The administration argued that change was made to be more "respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program."
The Trump administration on Wednesday tightened work requirements for food stamp recipients; a move which strips nearly 700,000 poor people off food stamps. While the administration argued that change was made to be more "respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program," this so-called concern for the taxpayer was clearly nowhere to be seen during the bank bailout when the rich were essentially given a free pass following the 2008 financial crash. Coupled with the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law in 2017, the latest blow to the poor is a clear indication of the administration's goal to reward some taxpayers while punishing others.
Merry Fucking Christmas, I guess.— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) December 5, 2019
Nearly 700,000 will lose food stamps with USDA work requirement change#TrumpIsALaughingStock #bebestmyass #thursdaythoughts #ThursdayMotivation https://t.co/Kf2hFm6Ztv
According to a report by Fox News, the new rule is the first of three proposals targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) which feeds over 36 million people. "We’re taking action to reform our SNAP program in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program. Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. That’s the commitment behind SNAP, but, like other welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life," said the Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during a call with reporters outlining the changes to the rule, reports NBC News.
We live in a nation of plenty, but only for some. This is so cruel, so short sighted.— Jennifer Tescher (@jentescher) December 5, 2019
Hundreds of Thousands Are Losing Access to Food Stamps https://t.co/sYHTj3f7FZ
The rule that will take effect on April 1, affects people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled. While current rules require this group to work at least 20 hours a week for more than 3 months over a 36-month period in order to qualify for food stamps, some states have been able to create waivers for areas that face high unemployment. However, the controversial change limits states from waiving these standards and instead restricts their use to areas that have a 6 percent unemployment rate or higher.
My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2019
I was a student. If this happened then, we might’ve just starved.
Now, many people will.
It’s shameful how the GOP works overtime to create freebies for the rich while dissolving lifelines of those who need it most. https://t.co/WOrYvhfPj4
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated that the change is an extension of President Donald Trump's April 2018 executive order of "Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility," which aimed to create more work programs and limit public assistance. The agency claimed the work requirement rule would save the government $5.5 billion over five years while revealing that about 688,000 people would lose access to food stamps. The department argued that it found 2.9 million adults on the SNAP rolls who were able-bodied and did not have dependents, of which 2.1 million were not working.
New Trump admin rule changes will cause 3.7 million low-income people to lose food stamps, according to an Urban Institute study. Nearly 1M students will also be cut off from free or reduced school lunches under the changes, which create stricter work requirements. pic.twitter.com/IQHBhEj6y1— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 4, 2019
Meanwhile, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, severely criticized the move. She said the rule would do little to help anyone find work and rather would only strip people from accessing the benefit. "This Administration is out of touch with families who are struggling to make ends meet by working seasonal jobs or part-time jobs with unreliable hours. Seasonal holiday workers, workers in Northern Michigan’s tourism industry, and workers with unreliable hours like waiters and waitresses are the kinds of workers hurt by this proposal," she said.
A new Trump admin rule could strip nearly 700,000 people of their food stamps. pic.twitter.com/Ocdpj8UggC— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 5, 2019
"The policy targets very poor people struggling to work — some of whom are homeless or living with health conditions. Taking away basic food assistance from these individuals will only increase hardship and hunger while doing nothing to help them find steady full-time work," said Stacy Dean, the food assistance policy vice president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Vermont would lose almost 22% of its food-stamp aid, while New York, South Dakota and Maine would lose about 11% each, the analysis found. https://t.co/HZqfsXurbA— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 5, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also blasted the Trump administration's efforts to reduce public benefits in a statement, saying, "Instead of combating food insecurity for millions, connecting workers to good-paying jobs or addressing income inequality, the administration is inflicting their draconian rule on millions of Americans across the nation who face the highest barriers to employment and economic stability."
Who really benefited from Trump's tax cuts?— Robert Reich (@RBReich) December 1, 2019
Donations to GOP: $16M
Tax cut received: $39B
Donations to GOP: $20M
Tax cut received: $16B
Donations to GOP: $13M
Tax cut received: $9B
It's socialism for the rich in exchange for campaign cash.