Living on welfare is not supposed to be a lifestyle. That statement itself is highly inflammatory to every liberal in the nation, but that fact only illustrates the degree of the problem we are facing.
Welfare is supposed to keep people who have fallen on hard times fed and off the street until they can become self-supporting again. And here’s the controversial part: It should also move them in the direction of self-sufficiency.
President Trump has waded directly into this debate. He has proposed changes to the Food Stamp and other welfare programs that will impact millions.
These changes involve requirements that those capable of working actually seek work or otherwise be making progress in training for a job. Of course, this drives Democrats nuts. They want these people dependent on them to snag a vote or two. But that’s all about to change.
The recently released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative’s goal is to get more able-bodied adults into jobs or enrolled in job-training programs in the hopes that they can be less dependent on government assistance.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told a group of reporters at a farm near Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, that the administration is looking to implement “work requirements” at the federal level to discourage government dependence and promote “an independent lifestyle.”
If one could step away from politics for a moment, why would anyone oppose such goals as an independent lifestyle?
“It’s evident that there are able-bodied adults without dependents who are on the food stamp program, who we believe it is in their best interests, and their families’ best interests, to move into an independent lifestyle,” Perdue announced Wednesday.
“During the last downturn, it became a lifestyle for some people. We don’t want it to become permanent.”
Enabling a lifestyle of government dependency is wrong. It might get votes for those who would create or support policies encouraging permanent dependence, but it’s still wrong.
Some of the states are ahead of the federal government on this issue.
Perdue added that creating a federal law that requires able-bodied adults to receive government assistance would also save the government billions of dollars.
Several states have already passed legislation introducing work requirements to receive government benefits at the state level, with some passing laws as early as 2013.
Instead of complaining about the imposition of such requirements to receive benefits, welfare recipients should be grateful there are such benefits in the first place. The federal government is under no constitutional mandate to house or feed its citizens.
A growing welfare budget is indicative of a society in decline. There is a point where a society on such a path will simply collapse.
Good policy moves a society away from such a point. And that is exactly what President Trump’s proposed legislation does.