by Countable | Updated on 4.11.18
Tuesday President Trump privately signed a new executive order, Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility, that aims to redefine "welfare". and expand work requirements for recipients of food stamps, Medicaid, and other poverty programs despite governmental figures that show the vast majority of already work or are ineligible or incapable.
The order is directed towards "any program that provides means-tested assistance or other assistance that provides benefits to people, households or families that have low incomes." Within 90 days all Cabinet members must submit “a list of recommended regulatory and policy changes and other actions to accomplish the principles outlined in this order.” They then have another 90 days to provide steps for implementation.
Historically "welfare" has specifically meant what is now called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The order’s use of the term to encompass all poverty-based assistance programs reflects a desire to expand the term to cover the whole social safety net.
Elaine Waxman, a senior fellow with the nonpartisan Urban Institute, who has studied food assistance programs and other government entitlements, told the New York Times that it seems to be a "a solution in search of a problem":
"The administration is reflecting a larger narrative that many low-income individuals avoid work — but there’s just not a lot of data to support that position. Many of these people have significant barriers to working full time."
The Times cited a 2017 study of Medicaid recipients in Michigan that showed 75 percent were working of physically unable to do so. Another 12 percent were ineligible due to age or student status.
Administration officials maintain that the president is directing his administration "to study policies that are failing Americans."
Do you support the expansion of work requirements for poverty-based assistance programs to include those who are currently ineligible or incapable? If an individual is ineligible or incapable, should they still be able to receive assistance? If this policy causes previously eligible individuals experiencing poverty and hunger to be purged from the rolls, do you see that as a success?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
Study after study indicates that the poor are often harder and more diligent workers than the rich. Those that do not match this statistic are often facing disabilities and other barriers that prevent them from working. This administration should spend less time ensuring the poor work harder and more effort ensuring that they are fairly compensated for their contributions and that those unable to contribute have a stable safety net.
If you want to fix “welfare”, start with the welfare given to big businesses, churches and religious institutions, and financial institutions and energy companies. Those on the lower rungs of the wage ladder work, for the most part, hard and long as they are able. If you have ever been poor and used any of these social services you know that very few choose to live poor.
No one had a problem with this when President Clinton imposed it with his “Welfare to Work,” requirement. And, “yes,” there will always be a segment of the population that will be unable to engage in any meaningful work. But most everyone can volunteer somewhere and should. There are few people that can’t brush or walk a pet, help keep our parks clean, or fill a box with food staples at a shelter. If you can cook for yourself, then you are capable of serving food at a shelter! If you can read and pass a background check, you can read to a child. Most people can do something; and they should! It gives one’s life purpose. But most liberal policies keep people enslaved. Oh, the soft bigotry of low expectations!
I guess we already cured cancer, fixed all the infrastructure, resolved all our immigration issues, found a way to provide adequate medical care to everyone at the level at which Congress receives it, staffed every vacant position in government, and impeached, tried, and removed the criminal squatting in the White House if we can move on to this non-issue. Aren’t we embarrassed enough yet by this dirty joke of an administration? How much more stupid can things get?
This requirement completely ignores the millions of Americans with disabilities and chronic illnesses who literally can’t get out of bed most days because their pain is so severe. Voting Yes on this requirement would be to yell your ignorance from the rooftops.
How about we expand work requirements for politicians. Require hem to demonstrate that they can meet a minimum performance that justifies their compensation, including vacation and personal time, as well as other allowances.
45 has a gold encrusted penthouse but he has to make sure poor people on assistance don't have it too easy. My friend was on food stamps for a few months when she was fleeing her battering spouse with her infant & preschool daughters, just while she was getting childcare & safe housing & a job together. But I'm sure 45 thinks she would have done it faster if he'd been snapping at her heels. Right.
If you are going to expand work requirements then you need to seriously overhaul the daycare and PreK program in all states BEFOREHAND. (It would actually be very welcome for the country to do that even if changes are not made). Making changes and demands of families without addressing one of the biggest hurdles for working parents will lead to absolute failure for many families. It’s like running hurdles with your arms tied behind your back. The worst feeling is being at work worrying about your children in daycare, or finally getting into a good daycare because spaces opened up and worrying about how you will financially maintain them attending said daycare due to limiting yourself to jobs that work within daycare hours of operation which may not pay that well. I had many examples of how the daycare system/assistance clashes with the dual income household and the single parent but erased them to keep my point concise.
I have no problem asking those who receive assistance to work. BUT NOT FOR SLAVE WAGES. IF you truly want to get people off the welfare roles THE OFFER JOBS THAT PAY A LIVING WAGE! VERY few of those on welfare would turn THAT down...
I strongly disagree with the statement that if you can cook for yourself, you can cook for others. For many of us, just making it through the day is a struggle--standing long enough to cook is a strain. Getting clothing to the laundromat can be daunting. Being reliably able to do any one thing at a set time can be challenging. Yet I don't "look" disabled. A lot of the time, disabilities are not fully visible. You can't expect that everyone is like yourself. I do not know of anyone in my small senior and disabled Section 8 housing complex that would be considered able to work. But I can tell you we now live in fear of losing our basic housing, and living on the streets. I would love to be able to earn enough to go on vacation or to have a dishwasher or to drive a car. I would love to be able to go hiking or camping or a host of other things I used to be able to do. But life happened.
I think the poor should have to work the day after this president starts working
Trump and his Republican henchmen again here put on display their refusal to learn from facts, to deal with reality, or to show any level of intelligence. The research has repeatedly demonstrated that people on “welfare” programs generally work harder and display more responsible behavior than the the general population. Most people on SNAP (food stamps) are either children or are already working. To put further work requirements out there is a waste, as well as a clear restatement of the bigotry, oppression, racism, and white privilege this administration already represents.
Once again we hear the cries of Republicans to put lazy moochers to work if they want government benefits. People receiving SNAP are mainly the working poor or disabled persons. Or, recently workers displaced from jobs during the Great recession. But let’s keep blaming the victims. The Republicans believe it is the fault of poor people that they are poor, and worse they claim that beneficiaries of the safety net programs are ungrateful slobs. We’ve been here before. Republicans seek to punish poor people by denying them benefits unless they come forward with hat in hand. If you want to get people off benefits raise the minimum wage and address health needs by implementing Medicare for all. This means voting all Republicans out of office.
Unfortunately Robert, there is so much trash to empty after the Obama administration, that it will require Trump at least 8 years to clean up the mess. Obama had “shovel ready jobs” and spent $10 trillion. Where is the results of that expenditure? I don’t see it except more people on welfare and food stamps! Except for the $150 Billion he sent to Iran as an appeasement. If a man doesn’t work he shall not eat. Anyone capable of working needs to do something! We still only have 63% of the eligible work force working. Why? There are plenty of jobs, just not paying as much as welfare pays!
“President Trump wants to slash welfare with stricter work requirements.” I’m in full,support of the direction President Trump is taking by making it a requirement, when feasible, to work in order to receive welfare benefits. Before we see our Adversarial followers on the Left raise up in anger, and slander President Trump, remember that it was President Clinton who ALSO brought up in his “WELFARE TO WORK” program, (Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act. “First and foremost, [welfare reform] should be about moving people from welfare to work.” – President Bill Clinton, August 22, 1996.) the stepping stone process of moving folks from the welfare rolls to a productive work force, reducing families off of the governmental dependency cycle. There remains the “CONCERN OF DEPENDENCY”. The idea that the welfare-receiving poor had become too dependent upon public assistance also encouraged the act. The idea was that those who were on welfare for many years lost any initiative to find jobs. Those on welfare realized that taking up a job would mean not only losing benefits but also incur child care, transportation and clothing costs. Their new jobs probably would not pay well or include health insurance, whereas on welfare they would have been covered by Medicaid. Therefore, there are many reasons welfare recipients would feel discouraged from working. PURPOSE: President Trump is making a big push to expand work requirements in the nation’s social safety net, calling on his administration to propose tougher rules for America’s most vulnerable population to benefit from welfare programs. 4*11*18. SEE: https://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=321580 SEE: https://www.vox.com/2018/4/10/17221292/trump-welfare-executive-order-work-requirements SEE: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-reducing-poverty-america-promoting-opportunity-economic-mobility/
Have you ever taken the time to engage with your constituents who are in the lower income and poverty brackets. Some of us volunteer & work with these folks. They are already working far harder (sometimes 2 and 3 Jobs) than most upper management people. Quit making their lives even harder.
This legislation is ignorant of the facts of individuals with disabilities and SPMI as well as the structure of unemployment benefits that continue to limit individuals to incomes below the poverty line. This legislation demonizes individuals who are oppressed by an institutionally discriminatory system.
Most poor who can work, are working. If you want to get people off the government dole then make these filthy rich jack wagons pay a living wage so the poor can quit at least one of their 3 part time jobs.
Ah yes, yet another attack on the poor and disenfranchised based upon lies, misconceptions, and hateful false narratives. Why am I in no way surprised? This is, after all, the specialty of the demonic orange overlord and his band of greedy Republicans. I’ve worked in public assistance for over thirty years, so I’m fairly familiar with this issue. So, let’s check in with reality, shall we? The SNAP program already includes work and work registration provisions. The TANF program already requires participation in either work or training (job preparation). And, there are time limits on how long a person can receive. The Child Care program exists for the very purpose of allowing parents the opportunity to work or receive an education or training that will allow them to support themselves and their families in the future. Unfortunately, large segments of the country, particularly in rural areas, are day care deserts where there is a serious lack of available child care providers. So unless the Rethugs plan on passing a law making every day bring your kid to work day there’s going to be a real problem putting marginally employable parents living in poverty with no one else available to care for their kids to work. Just sayin’. So what’s left? Medicaid. In order to receive Medicaid a person must meet a “categorical relationship”. That is to say, anyone receiving benefits must live in a household meeting strict and far from generous financial criteria and be either a child or aged or disabled or what is referred to as a “needy caregiver” (caring for a child deprived of parental support in a household with essentially less than a third world income). Just which of these categories of recipients does this hellish administration plan to put to work? Most adult SNAP recipients either already work or are aged or disabled or incapacitated. If you don’t fall into one of those categories there are strict time limits on how long you can receive benefits. This is the truth about public assistance. The myth of welfare queens and moochers is just that. A myth. A hateful, mean spirited myth perpetuated by privileged people who wouldn’t last a damned day if they were forced to live the lives my clients live day in and day out. Then, there’s the whole other set of heartbreaking truths about how our society (and our government) has created and perpetuated poverty where there is no need for it to ever exist through social and economic injustice, lack of opportunity, the lack of a living wage, the lack of affordable healthcare, the lack of quality education, labeling and judging rather than seeking to help or understand, etc... It’s a long, long list and I’ve scarcely scratched the surface. So no, we do not need more work regulations for those receiving assistance. I’m gonna call complete BS on that one. But then, what else could we expect from someone who is himself a piece of ..... sitting on a gold-plated throne? I’ll let you fill in the blank.
Let’s have a universal basic income. Let ALL of humanity reap the rewards of automation. If I could reduce my work schedule by 40 hrs or 30 hrs a week then I would have more time with my family, and could focus some of my labor on our personal life goals.