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Food Stamps Tag

There is a fascinating new analysis showing that despite the American unemployment rate at historically low levels, there has not been a significant drop in food stamp use.
But while the economy has improved dramatically, food-stamp enrollment has not, declining just 17 percent while the unemployment rate fell three times faster — 62 percent. Why the disconnect? Critics say states are milking the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), overstating their needs, while the Trump administration is approving state “work waivers” it doesn’t have to.

Obama may have wanted to be a transformative President, but Donald J. Trump appears well on his way to owning this title. His administration is now proposing a food delivery program that would replace about half of food stamp benefits for households who qualify for the boxes. The program is referred to as "USDA America's Harvest Box".

Obama, dubbed "the food stamp president," presided over an alarming increase in the number of people on food stamps:  as of 2013, there was a 70% increase from 2008 in the number of people on food stamps. Now it appears that illegal aliens, as well as legal aliens and those illegals who head households that include legal aliens, are cancelling their SNAP benefits because of their perception that being on food stamps will either draw the attention of ICE or impair their chance of becoming U. S. citizens. The Washington Post reports:
In the two months since President Trump’s inauguration, food banks and hunger advocates around the country have noted a decline in the number of eligible immigrants applying for SNAP — and an uptick in immigrants seeking to withdraw from the program.

It's long been a rallying cry of the right: if you want to be on the public dole, you should be able to pass a drug test. You've seen the memes and the bumper stickers. Sounds good, right? Governor Walker of Wisconsin has proposed his plan that would require drug testing for those seeking food stamps and unemployment benefits. According to The Daily Signal:

But the most controversial points are the governor’s proposals to require drug testing for individuals filing for unemployment and for “able-bodied, working-age adults requesting food stamps” through the state’s FoodShare public assistance program.

The bottom line, Walker says, is the bottom line: Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for public assistance programs for individuals who can’t pass a drug test.
Taxpayers should have a great say in where their tax dollars are spent, that's not a point I disagree with and is a principle I will always advocate. When it comes to mandatory drug testing as a contingency for public assistance though, I'm not convinced it's a good idea for two simple reasons: 1) requiring drug testing is an expansion of government 2) it doesn't address the problem of why people are seeking public assistance to begin with.