Robert Rector, The Daily Signal
Robert Rector, a leading authority on poverty, welfare programs and immigration in America for three decades, is The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow in domestic policy.
President Donald Trump’s newly released budget contains a proposed food stamp reform, which the left has denounced as a “horror” that arbitrarily cuts food stamp benefits by 25 percent.
These claims are misleading.
In reality, the president’s proposed policy is based on two principles: requiring able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits, and restoring minimal fiscal responsibility to state governments for the welfare programs they operate.
The president’s budget reasserts the basic concept that welfare should not be a one-way handout. Welfare should, instead, be based on reciprocal obligations between recipients and taxpayers.
Government should definitely support those who need assistance, but should expect recipients to engage in constructive activity in exchange for that assistance.
Under the Trump reform, recipients who cannot immediately find a job would be expected to engage in “work activation,” including supervised job searching, training, and community service.
This idea of a quid pro quo between welfare recipients and society has nearly universal support among the public.