McClaughry: New food stamp work requirements ought to win widespread support

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.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Currently, 43 states allow residents to automatically become eligible for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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.

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture

5 thoughts on “McClaughry: New food stamp work requirements ought to win widespread support

  1. How many food stampers also go to the dozen or more Food Shelves in Chitt. co., and how often.
    How many have an $8 a pack, $8 a stick, smoking habit. How many keep left-overs to make a wonderful soup or stew for the next couple of meals.

    Unfortunate, but, how many are multi generational recipients – growing up entitled. Hard to break out!

    When you see a homeless person, drunk by noon, smoking whatever, understand the problem is not money.

    How many small businesses and large have a perpetual “Help Needed” sign out, but need reliable and responsible applicants.

  2. Well of course the lefties are up in arms, a work requirement destroys the whole
    free$hat for votes agenda of the left that lets you loaf for cash….
    The job would make them more intent to get off the dole and become a productive citizen
    not aligned to the leftist mentality of needing a government nanny..
    With the available jobs we now have under a competent President there’s no reason not to require it..

  3. John, The opponents of the work requirement are out of touch. Productive work is a the great elixir. If develops self esteem by generating a feeling of true accomplishment. Several years ago, the Republicans after three attempts forced Clinton to modify President Johnson’s welfare program to require recipients to work, seek work or enroll in a training program which would qualify them for gainful employment. Then Obama came along a scrapped the employment requirement piece. Guess what, all, the laggards dropped back on their collective butts and got on the gravy train. If an individual is able to work, it is not an imposition to expect him or her to WORK!!!

  4. Thank you John for waving the flag for this. However, it is a different world when that simple expectation requires any kind of debate or even an article in support that you felt necessary to write.

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