Trump targets food stamps

The level of fraud in the food stamp program (officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is so high that it amounts to a moral cancer on the civic body.  Millions – probably in the tens of millions – of people are cheating taxpayers by working off the books or otherwise receiving food stamps they are not entitled to.  Mass cheating, knowingly stealing from others, and thinking it is fine or at least normal.

Over time, the ethos spreads that only suckers play by the rules, that cheating is natural, that get-as-much-as-you-can is the essence of smart citizenship (and permanent residenceship, and illegal alienship, too, apparently).  The deepest damage that decades of communism did to Russia was the creation of an ethos similar in kind, but to even a greater degree of corruption.  But then again, communism had seven decades to erode and distort values, and we are just getting started with corrupting the populace on a mass level.

The Trump budget proposes a national work requirement for food stamps.  Sean Moran of Breitbart:

President Donald Trump's 2018 budget will save $190 billion over the next ten years by requiring able-bodied adults to work to receive food stamps.

President Trump wrote in his letter to Congress, "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."

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said at a press conference, "If you're on food stamps and you're able-bodied, then we need you to go to work."

The number of recipients on food stamps skyrocketed recently, 50 million Americans now receive food stamps and use Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at grocery or convenience store to buy food and drinks. The 50 million citizens on food stamps amount to 15 percent of the population, a substantial increase from the 17 million Americans who received food stamps in 2000.

 

If you want to gauge the dimensions of fraud in food stamps, look at what happened when Georgia enacted a work requirement.  Katherine Rodriguez of Breitbart:

More than half of the 11,779 people enrolled for food stamps in 21 counties, an estimated 7,251 people, have dropped out of the food stamp program – a drop of 62 percent, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Georgia first rolled out its work requirements for the food stamp program in three counties in January 2016. Since then, the state has expanded work requirements in an additional 21 counties, giving people in those 21 counties until April 1, 2017 to find a job or lose food stamp benefits.

Those who receive benefits must work at least 20 hours a week, be enrolled in state-approved job training, or volunteer for a state-approved non-profit or charity.

State officials say the plan is to extend the work requirements to all 159 counties in Georgia by 2019 and implement work requirements in 60 more counties, starting in 2018.

Or look at Maine.  The Heritage Foundation reports:

In the first three months after Maine's work policy [required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service] went into effect, its ABAWD [Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents] caseload plummeted by nearly 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in December 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015. This rapid drop in welfare dependence has a historical precedent: When work requirements were established in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program under President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, nationwide caseloads dropped by a similar amount, albeit over a few years rather than a few months.

In fact, there used to be a national work requirement, but the Obama administration granted waivers that remain in effect.  If the GOP has the guts to keep a national work requirement in place for food stamps to, it will help reverse a national slide into civic decay, in addition to saving many billions.

The level of fraud in the food stamp program (officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is so high that it amounts to a moral cancer on the civic body.  Millions – probably in the tens of millions – of people are cheating taxpayers by working off the books or otherwise receiving food stamps they are not entitled to.  Mass cheating, knowingly stealing from others, and thinking it is fine or at least normal.

Over time, the ethos spreads that only suckers play by the rules, that cheating is natural, that get-as-much-as-you-can is the essence of smart citizenship (and permanent residenceship, and illegal alienship, too, apparently).  The deepest damage that decades of communism did to Russia was the creation of an ethos similar in kind, but to even a greater degree of corruption.  But then again, communism had seven decades to erode and distort values, and we are just getting started with corrupting the populace on a mass level.

The Trump budget proposes a national work requirement for food stamps.  Sean Moran of Breitbart:

President Donald Trump's 2018 budget will save $190 billion over the next ten years by requiring able-bodied adults to work to receive food stamps.

President Trump wrote in his letter to Congress, "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."

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said at a press conference, "If you're on food stamps and you're able-bodied, then we need you to go to work."

The number of recipients on food stamps skyrocketed recently, 50 million Americans now receive food stamps and use Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at grocery or convenience store to buy food and drinks. The 50 million citizens on food stamps amount to 15 percent of the population, a substantial increase from the 17 million Americans who received food stamps in 2000.

 

If you want to gauge the dimensions of fraud in food stamps, look at what happened when Georgia enacted a work requirement.  Katherine Rodriguez of Breitbart:

More than half of the 11,779 people enrolled for food stamps in 21 counties, an estimated 7,251 people, have dropped out of the food stamp program – a drop of 62 percent, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Georgia first rolled out its work requirements for the food stamp program in three counties in January 2016. Since then, the state has expanded work requirements in an additional 21 counties, giving people in those 21 counties until April 1, 2017 to find a job or lose food stamp benefits.

Those who receive benefits must work at least 20 hours a week, be enrolled in state-approved job training, or volunteer for a state-approved non-profit or charity.

State officials say the plan is to extend the work requirements to all 159 counties in Georgia by 2019 and implement work requirements in 60 more counties, starting in 2018.

Or look at Maine.  The Heritage Foundation reports:

In the first three months after Maine's work policy [required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service] went into effect, its ABAWD [Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents] caseload plummeted by nearly 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in December 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015. This rapid drop in welfare dependence has a historical precedent: When work requirements were established in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program under President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, nationwide caseloads dropped by a similar amount, albeit over a few years rather than a few months.

In fact, there used to be a national work requirement, but the Obama administration granted waivers that remain in effect.  If the GOP has the guts to keep a national work requirement in place for food stamps to, it will help reverse a national slide into civic decay, in addition to saving many billions.

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