Thanks to reforms spearheaded by the Republican majority during Bill Clinton’s presidency, Clinton-era welfare reform implemented long needed work requirements for able bodied persons receiving welfare. It turned out that the best welfare program was indeed a job, and welfare caseloads were cut in half as poverty rates fell.
That changed during the most recent financial crisis, when the Department of Agriculture (USDA) suspended those work requirements, as makes perfect sense in a time when millions cannot find work. However, that never changed back. It’s been up to the states to re-implement their work requirements, and the states that have saw similar results to those realized from Clinton-era reform. These states have seen massive reductions in food stamp usage among able-bodied adults; -85% in Alabama, -58% in Georgia, and -75% in Maine, among others.
Trump would like to bring back those work requirements by preventing states from exempting them, and it’s estimated that would reduce the number of able bodied people on food stamps by 700,000, in addition to the 6+ million who’ve already left the dole due to economic improvements in recent years.
And what’s wrong with reverting back to the same rules we know worked a decade ago? According to AOC, she could’ve starved under such a proposal! “My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48. I was a student. If this happened then, we might’ve just starved. Now, many people will,” AOC said. “It’s shameful how the GOP works overtime to create freebies for the rich while dissolving lifelines of those who need it most.”
My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48.
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
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2019
Of course, this is a ridiculous interpretation of the proposed reforms. Had she read the article she was posting, she would’ve learned that “The USDA rule change affects people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled.”
The rule applies to able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have dependents.
The rule wouldn’t apply to parents with minor children, the elderly, or disabled people.
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) December 6, 2019
Furthermore, AOC’s father passed when Clinton-era work requirements were still in effect. If there were any consequences to Trump’s plan, AOC would’ve already felt them in 2008.