Welfare Should Help People, Not Make Them Slaves Of The Government
Trump has signed an executive order looking to bring common sense to welfare programs. By beefing up work requirements, recipients of taxpayer-funded welfare assistance will be given to people who are actively helping themselves instead of people who treat SNAP like a free ride.
Policy adviser Andrew Bremberg spoke with media about the order. Bremberg made a name for himself by being part of a team that reversed regulations handed down in the closing days of the Obama regime while working with Sen. Mitch McConnell. Now, he is the Assistant to the President and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council for the administration.
Speaking with media, Bremberg said:
“Part of President Trump’s effort to create a booming American economy includes moving Americans from welfare to work and supporting and encouraging others to support common-sense reforms that restore American prosperity and help them reclaim their independence.”
The focus of the Executive Order is to ask government agencies who are involved with welfare to:
- Explore ways of strengthening work requirements
- Explore new requirements for housing, food stamp and cash programs
In January, the Trump Administration announced that states are now able to impose their own work requirements for Medicaid. This local approach is crucial, as most states have different employment opportunities county-by-county as well as seasonally.
Trump’s Focus Is Welfare Abuse
Since the campaign trail, Trump has attacked people and businesses that were abusing governmental assistance, saying that people who have no intention on getting a job are taking more in benefits than people who do work. On the campaign trail Trump talked about families “trapped in welfare,” because the system was not set up as a way to help people back on their feet, and would punish people who took too many working hours, thereby encouraging people to not work in order to keep their benefits.
In November of 2017, Trump said:
“I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all. And the person who is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than the person that’s working [their butt] off.”
How SNAP Works for Workers
According to the Department of Agriculture, 44% of households that use SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have at least one person who is working and earning money. This is how SNAP is meant to be used — to help cover the last few expenses in a household when there isn’t enough work. It’s not supposed to be something that covers all of your costs.
Now, Trump wants to push for more requirements to demonstrate that both Medicaid recipients and SNAP recipients are working at least a little.
State, Local Changes Already Going Through
In response to the Trump update, New Hampshire lawmakers have required that all able-bodied Medicaid recipients have to work between 20 and 30 hours per week in order to continue to qualify. That is, if you can work, you must be actively looking for a job or taking training, or you must be working part-time hours in order to qualify.
Last month, Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that a partnership between local and federal law enforcement had found 22,000 bad transactions totaling $3.7 million in SNAP fraud, and had arrested almost 200 people in relation to their shady businesses accepting SNAP for cash and drugs back.
The scams had people receiving government SNAP swiping their EBT cards at bad businesses, who would then give some of the money back to the person while keeping part of the cash for themselves.
Replacing SNAP with Non-Perishable Food Boxes
In February, a Trump Administration official announced that the Department of Agriculture was considering the “America’s Harvest Box” which would include shelf-stable necessities which would partly replace SNAP. The main driver for this would be to allay fears that SNAP was being misused, it would save money and it would guarantee that food help recipients were indeed buying food.
Cabinets Must Review How Their Agency Supports Welfare
Several government agencies now have 90 days to review their own participation in welfare programs and must report back on possible changes that would have a positive impact for legitimate users.
Trump announced that overhauling welfare was one of his legislative priorities in 2018, along with improving infrastructure. So far, he’s on a good start.
Sources: WHAS 11, The Hill