Should people have to work in order to receive food stamps? | The Tylt

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Should people have to work in order to receive food stamps?
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#DontPunishThePoor
#EarnYourFoodStamps

House Republicans passed a farm bill that includes stricter work requirements for people receiving food stamps. SNAP recipients who fail to meet the 20-hour-per-week minimum could have their benefits taken away after one month. Critics argue it is cruel to punish the most vulnerable among us, and as many as 5.2 million Americans could lose access to food stamps as a result. But others believe it makes perfect sense—if you want free food, you should have to work for it. What do you think?

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Should people have to work in order to receive food stamps?
#DontPunishThePoor
#EarnYourFoodStamps

House Republicans recently approved a five-year farm bill that will impose stricter work requirements on people receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

[The bill] includes cutting $23 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, shifting a portion of the revenue into additional workforce training. Under the bill's provisions, all able-bodied adult SNAP recipients between ages 18 and 59 who aren't pregnant or don't have children ages 6 or younger would be required to work a minimum of 20 hours a week or be in job training. The work requirement would increase to 25 hours by 2026.
SNAP recipients who fail to meet the 20-hour-per-week work requirement could lose benefits after one month. Currently, most food stamp recipients ages 18-49 who aren't disabled or raising minor children are required to work a minimum of 20 hours a week.
#EarnYourFoodStamps

Conservatives argue it's just common sense. If you are healthy and able-bodied, you should work if you want to receive benefits from the federal government. The National Review Editorial Board argues SNAP is in deep need of reform. Too many people are taking advantage of the program, and food stamps are an expensive benefit.

It's obvious enough that SNAP needs reform. The rolls soared even while the economy was booming before the Great Recession, rose still more during the period of turmoil that followed, and have declined only slightly during the recent recovery. Several million enrollees are jobless, able-bodied adults who should be expected to work. The current work requirements are difficult to enforce, and mainly just function as a three-month time limit applying to adults under 50 with no dependents. Many geographic areas, covering about 30 percent of the U.S. population, are exempt.

Welfare benefits should be viewed as temporary, and incentivizing people to work so they can support themselves is a perfectly reasonable approach to the food stamp program. 

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But others argue punishing the poorest and most vulnerable among us is cruel and unnecessary. The mythical "welfare queens" who take advantage of federal benefits programs are overstated, and there have been very few cases of fraud or abuse of food stamps.

When it comes to nutrition, one American in eight relies on food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), providing an average of $1.40 per person per meal... allegations of widespread fraud are unsupported by the evidence. I requested the administration provide me with evidence but received none. Available figures show an “error rate” (the sum of both overpayments and underpayments) of 3.66 percent in SNAP payments and a rate of 4 percent for public housing. By comparison, Defense Department travel reimbursements had double that error rate.

A vast majority of Americans on food stamps do work, and those who don't usually aren't able to due to a disability or inability to find employment. SNAP is also not nearly as expensive as Republicans make it seem. If we can afford to give a $1.5 trillion tax cut to the wealthy, surely we can provide the poor with food.

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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should people have to work in order to receive food stamps?
A festive crown for the winner
#DontPunishThePoor
#EarnYourFoodStamps