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Food Stamps: The Coolio Maxim




|| By FITSNEWS || We’ve long maintained much of life’s wisdom can be found in the lyrics of Coolio’s 1994 hit “Fantastic Voyage.”

To wit: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”

Damn straight … except in America.  Here, government dependency is the name of the game – with millions of able-bodied Americans remaining on food stamps (and other government benefits) because sitting around and doing nothing is easier than getting a job.

Oh, and God forbid elected officials pretend to make even totally inconsequential cuts to the program – which deprived taxpayers of an estimated $74 billion last year.  Why not?  Because doing so might make people earn something for a change (instead of sitting back and watching it be handed to them) … and we can’t allow that sort of individual responsibility to take root in the United States, can we?

Anyway, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), the federal government’s food stamp program “is now one of the fastest-growing welfare entitlements in our federal budget, and one of the largest.”

That’s true.  Although food stamp costs declined modestly from 2013 to 2014, enrollment and annual costs have yet to come down from the 2007-13 surge – which saw the number of dependents nearly double and the costs of the program nearly quadruple.

Take a look …

food stamp enrollment

food stamp costs

Why is America’s food stamp population remaining at such an unsustainably high rate?  Because U.S. president Barack Obama – and “Republican” leaders in state governments across the country – refuse to enforce any semblance of accountability over the program.

“One key cause of this out-of-control spending is the recent explosion in enrollment among able-bodied childless adults,” a new report from the FGA noted.  “Although federal law requires these adults to work in order to receive food stamps, the Obama administration has awarded an unprecedented number of waivers to states, allowing able-bodied childless adults to receive taxpayer-funded food stamp benefits without working at all.”

How many states?  According to the FGA report, forty states have full waivers – exempting all able-bodied childless adults from having to work for their food stamps.  Another six states have partial waivers.


The result?

“In 2013, just one-quarter of childless adult households receiving food stamps had any earned income,” the report concluded.  “The remaining three-quarters had no earned income, meaning they were not working at all.”

That is exactly what we’re talking about when we repeatedly refer to government “incentivizing dependency.”  And until we stop incentivizing dependency, we shouldn’t be surprised when it continues to soar.

In an oped for The Washington Times, governors Sam Brownback of Kansas and Susana Martinez of New Mexico championed the restoration of work requirements for certain food stamp recipients.

“Restoring work requirements for food assistance has the potential to transform millions of lives by returning our welfare system to the hand-up it was designed to be,” Brownback and Martinez wrote.  “Work requirements benefit all of us by protecting our limited resources for the truly needy, propelling those in need toward work and a better, healthier life and giving them the hope of a brighter future. Getting more people to work is key to growing our state economies.”

Amen to that …

And remember, this isn’t a blanket change to the program – this is simply insisting that able-bodied adults without children work for their benefits.

Doesn’t seem like too much to ask …