It is estimated that there are 4.7 million Americans nationwide receiving food stamps who are able-bodied, not elderly, and do not have dependents. Getting them off the food-stamp rolls would save the country an estimated $8.4 billion every year.
President Donald Trump said during his inauguration speech, “We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”
President Trump is proposing the most ambitious welfare reform since the 1990s, focusing on requiring able-bodied adults who don’t have children to work in order to receive food stamps.
The work requirement in the president’s 2018 budget will save a whopping $190 billion over the next ten years, according to the Office of Management and Budget, and is part of a larger plan to reform welfare in America.
“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,” the president wrote in his letter to Congress accompanying his proposed budget.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said at a press conference, “If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, then we need you to go to work.”
The number of recipients on food stamps skyrocketed recently, 50 million Americans now receive food stamps and use Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at grocery or convenience store to buy food and drinks. The 50 million citizens on food stamps amount to 15 percent of the population, a substantial increase from the 17 million Americans who received food stamps in 2000.
Food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), cost taxpayers more than $83 billion a year. The government remains unable to rein in costs, because the government does not have statistics as to how much food stamp recipients spend on kitchen staples such as meat and vegetables, compared to soda, candy, and potato chips.
A 2011 study confirmed that food stamp recipients spend more money on candy compared to any other food item.
Another study in 2011, involving one unnamed grocery store chain, it was found that food stamp recipients spent more money on soda than on any other item.
“We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of people on these programs,” said Mulvaney, “We’re going to measure compassion by how many people we can get off these programs.”
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