Last updated on: 5/5/2020 9:17:44 AM PST
Should Federal Welfare Benefits Have Work Requirements?
Federal welfare programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). The government spent about $31 billion on TANF and $68 billion on SNAP in fiscal year 2018.
"We need to phase out welfare, which has failed disadvantaged Americans.
From 1959 to 1969, the poverty rate was nearly cut in half while government did little to address poverty. However, after the war on poverty was fully implemented in the early seventies, progress stopped. Fifty years of federal anti-poverty programs – zero impact.
Government anti-poverty programs don’t work. The real cure for poverty is a vibrant economy that generates plentiful jobs and high wages, combined with an affordable cost of living.
As President, I will work to eliminate policies that cripple economic growth. I will give special attention to regulations driving up the cost of housing and health care, as well as those creating barriers to creating new businesses or entering professions.
Finally, I will work to repeal laws and regulations that prevent individuals and charitable organizations from helping those in need, including free healthcare clinics. Until we have successfully replaced failed welfare programs with a vibrant economy, we should require beneficiaries to work, and make exceptions for situations such as legitimate disability."
Source: Communication from the Jorgensen campaign to ProCon.org on Aug. 26, 2020
[Editor's Note: The Jorgensen campaign self-categorized as not clearly pro or con. However, the following portion of the answer puts Jorgensen in the pro category: "Until we have successfully replaced failed welfare programs with a vibrant economy, we should require beneficiaries to work, and make exceptions for situations such as legitimate disability." ]
"[W]elfare reform — I see it and I’ve talked to people. I know people, they work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all. And the person who’s not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than the person that’s working his and her ass off. And it’s not going to happen. Not going to happen."
Source: White House, "Remarks by President Trump on Tax Reform," whitehouse.gov, Nov. 29, 2017
[Editor's Note: On Apr. 10, 2018, Trump signed "Executive Order Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility." The order includes that "the Federal Government must first enforce work requirements that are required by law. It must also strengthen requirements that promote obtaining and maintaining employment in order to move people to independence," in order to prevent "delayed economic independence, perpetuated poverty, and weakened family bonds."
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