Wisconsin Lawmaker: Work-For-Food Stamps Law is a Success

dt-amac-Winter-panorama- Madison- Wisconsin- USA-April-2015From – watchdog.org – By M.D. Kittle

MADISON, Wis. — While the mainstream media headlines last week screamed that 15,000 people have been kicked out of the state’s food stamp program, one lawmaker tells Wisconsin Watchdog the numbers actually point to a success story for taxpayers.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that 15,000 people “lost access” to FoodShare,Wisconsin’s food stamp program, due to a state law that requires able-bodied recipients to work or look for work in order to receive the taxpayer-subsidized benefit.

It was a sky-is-falling account.

“They will bankrupt our food banks,” Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Milwaukee-based Hunger Task Force, a food distributor to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries, told the State Journal.

State Rep. Dave Craig, R-Town of Vernon, said the mainstream media missed the real story, that the law is working.

“I can’t help to think there are plenty of Wisconsinites reading their newspaper … and scratching their heads saying, ‘Why was this (the law) not done years ago?’ And the liberals in the media could not imagine that being done?” Craig told Wisconsin Watchdog recently on “Madison in the Morning,” on Newstalk 1310 WIBA.

The law, which went into effect in April, demands that able-bodied adults without children living at home work at least 80 hours a month or look for employment to be eligible for food stamps. Participants have a grace period of three months in which to do so.

“They have three months to not search for a job, to not do the training, to not do anything and still get these benefits,” Craig said. “I think that is a very, very, very reasonable and a lenient standard for an individual to get these types of benefits and I think it’s right in line with what the average Wisconsinite would expect from their government.”

RELATED: Have food stamps, will travel: Wisconsin’s portability problem 

State Department of Health Services data, obtained by the State Journal through an open records request, show about 25 percent of the 60,000 FoodShare recipients eligible to work were kicked out of the program for failing to comply with the law’s requirements. It would appear that many of the remaining 45,000 recipients, those not new to the program, were working or looking for work.

About 4,500 able-bodied adults in the FoodShare program did find work through a mandatory job training program, the State Journal reported.

That is great news, Craig said. Not just for taxpayers but for individuals moving from government dependence to independence.

There are positions available, tens of thousands of them in Wisconsin, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.

Craig said employers in his district constantly tell him of the same three struggles they face: Finding job candidates that can pass a drug test; applicants willing to get off of state benefits and work; applicants willing to show up on time and with regularity.

Why should taxpayers be responsible for feeding people, long-term, who have the ability to work, the lawmaker asked.

“The government has a role in providing a hand up, not a handout,” Craig said.  “We need to make sure people are not abusing the system.”

He said the advocates of big government need to ask some serious questions about priorities, and the role taxpayer funding should play.

“What is the role of government? What are our core duties? Is it to make sure everyone in society that chooses not to work even though they have the ability to work has a sustained living? Or is it to make sure that we have a society and an economy that works where we can have production and commerce, to make sure that all boats rise with a rising tide, to make sure everyone is successful by pulling their own weight?” Craig asked.

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Man (and/or woman) has always been responsible for their own sustenance. Society has obligations to those who are unable to meet this standard, but does society have the obligation to let these few sit around in front of a television and procreate, adding more burdens to society. If you are part of Van Hamlin’s “unable to work or contribute to your own welfare” then you should be sterilized so that society does not carry the additional burdens of your condition.

Van Hamlin

I have always found that about 2.5 to 3.0% of the potential workforce is either too sick to work, taking care of someone who fits this category or has made such poor decisions bout their own conduct and lifestyle that no one wants to hire them. This means that around half of the people listed in real unemployment numbers, not the government’s propaganda unemployment rate, are never going to be capable of any sustained employment. If you estimate the actual unemployment rate at approximately 10%, you can understand that about 25% of the unproductive citizens are never going pay their own way. Now, the question remains, do we the taxpayer feed these people or let them starve? Do we want to see the homeless passing away while living on our streets? You could be walking to work from the parking lot just in time to witness public works carting off… Read more »


This article does not address the problem of how this has perpetuated itself. Yes, people with a drug habit would rather buy more drugs than food even to the point of starving to death. Witness those meth-head mug shot before and after pictures. There are those in government that are fine with giving the unwashed plebian masses free “bread and circuses”. It is part of keeping the ruling elite in power. And it is paid for out of public funds (you and I pay for it) not out of their own pockets. They are very generous with other peoples money. Programs like this should be inherently temporary in nature. I have been there, surprise laid off from a job I had for 8 years. I got unemployment (this is insurance paid for by employer not a gov hand-out) and food stamps to make ends meet. I looked for a job… Read more »

Douglas Jack

Maybe these folks aren’t as hungry as they are lazy.


This is only the way Food Stamp programs were designed to work originally. …. Only Democrats wanted a food for votes forever program instead. … When will people learn? … Politicians certainly have!

The solution, of course, is TERM LIMITS!!! … Vote EVERY politician who has already been in office for 2 terms out, both parties!!!