By John McClaughry
Liberals everywhere are up in arms over a new rule from the Trump administration’s Health and Human Services Department. Under the rule, certain adult food stamp recipients without dependents who have received aid for more than three months would be required to take a job; if a job is not immediately available, recipients would be required to undertake training, perform community service work or at least look for a job.
More than two-thirds of the three million able-bodied adult food stamp recipients are exempt from the requirements. That includes adults with minor children, the elderly and the disabled.
The press reports that some 700,000 recipients would “lose their benefits” under the rule. Actually not a single individual will lose their benefits — if they conscientiously perform 20 hours a week of activities that a least look like work.
The Heritage Foundation reports polling that reveals that more than 90% of the public agrees that “able-bodied adults who receive cash, food, housing, and medical assistance should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving those government benefits.”
No surprise there. Most people don’t begrudge government assistance for the sick and disabled, the elderly, or single parents with kids. But most people who work expect that able-bodied adults, not disabled or elderly, need to quit loafing and start working. This modest new rule ought to win widespread support.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.