Editorial: What better time to rein in welfare handouts?

By the caterwauling of the Democratic politicians, you’d think federal bureaucrats were stealing into homes in the middle of the night and snatching food out of the pantries of starving families.

The Agriculture Department has announced plans to cut back on the eligibility waivers that states have been liberally granting to increase the number of people getting food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

“The Trump administration,” complained Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, “is driving the vulnerable into hunger just as the Christmas season approaches.”

Getty Images via WSJ

“Both the final and proposed rule changes to SNAP are unconscionable, and will have devastating impacts to low-income Nevadans who make up our most vulnerable citizens — including families, children, and veterans,” bemoaned Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak in a press release. “While we appreciate the issuance of a temporary waiver, the Administration’s rule changes, both final and proposed, have created uncertainty for the states, and I will be working with DHHS (Nevada Department of Health and Human Services) to determine next steps on how to address the increased hardship and hunger that will be created by taking away low-income families’ basic food assistance.”

The governor’s press release said 78,000 of the 400,000 Nevadans currently receiving food stamps could lose eligibility due to a tightening of eligibility rules.

In September, the Trump administration announced that it would no longer allow states to automatically issue food stamps to anyone receiving any federal welfare benefits whatsoever. Only those households receiving $50 a month for six months or more from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program would be eligible.

At the time Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “For too long, this loophole has been used to effectively bypass important eligibility guidelines. Too often, states have misused this flexibility without restraint.”

But Gov. Sisolak then complained, “This is an absolutely unconscionable act that would have dire impacts on the most vulnerable populations in our state, especially those with disabilities, the elderly, and low-income children on free and reduced-price school meals.”

This past week the administration said it also is tightening the work requirements for childless adults. According to The Wall Street Journal, a 1996 welfare reform act said that childless adults had to work or train at least 20 hours a week to get food stamps. The new rule says waivers for this requirement will only be granted in areas with an unemployment rate in excess of 6 percent. Nevada’s October not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.

This change does not affect families, the disabled or those older than 50 — only able-bodied adults living in a country where there are now 7 million job openings for only 6 million job seekers. The national unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. What better time to rein in the free ride?

Expensive welfare handouts should be reserved only for those truly in need and not become a universal entitlement. The current lax rules waste billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

6 comments on “Editorial: What better time to rein in welfare handouts?

  1. reziac says:

    How about we institute the most simple and logical of requirements to receive any sort of public assistance?

    That first, one must be a citizen. Not a mere resident by any means, legal or illegal. An actual *citizen*.

    That would cut welfare expenditures by about 60%, not to mention de-incentivizing a whole lot of border-jumping.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?”

    Pretend, if it makes you feel better Thomas that this won’t affect families as you allege. Lie to yourself if you must. Doesn’t change that this heartless unnecessary and even evil (because trump is simply evil and nothing good can come from evil) action will indeed affect families and. Isn’t especially young children because the rule this jackal wants to change excludes from protection only those adults with dependents that are over 6 years of age (God knows once they get to be six they ought to be able to work themselves right?) but individuals with children older than six are subject to losing their food.

    You people man.

  3. over 6 years of age???

  4. Rincon says:

    Reziac, can I ask you for your source of information? checked the eligibility of illegals for welfare benefits, and here is what I found:

    “In general, undocumented immigrants, meaning people from other countries who do not have a legal right to be in the United States, are not eligible for any federal public benefits.”

    However, there are instances where undocumented immigrants, including those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, may be eligible for some benefits that are considered necessary to protect life or guarantee safety in extreme circumstances.

    Those include: Emergency medical treatment under Medicaid if the individual meets the other eligibility requirements and the medical condition is not related to an organ transplant procedure.
    Immunizations for immunizable diseases and testing for and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases.
    Free public education for grades K-12.
    Federally subsidized school lunch and school breakfast programs for those eligible for free public education under state or local law.
    Undocumented immigrants in some cases may also be allowed services or assistance that were laid out in a 2001 U.S. Attorney General order.

    That order included child and adult protective services; programs addressing weather emergencies and homelessness; shelters, soup kitchens and meals delivered to individuals; medical, public health and mental health services; disability or substance abuse services necessary to protect life or safety; and programs to protect workers and other community members.”
    https://www.boston25news.com/news/trending-now/immigration-can-undocumented-immigrants-get-federal-public-benefits/936951998/

    While one can argue against the inclusion of illegals for some of these benefits, they do not appear to be eligible to receive most welfare benefits as most of us define them, so I believe the claim that welfare expenditures would drop 60% without them is a stretch..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Rincon:

    Since when does scapegoating need support among the right? Plus this is the age of trump, you just get to say stuff. Truth means nothing anymore.

  6. Steve says:

    Coming from “Anonymous” that speaks volumes.

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