training, or volunteer in their communities in order to receive food stamps.
Most food stamp recipients are exempt from these requirements. These include people over 50 years old, the disabled, and minor children and their parents. That leaves 7 million people who are expected to fulfill work requirements.
Unfortunately, only 1.5 million of the 7 million actually satisfy the work requirement.
How is this possible?
Most states exploit a loophole in the law that allows them to waive work requirements for all individuals residing in any area that does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals. Existing regulations interpret this provision of the law to allow, for example, an area with an unemployment rate as low as 4.8 percent to qualify for a waiver when the national unemployment rate stands at 4 percent. They also leave the definition of the key term area to the states.
New York, California, and Illinois have gone so far as to define areas as large or small as necessary to just meet the minimum required unemployment rate and maximize the number of food stamp recipients living in waived areas. This approach undermines the purpose of the work requirements and ensures that millions of work-capable adults are not required to look for work even once in order to receive food stamps.
The House proposed to address these problems in the 2018 farm bill with techniques that would have resulted in 2.8 million work-capable food stamp recipients facing mandatory work requirements. Unfortunately, Congress took a pass on these reforms.
Reform is still urgently needed, and in the absence of congressional action, the Trump administration should do what it can under its existing regulatory authority to effect that reform.
Under existing law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture can address some of the worst abuses in the current program. It should issue a regulation to do so through two key changes.
First, the USDA should explicitly define the term area to mean a labor market area as defined by the Department of Labor based on commuting patterns. The labor market area corresponds closely to the area in which a food stamp recipient could reasonably be expected to look for work. And these areas are not subject to gaming by the states.
Second, the USDA should interpret the insufficient jobs criterion more narrowly. Specifically, it should go as far as it can under current law and limit work requirement waivers to areas with a current unemployment rate in excess of 10 percentor federal disaster areas, in which it would be unfair to withhold benefits from those who are unable to satisfy the work activities requirement.
In terms of sheer numbers, these regulatory changes could be more substantial than those envisioned by the House, requiring work from as many as 4.5 million individual food stamp recipients who are not already satisfying the work requirement.
Regulatory changes cant fix every problem in the food stamp program. For that, well need Congress to act. But issuing new rules helping food stamp recipients get back to work would be a strong first step toward implementing the principle that work-capable adults who receive taxpayer-funded benefits should be expected to work, or at least seek and prepare for work, as a condition of receiving assistance.
More than 90 percent of Americans agree with this important concept. Its time for the president to deliver.
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I had a couple of low-end renters who used their SNAP for their income. They bought only the very best steaks which they sold for cash. They actually survived off a diet of beer, cigarettes and pot. That last I discovered after a SWAT raid that smashed in the door of their (my) house.
From what I’ve read and heard from other landlords, it’s common for people to make a living off selling their SNAP benefits for cash. I suspect, therefore, that there will be a huge pushback as this isn’t something people are using for survival. It’s something they are using for their livelihood. SNAP is their job, their income. Believe me, they don’t want to work as they’d have to be sober. That only happens when they are in jail.
We thought he was pulling our leg until he showed us the news clipping. All I could say is that here in Pennsylvania, they would at least drink the pop first!
Guess that was when we were the land of the free instead of the land of the free lunch.
the supposedly-limited-purpose Federal govt is NOT supposed to be in the General Welfare business including food stamps. First, welfare is NOT one of the purposes of the Fed Govt (not one of its enumerated powers!)... and second, the Fed Govt is SO damned big and removed from the individual that it is both inefficient and pretty necessarily inept/incompetent at administering individual benefits
any such programs should ideally be done by voluntary charities. But states can pick up any general welfare programs including food stamps.... and certainly it is the General Government States that have the legal authority to engage in such programs, not the Feds
I would support continuation of the federal welfare benefits ONLY for such time as is required for them to be transferred to those states wishing to pick them up and continue them at the state or local level
Let’s get the Fed Govt back to its intended purposes (which do NOT appear to be progressing very well.. such as all the illegal aliens still in USA including those from Mexican gangs and Moslem counties, but also many foreigners still holding American jobs like Chinese and Indians for major computer companies, etc
IMHO (and I know many FR’s will disagree with this) state (not federal) govt can and should provide a safety net for THOSE GENUINELY IN NEED such as many disability cases... those can reasonably can’t work....I am fine with this.... BUT NOT JUST DISHING OUT FREEBIES TO MILLIONS OF FOLKS WHO REALLY CAN DO GAINFUL WORK!!!!!! ripoffs must end, it rots out our society and destroy the individuals’ lives in the process. By my rough reckoning, there are maybe 10 percent of legitimate welfare recipients.....the other 90 percent who can perform reasonably decent honest work should be asked to please do so.....given help finding gainful employment, and then transferred from welfare to paychecks, self-worth, and independence.
And people of limited means (nearly all of them back then) farmed or grew gardens to survive.
If you want people to get jobs, the first thing to do is fire the head of the Fed. That guy is on a mission to sink the economy so that the Dems/Media can blame it on Trump tax cuts.
Unfortunately....the remaining 5.5 million people equal 20 million votes in a Democratic controlled “Disaster Area”.....they always have 120-180% turnout when the votes are tabulated...../s
Here is ONE sure way: Eliminate Food Stamps!
Put a community kitchen/restaurant (or 2, or 3...)in each 'poor' neighborhood.
Drop off surplus food there.
Surely these 'poor' folks know how to cook!
No; a vacant big box store with a LOT of bunkbeds!
I always wondered if food stamps tasted good.
“Surely these ‘poor’ folks know how to cook! “
One reason the “poor” are so fat is they mostly buy processed food. Beer and chips appeared to me to be the biggest food stamp sellers when I had my first job in the early ‘70’s. Next up would have been frozen foods like pizza. They weren’t allowed to buy dog food so some of them made a big point of buying steak and letting us checkers know it. I’d say the biggest reason most of the food stamp users are on food stamps is they are lazy and this laziness pervades their entire existence, from working at a job to not cooking their own food.
As I mentioned in a previous post, food stamps are not about food. They are about redistributing wealth to the “poor.” They are a scam against the taxpayer. They also serve to skew the cost of expensive products by creating an artificial market that should not exist. Who is hurt by this? The consumer who must spend their own money on food.
Think we schlumps will EVER wise up; or will the whole system have to collapse first?
“Think we schlumps will EVER wise up; or will the whole system have to collapse first?”
Some changes require the government to completely collapse. I suspect that if the Roman Empire had never fallen we’d still have bread and circuses as well as blood sports and lions executing prisoners in the coliseum. (Actually, we have welfare (bread) and cable (circuses), paid for illegally by SNAP. So, maybe they never did go away.)
If the Nazis had not been completely crushed they would still be capturing and executing Jews. Our society will never get rid of welfare. We might see diversity hires reduced in government jobs where they can kill people but commercial interests will still have quotas to fill regardless of the danger to consumers. But, by and large, the way things are is the way they remain until the system that supports them is destroyed.
The reason for this is, any program develops a constituency that then bends the system towards continuing support. That’s just the way politics works. Trying to stop a government program is like trying to legislate away gravity.
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