According to the latest statistics from the US Department of Agriculture, over 1.1 million Americans have dropped off of the food stamp rolls since President Trump took office in January 2017.
The most recent USDA data also indicates that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment has dropped under Trump as well, already having decreased by 2.79% during the first several months of his presidency. Food stamp participation on average has dropped to its lowest level since 2010, and the trend is continuing, indicating a drastic improvement from when Barack Obama was president.
Donald Trump proposed major cuts to SNAP in May during his 2018 budget proposal, suggesting that states match up to 20% of federal money allotted for the food stamp program and expand work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving food stamps. President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, spoke about the administration’s plan, noting that the aim of the budget was ultimately to get people working. “If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be—if you’re not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work”.
President Trump’s budget proposal would slash nearly $193 billion from SNAP’s budget over the next decade—that’s over 25%. By cutting back eligibility and imposing additional work requirements, the Trump administration seeks to get more Americans back to work and off the government dime.
Federal lawmakers are also in the process of creating legislation that would expand food stamp work requirements and enforce time constraints on how long those enrolled in the program can receive benefits. The effects of Trump’s no-nonsense approach towards government assistance can already be seen in states such as Georgia and Alabama, both of which have recently instituted strict work requirements for able-bodied adults to receive food stamps, leading to significant decreases in enrollment in both states.
Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation perhaps put it best in a recent statement on work requirements and government assistance: “Welfare was never intended to be a one-way handout, but a program based on the idea of reciprocity. Those who receive benefits from the government should be required to work or participate in work-training as a condition”.
The decrease in SNAP enrollment is ultimately just one part of Trump’s larger plan to repair and rebuild the American economy, but sends a clear message to those who abuse the welfare system: Don’t want to lose your benefits? Then get to work.
By - Cole P. Zail