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Guess What Group is Getting Food Stamps at an Alarming Rate

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Food stamp rolls have been growing rapidly. But what many may not realize is that participation among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) has been skyrocketing compared to the total number of participants. That’s just one reason Congress should reform the food stamp program in the farm bill now under consideration. In just four years, the number of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) on the food stamp rolls skyrocketed by over 2 million. While overall food stamp use grew by 53 percent between Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal Year 2010 (from about 26 million to nearly 40 million), it more than doubled among able-bodied adults without dependents during this time–from 1.7 million to 3.9 million–an increase of roughly 127 percent. Food stamp spending today is roughly $80 billion, double what it was in Fiscal Year 2008.

Going forward, food stamp policy should ensure that resources are going to those most in need — particularly at a time when budgets are tight for so many Americans Able-bodied recipients should be encouraged to work. This way, help is available to those who truly need it, while at the same time individuals are encouraged to do what they can to help themselves.

Congress has the opportunity now to reform food stamps as policymakers debate the farm bill. The House’s current proposal makes some steps towards encouraging work, but it is yet to be seen whether the House will maintain the work component of their proposal, or if they will fold on this important matter.
While the recession no doubt plays into the increases in food stamp participation, policy loopholes have opened the doors to boost growth as well In his 2009 stimulus bill, Obama allowed states to waive the modest ABAWD work provision (which says that after 3 months ABAWDs must work or perform some type of work activity for 20 hours per week to remain on food stamps).
With the work waivers in place, ABAWDs can stay on food stamps for an unlimited amount of time without working or preparing for work. Without a work requirement it is difficult to ensure food stamps are not going to those who could otherwise work. A work requirement acts as a gatekeeper: those who really need assistance can still get it, while those who may not really need it will be deterred, thus targeting resources to the truly needy. It also encourages individuals to move towards work, and it can provide job training and other employment help.
Self-sufficiency for able-bodied adults should be the goal of any sound welfare policy. Unfortunately, most of the government’s 80-plus welfare programs–including food stamps–aren’t focused in this direction.
Helping those in need means helping them rise above government dependence. Unfortunately, self-sufficiency seems to be kicked to the bottom of the list all too often when it comes to reforming the nation’s broken welfare system. It’s time for Congress to realize that helping individuals means a hand-up, not merely a handout.


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    Total 14 comments
    • Thane36425

      It isn’t the foodstamp program alone that needs reform: it is the whole tax and regulation system. Taxes and especially regulations have wildly expanded under Obama and it is killing business. As business goes down, so does employment.

      Add to that the illegal immigrants already being hired to replace American workers and consider what will happen after our corrupt rulers ram through an amnesty program. Once that happens, million more Americans are going to be needing foodstamps and welfare, which is all part of the plot to expand dependency and one party rule.

      • Libtard

        Well said :grin:

        • LittleMissSunshine

          Are you really a libtard?

    • dimitri

      Stop appealing to the Gang of 535 – a.k.a. Congress! They can’t possibly do the right thing. They serve only special interests and themselves. The constituents are not on their special interests list. These are only the fools who are brainwashed to go the polls on election day to do what they think is their patriotic duty.

    • Arlene Johnson

      The reason the government is doing this is to make people dependent on the government. Then, when the government takes these kinds of things away, people will be devastated. That was the whole idea in the first place. This is alll part of Agenda 21.

    • Alphadog

      In order for any Republic or Democratic Society to survive, you have to set limits on the or numbers of the population who may receive benefits. If this is not done early on, the system will fail when you get more people voting for money than working for it. The people who are most needy would be the ones getting the benefits and the most practical number seems to be around 25% of the population.

    • greenghost

      I know one of my step daughters gets food stamps and she is working but doesn’t get enough hours or pay to survive on.

      • Lilsy

        There is no reason for anyone to be hungry in this great nation of ours.
        The trickle down theory just put people into jobs with not enough money to make a living wage.
        When I first started to work as a nurse in the 70′s you could work half time and still be covered for medical and life insurance. This is before big corporations took over the hospitals. This is no longer the case. If you want to see the root cause of the problem then look at the salary of the CEO’s of these company’s and the corporate yearly profit.
        I realize that Corporations are in business to make money but history shows that they have to be forced to do the right thing regarding benefits and fair pay of their labor force.
        I for one am happy that my tax dollars are going to feed the poor rather than some tragic rich man’s war over ideology and resources.

    • Pat

      So they should starve?? Do you know a lot of these people are veterans? Where are the jobs that pay well enough so they can feed themselves without help?? Who took those jobs away?? What about the larger and more important “corporate subsidies” or welfare for the rich? Why is that not more important? This article is typical old “hate the downtrodden” BS hokum. More divide and conquer. Hate your neighbor. Ooooo, he’s able-bodied what’s HIS problem? Why can’t he work? There’s no decent jobs left you idiot ! Wave a magic wand and it will fix it. ANybody who believes this article isn’t even worth talking to. Tired of this crap.

      • rafael

        The Crap is you ; did you Read the post ???? I don`t think so ; I suggest you Read it again paying very close attention .( after 3 months ABAWDs must work or perform some type of work activity for 20 hours per week to remain on food stamps ) . With the work waivers in place, ABAWDs can stay on food stamps for an unlimited amount of time without working or preparing for work. Do you Understand ???????????????? Yes indeed there is people with serious problems and in need of help ; but MANY are abusing the system and it comes out of our Pockets .

    • sarah

      Maybe communities could start state and/or county gardens for able bodied unemployed people to work in 20 hours a week. They could share the food produced, and learn a skill that many could then do at home. The new skill of gardening could feed many people for a lifetime. Some people would prefer to feed self rather than receiving food stamps. But they need someone willing to teach them how to grow food.

    • Anonymous

      Those pieces of s–t in Congress gave tax breaks to Corporations to move these People’s jobs OUT of America.

    • les hulse


    • pigsdofly

      The foodstamp program is tied into the farm bill. That beng said, how many “rich farmers” claim they have a farm when real estate agents told them if they owned more than 10 acres and sold a minut’e farm item such as tomatoes they would qualify and get farm subsidies(less taxes on the property). When the RICH people start paying their fair share in taxes then I might have sympathy. THESE able bodied adults most likely are senior citizens surviving on Social Security. I say to the writer of this FABLE you reported you need to look at the whole picture and QUIT nit picking.

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