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Food Stamp Reform In SC: About Time




This website has repeatedly called on South Carolina leaders to adopt modest food stamp reforms that have proven successful at reducing dependency in other states.  In fact we reiterated our call less than three weeks ago.

South Carolina finally listened …

Thanks to pressure applied by state lawmakers – notably S.C. Rep. Chris Corley of Aiken (who filed this bill back in December) – the administration of governor Nikki Haley is at long last imposing a work requirement on able-bodied food stamp recipients between the ages of 18 and 50.

It’s about time …

The policy change – announced by Haley’s scandal-scarred S.C. Department of Social Services – would take effect on April 1 and would impact approximately 60,000 food stamp recipients.  South Carolina has previously used a waiver from the federal government to continue doling out these benefits – which were supposed to have been eliminated in 1996 as part of a bipartisan federal welfare reform initiative.

News of SCDSS’ decision was first reported by Lauren Sausser of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier.

What sort of impact will 60,000 fewer food stamp recipients have on the dependency economy in the Palmetto State?  It’s not immediately clear.  State lawmakers moved food stamp expenditures off of the state’s books in 2014 – meaning South Carolina no longer counts food stamps as part of its annual budget.  At the time this “budgetary reform” was undertaken, the state’s annual food stamp cost was approximately $1.4 billion.

Current estimates are that one million of South Carolina’s 4.8 million citizens – or 21 percent – receive benefits via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Crazy, huh?  Yes … but not surprising considering the Palmetto State’s low incomes and small labor force.

It’s a great day in South Carolina,” right?

Corley was pleased with the news.

“I don’t care how the changes get made so long as they are made,” he said.

Let’s hope he keeps pushing …

We will continue to advocate for reductions and reforms to America’s dependency economy – especially in Washington, D.C.  Totally inconsequential food stamp cuts were passed by the U.S. Congress in 2014 – but never implemented.

The dependency economy costs taxpayers upwards of $1 trillion a year … which is totally unsustainable in light of our nation’s $19 trillion debt.