[7/18/17 DANIEL LANG] Leftists are constantly reminding of us of the merits of welfare. They tell us that without the help of taxpayer funded handouts, millions of Americans will starve or be left homeless. There’s no doubt that some people really do need help, but this black and white view of welfare doesn’t paint the full picture. Conservatives and libertarians have suspected for decades that many of the people on welfare are actually mooching off of the system. So to reconcile the need to help people who are helpless with the very really problem of people abusing the system, they’ve come up with a great compromise.
In regards to food stamps, they’ve suggested that we offer food assistance on the condition that the recipients are working. Or at the very least, that they volunteer or community service or are making an effort to train themselves for a new job. So what happens in states that have work requirements for food stamp recipients?
Alabama began 2017 by requiring able-bodied adults without children in 13 counties to either find a job or participate in work training as a condition for continuing to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
According to AL.com, the number of those recipients declined from 5,538 to 831 between Jan. 1 and the beginning of May – an 85 percent drop.
Similar changes were implemented in select counties in Georgia and by the end of the first three months, the number of adults receiving benefits in three participating counties dropped 58 percent, according to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported that in 21 additional counties that restored the work requirement, there was a 62 percent drop in SNAP participants.
Of course many leftists will try to shoot holes in this data, by suggesting that perhaps many of these people were working unofficial jobs that paid under the table. Because of that, they were already doing the best they could, and the government cut off their benefits when they couldn’t prove that they were working. The only problem with that assumption, is that we know exactly what happens to people who have to choose between getting cut off from food stamps, and finding a job. Statistics show that they choose to find a job, and their incomes go up drastically. They really weren’t working in the first place.
In October 2014, LePage announced that able-bodied adults would have to find work, spend 20 hours per week in a work program, or perform community service for six hours a week.
Food stamp participation declined 14.5 percent from 235,771 in January 2014 to 201,557 in January 2015, according to the state.
An analysis of a group of 7,000 Mainers who left SNAP in 2014 found their total earnings increased from $3.85 million in the third quarter 2014 to $8.24 million in the last quarter of 2015.
Kansas saw a 75 percent decline after implementing work requirements in 2013. In addition, nearly 60 percent of former beneficiaries found employment within 12 months and their incomes rose by an average of 127 percent per year, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability.
The left will never admit it, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that many of the people receiving welfare benefits are able bodied, and fully capable of finding a job. We know this, because when they’re given the choice between losing a couple hundred dollars per month in benefits, and finding a job that will earn them enough money to not need benefits, they choose to find work. We’re subsiding millions of people who just don’t want to work.
And the other detail that the left will conveniently overlook, is that these people are basically siphoning off money from folks who are genuinely in a bad financial place. There would be more money for people who are actually poor.
This is money that could be spent on those who work their hands to the bone every day to provide for their families, and still can’t pay their bills. Or it could be spent on people who simply need to make ends meet while they’re between jobs. If not for these welfare queens, the government could provide more benefits to people who actually need help. That would lift them out of poverty faster, which could reduce the taxpayer’s burden in the long run.
In short, there’s a lot of people taking advantage of welfare programs like food stamps, which takes money away from the people who really need help in our society. And the left’s welfare policies are enabling them.