This Is What Happened When Maine Forced Welfare Recipients To Work For Their Benefits

Want to kick nine in ten moochers out of the system?

Welfare is supposed to be a safety net, but with all the various programs available many use it as a hammock, costing taxpayers billions. Believe it or not, it was actually Bill Clinton that created a word requirement for those who wanted to receive welfare – and it worked at getting mooches off the rolls.

During the past financial crisis, President Obama’s Department of Agriculture removed the work requirement, and limits on how long you can receive food stamps for.

Maine decided that enough was enough – and decided to tackle the problem of food stamp abuse. If you were going to be on food stamps, you had to be either employed, volunteering, or in job training. That made sense during a recession. When the economy is in the dumps, it’s not like you can blame unemployed people for their situation.

But it’s been nearly a decade since the recession hit, and still, many States haven’t reinstated a work requirement for food stamps. But what would happen if they did? Just look to Maine.

As US Herald reported:

Maine finally took a bold step forward in welfare reform and it’s paying huge dividends.

Last year Maine passed a measure that would require recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP, to complete a certain number of work, volunteer, or job-training hours before being eligible for assistance.

Main Governor Paul LaPage passed the measure last year and the resulting drop in food-stamp enrollees has been dramatic.

At the close of 2014 approximately 12,000 individuals were enrolled in the state assistance program. Keep in mind that these individuals are adults who aren’t disabled and who don’t have children at home and who are claiming the food-stamp benefits because of a lack of financial resources.

After forcing these individuals to either work part-time for twenty hours each week, enroll in a vocational program, or volunteer for a minimum of twenty-four hours per month, the numbers showed a significant drop from 12,000 enrollees to just over 2,500.

Republicans in the state are calling it a major victory, while Democrats are infuriated and are calling for special measures to roll back some of the strict requirements.

However, even if the requirements lose some of their strictness, once an individual is removed from the Maine food-stamp program they cannot receive benefits from the program for three years.

This is a true victory for welfare reform, and, while opponents are continuing to push back, we can hope that other states will notice the effectiveness of Maine’s program.

Shouldn’t the rest of the country follow their lead? It’ll grow our workforce (and tax base), and reduce the size of government spending.

All you have to do is make people work, and suddenly they’re not in need of the government’s help. Weird how that works, isn’t it?

Just as the government subsidizing solar energy means we’ll see more solar companies, the government subsidizing poverty only guarantees we’ll get more of that as well.

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