Even if liberals truly believe that government welfare programs help the poor, they should still view any reduction in welfare-takers positively, as it means more people have become self-sufficient. For that reason, reductions in those who need government handouts should be seen as a success in the fight against poverty.
Barack Obama was the “food stamp president” – and that was bad news for the poor. Under Obama, there was a net increase of 10.7 million food stamp recipients, representing a 32 percent jump in enrollment. That translates to an increase in the budget for food stamps from $50.3 billion in 2009 to $66.6 billion in 2016.
Among the major causes of the drastic rise under Obama’s watch came from the fact that his Department of Agriculture (which is in charge of our nation’s food stamp program ) suspended work requirements to receive welfare. Thanks to the 1996 Clinton-era welfare reform, those on the dole had to prove they were working or looking for work to receive benefits – and they could no longer receive those benefits indefinitely. Given that the best anti-poverty program is a job, the reform forced many into the labor force who wouldn’t otherwise be there. As a result, child poverty declined by 1.6 million from 1995-2004, and poverty among single mothers fell from 50.3% to 41.9% within the same time period.
Overall, welfare caseloads were cut in half. Over four million families at the time of enactment received AFDC/TANF welfare benefits, while only half that (1.89 million) did by 2004.
So a pretty successful program, no? It’s been up to the states to re-implement their work requirements, and the states that have saw similar results to those already mentioned. These states have seen massive reductions in food stamp usage among able-bodied adults; -85% in Alabama, -58% in Georgia, and -75% in Maine, among others.
The Trump Administration has already made moves to restore federal work requirements for welfare, and, in the meantime, economic improvements under his tenure have already driven many Americans off the dole.
According to Breitbart, food stamp usage has been on a steady decline since Donald Trump began his presidency in January 2017, with the latest data showing that SNAP enrollment decreased by more than 1.3 million, or 3.23 percent, since the beginning of his term in office.
It’s been a constant decline, too. Here are the figures by month:
- January to February- 408,956
- February to March- 95,152
- March to April- 521,295
- April to May- 176,527
- May to June- 178,648
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Overall, that’s a decline from 42,691,363 in January 2017, to 41,310,785 in June 2017, according to the most recent data available. Even better news, the Congressional Budget Office reports that the decline will continue through the decade, with enrollment falling one to two percent each year.
That’s nominally a 21.3% decline, but an even larger decline in reality given that the U.S. population will be significantly higher by 2027.
What do you think? Is President Trump getting America off food stamps and putting our country back to work? Tell us your thoughts below and share this story on Facebook and Twitter!
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