States moving to restore work requirements for food stamp recipients

by William La Jeunesse  |  published on March 30, 2016

States are moving to once again require able-bodied adults to put in work hours in exchange for food stamps, after the requirements largely were suspended by the Obama administration.

The slow-moving reversal follows the administration pulling back on Clinton-era changes that required recipients to work for government welfare benefits. Signing the reform bill in 1996 alongside then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, then-President Bill Clinton said the goal was to make welfare “a second chance, not a way of life.”

But during the last recession, President Obama allowed states to suspend a requirement that able-bodied adults without children work at least 20 hours per week or participate in a training program to receive benefits for more than three months.

He allowed recipients to stay on food stamps indefinitely, arguing the three-month maximum was unfair with unemployment at 10 percent.

  • Carl Carlson

    Its a step in the right direction, every little bit helps.

  • Roy Thomas

    Ayotolla Mohamid OBUMA needs the welfare vote – that’s why the entitlement program extensions.

  • AKLady

    The “food stamp” program is under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Federal welfare is under the U.S. Departm,ent of Health & Human Services.

    Food stamps are welfare for farmers, not poir people. Not much different than the government payouts to farmers for NOT growing things.

    • Dan

      What you DO NOT know about farmers, food stamps and subsidies paid to farmers could fill a book several times over. My family has been farming for over 40 years and we have yet to get food stamps in any form at any time and the same goes for ALL the farmers in our area !! Also, the subsidies of which you speak are the equivalent to a gt’d minimum wage every person in the U.S. gets. If you are able to eat every day, then thank a farmer for that privilege !!

      • AKLady

        Please engage brain before running mouth.
        The Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) commonly called Food Samps allow people to buy food they would otherwise not be able to afford.

        Food purchases are what keep farmers in business.

        Are you one of those farm corporations receiving large subsidies to not grow things?

    • Roy Thomas

      Learn to spell properly, than learn to think before you post here.

      • AKLady

        Spelling is rote memory. Parrots do it quite well. Intellegent people, on the other hand, do not spell very well as is evidence by these individuals:

        Alfred Mosher Butts
        William Faulkner
        F. Scott Fitzgerald
        Ernest Hemingway
        John Keats
        John Irving
        Jane Austen
        Albert Einstein
        Winston Churchill
        John F. Kennedy Jr
        Benjamin Franklin

        Do you even know who they are?

      • AKLady

        You might want ot learn ot think before you insult.

        Food purchases are the livelyhood of farners.
        If less food is bought, farmers suffer.

        If farmers go out of business, America is endangerd, especially if we were to become involved in a major war.

        Food stamps are just one way farm corporations are subsidized.

        There are many farm programs and VERY FEW family farms. Huge factory farms have become the nor. Do some research.

  • The Redhawk

    FINALLY!!!! NOW let’s keep them GUN-FREE at Work Sites …

  • William Keeney

    I can just see these 250# baby factories out doing work, when 6 mo. pregnant with ANOTHER bastard !!!!

  • Rodger K. Shull

    YEP, DRUG TEST , an BREATH ANALYZER TEST, before any money, an come pick it up in person, there are many government employees, that can do this, you want more jobs, well here is one , an clean up the cities they live in, get some crews together, get them out of the drug trade, well some of them, if you can not wipe it out, then at least DECREASE it. But the WELFARE FRAUD has to stop, to many TAXPAYERS are being ripped out by their neighbors, I have 3 on my street that are,

    • AKLady

      There has been a five-year, lifetime limit on public assistence since Clinton was in office. The only excetions are disability and age.

      • Roy Thomas

        What about since Obama was in office? He needs the welfare vote.

        • AKLady

          Bad news, Roy — your claim is totally meaningless.
          We the People do not elect a President.
          We the People have never elected a President.
          We the Peole cannot elect a President — the Constitution does not permit us to do so.

          The Electoral College elects the President.

          Learn how your government actually works.

          • Bill Hartman

            It is your claim which seems disconnected from reality. Yes, the president is elected by electors. Who, as you know well, are elected by the people. So a party which wants the vote of the upper middle class for their presidential candidate will give them lower taxes. And a party which want the vote of those on welfare will make it easier to go on welfare.

          • AKLady2015

            The process for selecting Electors varies throughout the United States. Generally, the political parties nominate Electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party’s central committee in each State.

            On Election Day, the voters in each State choose the Electors by casting votes for the presidential candidate of their choice. The Electors’ names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the candidates running for President.

            There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote.

          • Bill Hartman

            All true. But it does not invalidate Roy’s statement above. To get elected president, you need to get a lot of votes from a lot of people, and the more you get, the more likely you will be elected. Are you suggesting that politicians running for president do not try to encourage groups of people from voting for them rather than the other guy?

            The founders had the then-current example of France as a pure democracy evolving into mob rule. Thus they preferred republican approaches, where those elected act on behalf of the voters.

            Also, the Electoral College prevents any impact on the election from a state strongly controlled by a single party (I will be nice and name Kansas and Republican) allowing and encouraging voter fraud to impact the national results. What if Kansas reports 100 million votes for the Donald, mostly fraudulent? No impact on who becomes president, as Kansas can only give its very limited number of Electoral votes to the Republican, which it is certain to do regardless. But the (bogus) national popular vote would show Trump as the clear winner, even if Hillary won a majority of the non-fraudulent votes nationwide.

            [I used Trump and Hillary in the example to make it concrete, not as a comment on who might actually be nominated on each side.]

          • AKLady2015

            These men did not have the popular vote: John Quincy Adams,Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, George H.W. Bush, William Clinton, and George W. Bush.

            You might want to check how the Electoral College is constructed. I repeat: Generally, the political parties nominate Electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party’s central committee in each State.

            Again: There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States.

        • AKLady

          These men were elected President but did not recveive the People’s vote:

          John Quincy Adams,Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, George H.W. Bush, William Clinton, and George W. Bush.

      • Bill Hartman

        I know of women who have been living off of government assistance their entire adult lives. Payments are, officially, for their children (out of wedlock), but are their only source of income. Perhaps this isn’t officially “public assistance”, but if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, just perhaps it is a duck.

        • AKLady2015

          Everyone knows “someone” who serves as evidence for their opinon — usually bigoted in nature.

          • Bill Hartman

            Hum. You suggest I am bigoted because I offer concrete examples that conflict with what you stated? We have here what appears to be evidence of YOUR bigotry – you seem to have assumed that the unspecified women are black, and my racial hate caused me to talk negatively about them. But they are white. And bigotry has nothing to do with it.

            My point remains, in spite of your effort to change the subject when faced with facts. If there is a five-year lifetime limit on public assistance, it obviously is a narrow meaning of “public assistance”, or has other practical exceptions that neither of us may be aware of. Not a big or important point. But it was strangely enough to cause you to react in an uncivil manner, turning a discussion of government rules into a personal attack.

          • AKLady2015

            Actually, you just confirmed my statement.
            The only exceptions to the limit are age and disability.
            Thank you for you imput. I did not la bel you — you just labeled yourself.

          • Bill Hartman

            You are welcome. But the women I am speaking of are only “disabled” in the sense that they have children. And they aren’t teenagers or elderly. So, how did I confirm your statement?

          • AKLady2015

            I stated “The only exceptions are age and disability”.

            You stated “ the sense that they have children”.

            It is the children who qualify, because they are minors, the parent is thw ‘representative payee’. Moreover, in many states — children or no children — the parent is required to work’ if only as a volunteer.


          • Bill Hartman

            Thanks. I understand now.

            But you can understand that the amount paid “to the children”, along with food stamps, sometimes housing assistance, etc, is enough for the mother to not have to ever work.

          • AKLady2015

            Actually. the “have to work” is a legal requirement. Job training qualifies under the “work” requirement. However, that requirement was not enforced when the unemployment rate was over 8%.

            Alaska provides a child care subsidy for the working poor. Many states do not.

            Many states only require parents to work if their children are school age.

            You seem to be totally focused on mothers. There are welfare fathers. They just do not get the same publicity.

    • AKLady

      While exact figures are difficult to tally, experts estimate as much as $300 billion a year is lost to health care fraud in the United States – more than half of it to organized crime.

  • pancho villa


    • AKLady

      Women are not drafted.
      Children are not drafted.
      What is your point?

  • All those shovel ready jobs Obama bragged about, might work real good for many of those obese takers of taxpayer money. Ya think?

    • AKLady

      The POVERTY DIET causes obesity.
      It is high in fat and carbohidrates.
      Fruit and vegetables are more expensive than past and hamburger.

      Maybe Ya SHOULD actually think.

      • I do, the low hanging fruit and ignorance of the in the wagon crowd is kept in place by Obama’s nanny state policies. Betcha you missed that?

        • AKLady

          What “nanny state policies”?
          Educate us, oh wise one.

          • Obama’s Julia,his nanny state model. If hou open your dyes and ears you might see how blind you are

          • AKLady2015

            Your Julia is fiction — propaganda designed to brainwash people.

          • BS ass h^%e read the narrative the administration put out. Crawl back in your cesspool

          • AKLady2015

            Your childish foul language invalidates your claims.
            Try harder at pretending to be a mature adult.

          • Stuff it troll. Facts slwsys get in the way of your false narrative.

          • AKLady2015

            I am so not impressed.
            Do try harder at pretending to be an adult.
            Skip the foul language and insults.

          • Bill Hartman

            Yes, Julia is fiction — propaganda designed to brainwash people. A fiction created by Obama to show how a “typical” person receives benefits from the federal government throughout life, and should thus vote Democrat to keep it flowing.


          • AKLady2015

            Julia was badly designed election garbage.
            Obama did not write it.
            It saw very short exposure.

          • Bill Hartman

            Of course Obama didn’t write it personally. But it was left-wing propaganda to show the value of cradle to the grave government coverage, not right-wing propaganda by satire to show government overreach. It worked better as satire and spread in conservative channels. Thus its creators stopped showing it.

            So, everything you said was absolutely true. And, at the same time, hid the fundamental truth. Which is, itself, a perfect example of successful propaganda.

      • Roy Thomas

        Maybe Ya should get an education and a better job, if capable of this.

        • AKLady

          If you save and invest wisely, you will be able to retire comfortably.

  • mike

    They should put limitations on what they can purchase.I have seen people buying lobsters,I can’t even afford a lobster.They rape the system that is there to help people who really need it

    • Richard Schwartz

      hear about the guy in Flordia who wanted to buy a BMW with food stamps?

      • mike

        Yes I did,What an idiot.From what I can remember,Didn’t he go back and steal it

      • AKLady

        You believe that garbage?

        Governments do not permit anyone to accumulate a balance that high.

        Food stamps are now on a “credit card”. They stopped being “monopoly” money along time ago.

        • Bill Hartman

          True, they are on a card that looks like a credit card. But people who want cigarettes and alcohol more than they want food for their children sell their cards to others. I understand that the going rate is 50% of the balance. Or, if you don’t need any more groceries this month, let a friend borrow it. Also, there have been cases of individuals pretending to live at multiple addresses to receive multiple cards. So, some people do arrive at the check out line with multiple cards.

          Your point is valid that the cards have at least complicated welfare fraud, and thus presumably reduced it. And successfully buying a car that way is absurd.

          • AKLady2015

            You have been throughly brainwashed by right-wing propaganda.

            Sell their cards to others? If they did so, then the “other” would recieve all future benefits.

            Your stories do not hold water. For example, where does the individual using multiple addresses, find the birth certificates, picture identification cards and valid Social Security cards for those “address” identites?

            Arrive at a check out with “multiple cards”? The police would be called before the person made it out the door.

            Are you under the misconception that “cards” are issued on a monthly basis?

          • Bill Hartman

            Cards are not issued on a monthly basis. But they are credited on a monthly basis. If you sell this month’s amount to someone else and they don’t return the card, or else pay you for the next month, you can report it stolen. Or, you can sell the remaining months up to the annual expiration date. Agreed, presenting multiple cards is illegal, so few would do so. Although you could “arrive at check out with multiple cards”, it would be unwise to use more than one at a time. Not a significant impediment.

            I stated above that the cards are less subject to fraud than the prior approach. And yes, some of the stories probably go back to the old “monopoly money” period. But as long as “free money” is being handed out, there will be people who find a way to game the system.

            You pointed out elsewhere on this page the large amount to healthcare fraud. There is a lot more data available there to catch fraud, and fewer claimants to investigate. Yet it continues. Food stamp fraud is inherently penny-anny in individual cases, so investigation is not worth the bother, making it rather safe.

          • AKLady2015

            Health fraud is on the part of the providers, not the indigent person receiving benefits.

            Te fact that the program does not permit purchase of toilet paper, sanitary napkins, laundry detergent, bath soap, shampoo, etc. is a very real issue driving fraud.

          • Bill Hartman

            Agreed on both counts.

            My point about comparison with health care fraud is that even in a situation where the government should, in theory, be able to control fraud, it cannot. Yes, the limitations on EBT card usage are the reason why there is widespread illegal use. You seem to see this as a reason to loosen the rules. Others see it as a reason to tighten or enforce them, particularly in regard to purchasing “sin items” like alcohol. I see it as an inevitable result of any Federally dictated program. Any program will have problem on both ends of the scale — people who are seen as being more qualified who don’t get the money, and people who are seen as breaking the rules, including fraud.

            Yes, there is health care fraud. But there are also doctors who did, in fact, perform medically necessary procedures, who don’t get paid due to arbitrary rules. Amounts for office visits have dropped so low that many doctors are opting out of Medicare and/or Medicaid or quitting practice completely. General practitioners are particularly squeezed. The fraud is very real, as are the negative side effects of trying to get it under control.

          • AKLady2015

            Medicaid is simply one form of health insurance. All forms are subject to fraud. The U.S. also has the most expensive health care. Additionally, we are also the only modern, industrialized nation that allows people to die — simply because thay cannot afford to buy health care.

            The only way to solve those problem is national health care. The Affordable Care Act is the American “freemarket” form of national health care. Sadly, because it does not get rid of the middle-man. it will not significantly lower costs.

          • Bill Hartman

            Free market means you can buy, or not buy, from anyone who wants to sell you something, at any mutually agreed upon price, with no interference from the government.. There is nothing free market about healthcare in the US.

            Kudos on your willingness to admit that Obamacare (ironically named “Affordable”) did not significantly lower costs. As we all know, it raised them through the roof for all except for those who receive government subsidies.

            I doubt that we agree much at all concerning health care. Except perhaps that the current system is really bad, and without change, it will get worse year by year.

            I believe that it is the lack of free market in health care which is the problem. Doctors (and medical practices / organizations) have no motive to control prices as there is almost no shopping by price, as prices are not revealed in advance, and most is paid by a third party. You, conversely, believe in “free” this and that, including healthcare. (Also world peace by wishful thinking?) Someone always pays, in some way. Without a motive to save on the part of either the buyer or the seller, needs/wants/desires/demand are unlimited, and thus costly to society. Even more true if “free”.

          • AKLady2015

            The ACA has a broad effect. It has reduced costs, just not medical fees.

            By providing greater access to medical care, it has reduced disability occurance. That reduction, reduces costs under Medicaid, Medicare, SSI and SSDI.

            Price not revealed in advance? Take responsibility for your own actions — ask providers what the charges will be.

            My physician has a price chart posted in his waitingroom. Maybe doctors up here in Alaska are different. Then, the physician I worked for in Oklahoma did also — that was over 40 years ago.

          • Bill Hartman

            Total disability percentage from for each year 2010 thru 2014: 11.9, 12.1, 12,1, 12.6, 12.6. There are other measures, but they presumably have a similar character.

            An intent to reduce disability is not the same as doing so. Propaganda is not the same as truth.

            If the ACA has reduced costs by some particular measure, it has not been passed along to those actually buying their own insurance, who have had huge increases. I see evidence of individual non-specialist doctors getting lower reimbursement, to the point where rural medical coverage is disappearing in places. But reductions in the specialties which are so expensive (and have political pull) such as cancer and heart care – nope.

            The ACA simply has not worked as planned. The poor already had Medicaid. The working poor are less likely to have insurance coverage now, as are the middle class. Companies are less likely to have coverage, not more. Coverage has higher deductibles (apart from that one “free” health checkup), not lower. The young continue to remain largely uninsured. Allowing everyone to get coverage regardless of medical history greatly reduces the motive to purchase it if you are well. And without the young and well paying for coverage, the whole idea behind “insurance” collapses. The design is fundamentally flawed. There is some evidence that those who designed the ACA realized all of this, and planned to put us through this hell in order to get us to accept single payer, which is their (and your) objective.

            If you go into the hospital, you have no choices regarding expenses. Whatever they charge, you pay. Can you imagine buying a shovel or a house and not being told how much it is going to cost you? With no legal appeal?

            The basic issue also exists under single payer. The patient has even less interest in how costly it is, as they pay nothing directly, only through taxes.

          • AKLady2015

            Bill, your figures are estimates. The numbers are based on SSI, not SSDI.

            Also, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is federal welfare.

            The individuals on SSI may not have been employed, let alone covered by any form of insurance. SSI is usually paid as a suppiment to State welfare.

            The stats you are referencing do not include Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

          • Chris Baker

            You are so right. Most of these individuals know where all the food pantries, free kitchens, free clothes, how and when to get government subsidies. There is a real network out there. By the way, the going rate of 50 Cents on the food stamp dollars has been that way since the program started after the cheese lines ended.

      • Roy Thomas

        Here in NY – the Welfare state, he probably could have.

    • AKLady

      Child, if you wanted lobster for a special occassion, you could save for it — just like someone on the FS program does.

  • spokencitizen

    GOOD!!!!!!!…..There should be drug screening too

    • AKLady

      Are you going to pay for that screening?
      Didn’t think so.

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