Trump called for welfare reform during his campaign. He is now delivering. Trump requires able-bodied food stamp recipients to work under his new budget. This is a move that will save $190 billion over the next ten years.
In a letter Congress, Trump said, “We must reform our welfare system so that it does not discourage able-bodied adults from working, which takes away scarce resources from those in real need. Work must be the center of our social policy.”
Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, doubled down on what Trump said. “If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, then we need you to go to work.”
The number of food stamp recipients have skyrocketed in recent years. There are now about 50 million Americans who receive food stamps and use an EBT card to buy food and drinks. This amounts to 15% of the United States population receiving food stamps. This is a huge increase from the 17 million who received them in 2000.
Food stamps are officially known as SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The program costs taxpayers over $83 billion a year. Since the recipients are able to spend the money on soda, candy, potato chips, etc. it makes it difficult to know how much of the food is actually spent on necessities.
There was a study in 2011 that confirmed the food stamp recipients spend more money on candy than anything else. Not what the government had in mind when implementing this program.
Additionally, Trump's proposal would force states to fund one dollar for every four dollars the federal government puts forward for food stamps.
There have been studies that estimate there are around 4.7 million Americans receiving food stamps who are able to work, not elderly and do not have any children or dependents. If these people were required to work this would save the country $8.4 billion a year.
During Trump's inauguration speech, he said, “We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”
What do you think about this move in Trump's budget? Is it fair for able-bodied people to be required to work for their food stamps?