After Newt Gingrich pushed through welfare reform during Bill Clinton’s administration, welfare was changed for the better. If you wanted to receive benefits, you had to at least be working, looking for a job, or in a job training program. There was no more living off welfare without any effort – and the duration for which one could receive benefits was cut.
During Obama’s administration, that all changed. Rahm Emmanuel says we should never let a crisis go to waste, and Obama didn’t let the financial crisis that continued into the early days of his administration go to waste. Able to justify changing welfare’s rules with the recession, Obama’s Department of Agriculture suspended the work requirement for food stamps indefinitely, whereas each state would have to decide on its own when to re-instate it. Now, anyone mooching off the system in seven different States is about to have their benefits cut off.
The 2009 stimulus allowed states to waive the work requirement for food stamps recipients, and gave federal money to cover the extra costs. States had to request the waivers, and now Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey, join other states ending the program early, Bloomberg reports.
The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) work requirement, part of the 1996 welfare reform law, mandates that individuals without dependents and who are considered able-bodied must either prove they are working or in a training program at least 20 hours a week, or lose food stamps after three months, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
About 43.5 million people currently receive food stamps, which is 9 percent lower than the program’s peak in 2012, according to available data. The retreat from the waiver program may account for the drop in food stamp use, but some states say that since the improving economy has made it easier for childless adults to find work, the work requirements should be reinstated.
A number of States have already reinstated their work requirements, and the results have been phenomenal, both for the poor and the taxpayer. One such State is Maine. According to the Daily Signal, “In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015.”
Work requirements used to be the norm nationally – isn’t it about time ALL States reinstate their work requirements?
H/T The Daily Caller
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