Welfare program usage drops 85% after work requirement reinstated

This story is from National Review, and it really made me think about where all the money that I’ve paid in taxes over the years has gone.


After Alabama reinstated food-stamp work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents, the rolls dropped by 85 percent.

[…]According to the Alabama Department of Human Resources, between January 1 and May 1, 13 counties in the Yellowhammer State saw their food-stamp rolls drop by a combined 85 percent. The reason? At the beginning of the year, those 13 counties joined the rest of the state in ending a years-long exemption from work requirements for ABAWDs — able-bodied adults without dependents — participating in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

On New Year’s Day, there were 5,538 ABAWD enrollees across the 13 formerly exempted counties; by the beginning of May, there were 831. That mirrors a sharp statewide decline, which began on January 1, 2016, when the same exemption ended in Alabama’s 54 other counties. At the beginning of last year, the state had 49,940 able-bodied adults without dependents on its SNAP rolls; by May 1 of this year, that number was 7,483 — a drop of 85 percent.

The article notes that work requirements on welfare programs were dismantled at the federal level by the Obama administration in 2009.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Obama that February, Congress “temporarily” suspended the conditions on ABAWD SNAP enrollees nationwide. The suspension was supposed to extend only through 2010, but no government initiative is temporary. Eight years later, ABAWD time-limit waivers are still in effect in at least part of 36 states; ten states remain entirely exempt.

The article also notes that Kansas (in 2013) rejected Obama’s federal waiver. The result? Welfare program usage fell 72%.

The article concludes:

The overall food-stamp population remains large: Forty-four million Americans — about one in seven — at a cost of $71 billion to the federal government last year. Compared to other categories of recipient, that of able-bodied adults without dependents is small. But more than savings is at stake in removing clingers-on from the dole. A free people does not depend on the government for its daily bread. Those who can work, should.

People who have jobs don’t need welfare, but these people were literally choosing not to work so that they could collect welfare. They could have worked if they wanted to, but they chose not to.

How do you think that people who are dependent on government vote? Do they vote for smaller government and lower taxes? All that Obama achieved by attacking welfare reform was to buy hundreds of thousands of votes from dependent people. But he didn’t use his own money to do this – he used mine. I could have used my money for my own life priorities, but Democrat politicians know better than me, apparently. My job is just to work to earn the money, but I’m too stupid to know how to spend it. Other smarter people who are better than me know best about how to spend it. And they spend it on buying the votes of lazy people so they can get re-elected.

33 thoughts on “Welfare program usage drops 85% after work requirement reinstated”

  1. How does the government justify this “able-bodied men” exception to its supposed gender discrimination free operations?


  2. i have a job and i need foodstamps especially this nursing program i start next month is gonna cut into my work hours. Just because some people work doesnt mean they can afford food especially if they have a family.


    1. Why do you have a right to my money, or anyone else’s? Can you explain to me why I have to go to work so that the government can tax me to pay you? Why is your life more valuable than mine?


      1. nobody is saying one life is more valuable than another but eating healthy is not cheap, then there is bills, gas, and of course school supplies. I dont go to the movies, nor out anywhere, i spend my freetime either at home or at the anime store cause i dont have pay to sit inside and talk with my friends. i dont buy much stuff, majority of my money is going to bills and my car and now toward my education.

        Before i start school, my job only at most gives me 25 hours. Now when i become a nurse this would be an issue but to act like people are not struggling in life and that many are just asking for handouts and not working is bs.

        yes you have some that are just lazy but people need help. Not everyone is gonna get a college education whether its 2 year or 4 years, who’s gonna work in those restaurants,maids,jaintors, gardener etc. People can work hard all they want but it doesnt mean they will have enough to get by


          1. Again, not everyone is going to to college and some that attend won’t finish. If its not welfare its gonna be something else because face it, you have poor people


          2. we do understand personal responsibility but that does not mean ignore the systemic racism that is prevalent in this country.

            Like seriously, in your mind do you seriously think we just lazy and just asking for handout? most work at least 2 to 3 jobs to pay rent,bills and put food on the table. Like yeah we may buy some things like maybe a iphone but those phones are not just for social media you know, i have a note 5 and i do alot of stuff from this one for whether its school work or job related.

            I am actually sick of this notion that people in poverty are keeping themselves there. My mom is the working poor, she a cna and yet she works her damn ass off to make sure she kept a roof over me and my sisters head, food in our bellies and made sure we didn’t end up on drugs or pregnant at 16. So this bs that poor people are lazy and asking for handouts and that this country does have racism ingrained at its roots is straight ignorance.


          3. ASIANS and EAST INDIANS are able to outperform in school and in work and in earnings and in net worth. So the problem cannot be racism, otherwise these other races would underperform in these areas. The problem is culture – what causes certain groups to act differently?

            This article from black economist Walter Williams (chair of economics at GMU) is very helpful to see how poverty has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with individual responsiblity:


            “Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior. If you graduate from high school today with a B or C average, in most places in our country there’s a low-cost or financially assisted post-high-school education program available to increase your skills.”

            ASIANS and EAST INDIANS follow these rules, and their children succeed. Success has NOTHING to do with skin color. “Discrimination” doesn’t stop people from succeeding, but bad choices do (and a culture that celebrates bad choices) do stop people from succeeding.

            I’m writing this as a non-white and non-asian male, by the way.


          4. thats nice that you model minorities follow those rules, its really nice. Many african americans do follow those rules but we not ignorant to the fact that cards are stqcked against use from birth and yes race plays a huge part in our lives and as a non-white, non-asian male you have no idea what it is like being black in America, so i am gonna need you and everyone else in this country to stop telling black people how we should react, how we should feel when you don’t know the first damn thing about being black.


  3. If you work and still don’t have enough money this is not the federal government duty under our system to provide this money. The various states can decide if those in your position can obtain further benefits. Also, the private sector – churches, charities etc. can help those in need who are working and can’t make ends meet. In fact, in the private sector a relationship can be developed between the giver and the receiver. This is much better than an impersonal check. I have personal experience in this area, and much more is accomplished with the private sector.


  4. @SapphireYagami

    You say your job only gives you 25 hours. You then say you have time to hang out at the anime store with your friends. Sounds to me like that’s all time that could be spent working a second job. Sure no one wants to work two jobs but if you really can’t afford to get by then I believe Wintery’s question still stands. Why are you entitled to other people’s money, when you are perfectly capable of working?


    1. So basically you are saying i need to spend any free time i have working and stressing myself out? I dont mind working two jobs but however its is hard for a second job, i spent months for the job i have now. Trust me i have applied but many jobs out here dont hire you because many hire their own family memebers, many didnt hire me because of my hair ( i dont perm or straighten my hair which is an issue for many people, i live in the south)
      When i start school, the little social life that i did have will be non existant because the nursing program is gonna be very rigorious, my teachers actual recommend not working because of the hours needed to be put in but if i dont work then i cant pay my bills nor put gas in my car.
      so im sorry not everyone can work two jobs, majority of other people have help, either from their families or maybe a husband if they are married i dont have that luxury


      1. Our system does not work as is best. The government is inefficient and discriminatory in all the monies it manages. Ideally, private charity would care for its locale, hopefully, as well, a community would exist. Government policies have nearly eliminated all that.

        So, you have to use what is available and work to change what you can. Whether you use government benefits or not, you will pay for them via taxes, either yourself directly or through increased charges to you by others.

        The Temple in Jerusalem was built with charitable gifts — not all gave the same, but all enjoyed the same. We each must be at peace with our own conscience, which, I hope, uses God’s Word as its guide.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You still didn’t answer my question. For the record, I’m not saying no one ever finds themselves in a situation where they have trouble making ends meet. The point Wintery Knight has been trying to make to you is that we all make decisions and those decisions have consequences.

        You’re pursuing a career as a nurse. That’s great, but in doing so you’ve allocated your time and resources such that you are unable to make ends meet with your current income. It seems to me that when faced with such a situation, a responsible person would say. “Wow. I don’t make enough money. I either need to find a way to cut costs or earn more. Maybe I should hold off on my education for now. Maybe I should seek the help of a voluntary party and graciously thank them if they choose to help me.”

        But that’s not what you seem to advocate. Instead you say, “Wow I don’t make enough money to make ends meet. Therefore other people should be forced to give me their money so that I can continue to move forward with the decisions I’ve made. No need to thank them either. I’m entitled to their money.”

        You are fee to do what you want with your time and resources, but if those decisions don’t pan out the way you like, it’s not someone else’s responsibility to bail you out. It’s one thing if they graciously choose to help you. It’s another when men with guns come and take their money from them if they refuse to give it up.

        So I ask again. Why are you entitled to other people’s money so that you can continue to live your life the way you want to?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I cant afford not to go to school, I have been at this school since 2012 and i am 26 years old. I have applied for the program 4 times now and on the fourth time, i finally got in. I dont want to work a minimum wage job for the rest of my life. Again, i am also trying to get married and the older i get the harder it will be to have and bare children.

          I held off my education for 2 years, 2010 to 2011. I can’t afford to just lay off my education anymore, and if i had to cost my current costs, that means either no food or dont pay my bills which is where my money goes and i doubt anyone would hire me if i was stinky all day. I dont even have insurance and i dont qualify for Medicaid nor can i afford anything else.

          I do try to find ways to earn more but instead you assume im just lazy like most of the world.


          1. I never asserted that you were lazy. I asked why you believe you can justly demand other people’s money so that you can do what you want.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. and do want exatchly, what do you think im going to do, hoe it up, spend money like crazy, get on drugs, become a baby mama? like seriously what do you think im going to do?


          3. You say you want to be a nurse. You don’t want to work a minimum wage job the rest of your life. You want to be married and have children.

            These are all fine things to want, but wanting something doesn’t magically make it happen. No matter how much I want not to be hungry, a fried chicken isn’t just going to fly into my mouth.

            If I can try to be any clearer I’m asking why other people should be forced to pay for the things you want?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. i just need food stamps if im qualified because you do know they just dont hand those things out.

            I am trying hard in my life but i am literally tired of being compared or told im not trying hard enough, i didnt like it when i was wrong and i dont like it now.

            Also i know wanting something doesnt magically make it happen, i not an idiot but i work hard as hell yet what do i get for my efforts just more struggle.


          5. i have been working toward being a nurse since i was a kid . i dont want to end up like the rest of my family, high school education only working in a factory.

            neither male or female in my family has a college education. majority of the males went straight into the army while the females got married and knock up or knocked up then married

            Liked by 1 person

          6. well its not for everyone, if you cant handle blood then this isn’t for you. i start next month and we will be covering a lot of stuff, it will be very fast paced, so studying is going to be very important.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Not really, because she wasn’t really involved in my life enough to be aware of what I was doing. It was just wishing, like wishing to be skinny but never exercising or dieting. She’s not a mother who invest in her children, she just expresses demands then does her own thing. She’s self-centered.


        2. I had to stop my education to work full time after my BS, so that I could earn enough to do my MS. I didn’t take money from anybody, I adjusted my plans so that I could pay my own way.


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