Sunday, August 6, 2017

Put Work Requirements for Food Stamps on Steroids

States have tried it, and it works. Congress should apply the lesson at the federal level.
President Trump’s recently released budget should start a long overdue conversation about the next round of welfare reform in America. The new budget rightfully prioritizes work requirements. They protect resources for the truly needy and unlock economic opportunity for those trapped in entitlement programs. When work requirements are implemented, able-bodied adults go back to work in hundreds of different industries, doubling their incomes within just a year. Higher incomes more than offset lost benefits, with those leaving welfare better off than they ever were on it.
There is no doubt the public supports work requirements. They are backed by around 80 percent of Americans, including 70 percent of Democrats, with wide support for extending work requirements to new programs and populations.
President Trump’s budget emphasizes work. President Trump’s budget calls for reforms that “return [enrollees] to the work force,” echoing statements in both his inaugural and joint address to Congress. The budget calls for reinforcing work for able-bodied adults without kids and for extending work requirements for the able-bodied on Medicaid.
Research has shown that work works. Only 3 percent of full-time, year-round workers are in poverty. Prioritizing work matters not only for individuals but for their kids and their community. One of the strongest predictors of the future success of children is the labor-participation rate of the adults in their community. In other words, current welfare policies are playing a part in sentencing a generation of kids to lifelong poverty in many communities and neighborhoods.
Read the rest from Josh Archambault HERE.

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