Trump Presidency

Trump just put the kibosh on welfare! You want handouts, you have to work!


President Donald Trump’s newly released budget has food stamp reform, cutting food stamp benefits by 25 percent, and democrats… needless to say… are going nuts!

The President’s proposed policy is based on two principles:

  • Able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits
  • Restoring minimal fiscal responsibility to state governments for the welfare programs they operate.

The president’s budget brings back the idea that welfare should not be a one-way handout, but instead, be based on reciprocal obligations between recipients and taxpayers.

Basically, the government should help those who need it, but should expect those on welfare to put in the work to get these “handouts.”

Under the Trump reform, those who can’t find a job right away are expected to be in “work activation,” including supervised job searching, training, and community service. This idea has nearly universal support.

Almost 90 percent of the public agree:

“Able-bodied adults that receive cash, food, housing, and medical assistance should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving those government benefits.”

Across party lines, 87 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans agree with this statement.

Establishing work requirements in welfare was the core principle of the welfare reform law enacted in the mid-1990s, which led to record drops in welfare dependence and child poverty, and employment among single mothers skyrocketed.

Trump’s plan also is to restore a minimal share of fiscal responsibility for welfare to state governments. The federal government is in charge of more than 80 means-tested welfare programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, training, and targeted social services to poor and low-income persons, along with state governments running a handful of small separate programs.

Excluding Medicaid, the federal government picks up the tab for nearly 90 percent of all means-tested welfare spending in the U.S., so it makes no sense for the federal government to also carry 90 percent of the cost of cash, food, and housing programs for low-income persons.

But for decades, state governments have increasingly shifted fiscal responsibility for anti-poverty programs to the federal level, forcing the federal government to pick up nearly 100 percent the tab for welfare programs operated by the states – basically a recipe for inefficiency and non-accountability.

The food stamp program is 92 percent funded by Washington, which sends blank checks to state capitals. So, the more people a state enrolls in food stamps, the more money Washington hands out.

The Trump budget sees that the food stamp program will become more efficient if the state governments that operate the program have “skin in the game.” Therefore, it raises the required state contribution to food stamps incrementally from 8 percent to 25 percent.

Right now, there are about 4.2 million nonelderly able-bodied adults without dependent children getting food stamp benefits, and very few are employed, costing about $8.5 billion per year.

As you can see, Trump’s new welfare reform policy is severely needed, and democrats will just have to face the facts… the handouts… are done… over… finished! Time to get to work!



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