The Trump administration unveiled its 2018 Farm Bill Wednesday, and it emphasizes a work requirement for those who receive government assistance with food stamps.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a four-page document Wednesday, and among its goals is a work initiative aimed at getting more able-bodied adults to work or enroll in job-training programs.
The hope is, of course, to make people less dependent on government assistance.
The document called for supporting work “as the pathway to self-sufficiency, well-being and economic mobility for individuals and families” who are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters at a farm near Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, that it is necessary to discourage a lifestyle predicated upon government dependence.
“It’s evident that there are able-bodied adults without dependents who are on the food stamp program, who we believe it is in their best interests, and their families’ best interests, to move into an independent lifestyle,” Perdue said, according to Bloomberg News.
“During the last downturn, it became a lifestyle for some people. We don’t want it to become permanent,” he added.
Perdue said that creating a federal law requiring able-bodied adults work to receive assistance would save the government billions of dollars.
Indeed, it would.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the federal government spent about $73 billion on SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2016.
Several states have already passed legislation that require recipients to work if they want to receive government benefits.
And unsurprisingly, it works.
States that have reformed their welfare systems to include work requirements have seen the number of recipients drop significantly.
Of course, this means that there are plenty of able-bodied people who abuse the system, and will continue to do so until they are kicked off and forced to work for a living.
If they can work, they should work.
The USDA document did not specify how existing laws would change or whether the government would cut funding for the program, but it is good to see that the federal government is looking to put an end to fraud.
This is good news for working Americans who have seen their tax dollars abused by welfare leeches.
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