President Donald Trump’s administration is set to roll out changes to the welfare and food stamp programs that will require able-bodied recipients to get some sort of job or lose all benefits.
This idea is perennial favorite of everyone center right. The idea that no one should get free government assistance unless they truly need it is a mainstay idea for all real Americans.
So, this announcement will certainly be welcomed among Republicans in general and conservatives in particular.
Unfortunately, a gutless Congress did not make these common-sense changes when it passed the farm bill only just last week.
So, the plan was announced by the USDA, according to the UK Daily Mail:
The $400 billion farm bill reauthorized agriculture and conservation programs and left the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [food stamps], which serves roughly 44 million Americans, virtually untouched.
But the president announced at his bill-signing ceremony that he aims to move Americans “from dependence to independence” and “from welfare to gainful employment, strengthening families and uplifting communities.”
“Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to maintain their SNAP benefits,” the Mail reported.
The GOP tried to add changes to the farm bill that would hike age requirements to 59, from the current 49 and would require parents with kids over 6 years of age to get training or a job. But those measures were stripped from the bill before passage last week.
The Mail adds:
States are also allowed to grant benefit extensions for 15 percent of their work-eligible adult population without a waiver. If a state doesn’t use its 15 percent, it can bank the exemptions to distribute later, creating what Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue referred to as a ‘stockpile.’
The USDA’s proposed rule would strip states’ ability to issue waivers unless a city or county has an unemployment rate of 7 percent or higher. The waivers would be good for one year and would require the governor to support the request. States would no longer be able to bank their 15 percent exemptions.
The new rule also would forbid states from granting waivers for geographic areas larger than a specific jurisdiction.
This sort of idea will likely find approval among a majority of Americans. Few Americans feel it is right that able-bodied people just sit around on the dole all day.
For instance, according to recent polling, “87% of Americans favor a work requirement as a condition for receiving welfare.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.