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Trump's Welfare Reforms End Dependence, Renew Hope

Trump's Welfare Reforms End Dependence, Renew Hope

By Friday, 13 April 2018 05:00 PM Current | Bio | Archive

While the never-Trumpers continue their endless siege on the presidency, constructive action unfolds on welfare reform. Not since the second term of Bill Clinton has more been accomplished in Washington to curb our nation's surging welfare costs.

A huge step toward major reform was reached on Thursday. U.S. House Republicans are pushing for new work requirements to qualify for the out-of-control food stamp program used by 42 million Americans.

Naturally the new requirements had to be incorporated in another bill to have any chance of passing. The new job requirements are part of the 2018 Farm Bill. It will fundamentally change the way the government approves recipients for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — better known as food stamps.

It may be unpopular with many liberal Democrats, but taxpayers will save billions. Under the proposal, most adults between 18 and 59 will be required to work part-time or enroll in 20 hours a week of workforce training to receive assistance.

Most Americans are unaware that the food stamp program plays a big part in the Democrat’s voting base. Millions of recipients are led to believe it is the Democratic Party that's being generous — rather than the American taxpayer.

The new plan budgets $1 billion per year to fund the training program expansion. That is a mere pittance to the overall cost of the food stamp program. Government Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections estimate up to 1 million people could be cut from the program over 10 years with this program alone.

The bill is designed to encourage welfare recipients to discover self-sufficiency through work. It is unlikely to be popular with those currently in the system, but experts will tell you it's long overdue.

The bill is slated for markup in the House Agriculture Committee on April 18. It promises to produce a lively fight on the House floor. But it is part of a promise by outgoing House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the president to tighten work requirements in a range of welfare programs.

President Trump directed all federal agencies on Tuesday to conduct a broad review of welfare work rules. Democrats argue the changes suggested will hurt the poor. Their opposition argues there is no such thing as a free lunch in this country and it is time for America to return to that idea once again.

The proposed plan by Republicans has two prongs. One includes a work requirement for all food stamp participants, the other expands the state training programs available to unemployed participants who cannot find jobs.

The food stamp program has long been a controversial government program.

Under former President Obama, the participation skyrocketed. The new bill would establish a single work standard for adults ages 18 to 59, requiring them to hold at least a part-time job within one month of receiving benefits.

The whole idea is to re-instill the work ethic. Up to 7 million adults will be subject to the new rules. The proposal will fund major expansion of state education and training taking it out of the hands of Washington, D.C. bureaucrats.

The states will be required to offer some sort of slot to every eligible adult. Naturally exceptions are made for pregnant women, people with disabilities and parents with children younger than six.

The plan will simplify work requirements and funding for states that will be guaranteed. It is the hope this will help participants to find improved wages, higher-quality employment and independence as they realize the dignity of work.

This will impose stricter eligibility guidelines for low-income families. Many argue that millions in the system have gotten there through lax rules. Within single-parent families, it would link parents’ benefit amounts to payment of child support and cooperation with child support agencies.

The Democrats and so-called "anti-hunger advocates" have deep reservations. They mostly agree the programs touted in the bill are an effective way to get people into well-paying jobs and out of poverty. But they also feel it will force participants into programs without providing enough funding for them.

The programs are not cheap to run. But for every participant who becomes independent of government assistance and becomes a taxpaying citizen, untold taxpayer dollars are saved and it breaks the generational dependence on the government.

The Republican proposal faces a tough uphill battle in the House. Ironically, it is the liberal Democrats in the House who complain it will be an expensive bureaucracy. But it is the intent of this administration to face the surging welfare rolls with common sense practices to get people off government-funded programs and into the private sector.

Long-term dependency has never been part of the American dream. The Trump administration is eager to improve the quality of lives where the only answer before the last election was lifetime dependence.

Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Long-term dependency has never been part of the American dream. The Trump administration is eager to improve the quality of lives where the only answer before the last election was lifetime dependence.
benefits, clinton, snap
Friday, 13 April 2018 05:00 PM
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