11/02/17 – Welfare Reform

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It’s time for another go at welfare reform.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

A bill was introduced in the House earlier this year that deserves consideration.  It reforms the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  Or SNAP. Most people refer to this by the old program name of “food stamps.”

The proposed legislation is simple.  Non-elderly, able-bodied adults without dependent children should be required to look for work in return for SNAP benefits.

Currently, there are nominal requirements for these recipients to seek employment.  But current law allows for widespread waivers.  If enacted, this bill would close the waiver loophole.

It’s perfectly acceptable to hold able-bodied adults without dependent children to a different and higher standard than parents with children, the elderly and the disabled.

Critics may argue that only about a third of SNAP recipients are healthy, childless adults. This proposed legislation wouldn’t amount to a gigantic savings.  Perhaps.  But this misses the larger point.  Welfare shouldn’t be a one-way street where recipients get benefits without making serious efforts to find work.

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