Wolf Vetoes Work Requirement For Adults On Welfare

Wolf Vetoes Work Requirement For Adults On Welfare

By Leo Knepper

Back in July the House passed legislation that would have added work requirements to the welfare code. As we noted then:

“In our research, we found that nearly 60 percent of Pennsylvania families who were required to engage in job search activities or training for the federal “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families”(TANF) program participated in ZERO hours of qualified activities (see page 17). Although the qualifications for TANF are different than for medical assistance, the similarities of the populations made it a reasonable comparison. If a greater percentage of medical assistance recipients specifically, and welfare recipients in general, were required to engage in work search activities it could have a remarkable effect reducing the number of families needing assistance and a positive impact on Pennsylvania’s finances in the medium to long term.

“In 2014, Maine required “able-bodied childless adults” (ABCAs) to work, train, or volunteer on a part-time basis to continue to qualify for food stamps. In two years the number of ABCAs receiving food stamps dropped by 90 percent. First, imagine the saving that taxpayers in Pennsylvania would reap if we instituted the same requirements. Second, imagine how that would benefit the states revenue collection. If all of those people who were currently receiving assistance that could work but weren’t, returned to the workforce it would be a long-term boon for Pennsylvania.”

Similar language to the House bill made it into the final welfare code. Although it was narrower in scope than the House legislation, Governor Wolf vetoed the changes. Medical assistance payments account for nearly 30 percent of the Pennsylvania budget. Based on what happened in other states, adding work requirements for able bodied adults is a commonsense way to lower costs and encourage beneficiaries to reenter the workforce. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf is not interested in lowering the bill for taxpayers. He only seems interested in raising taxes on hardworking Pennsylvanians.

Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.


Wolf Vetoes Work Requirement For Adults On Welfare

Wolf Vetoes Work Requirement For Adults On Welfare

SNAP Ends Mexican Advertising

SNAP Ends Mexican Advertising — The 2002 Farm Bill signed by President George W. Bush expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) i.e. “food stamps” to non-citizens. His administration then agreed as part of a trade deal with Mexico to advertise this perk in that nation which ended up including radio and TV advertising.

No comprende? What did he say?

That’s right, our government was on Mexican radio telling Mexicans how to get U.S. taxpayer-provided freebies.

SNAP Ends Mexican Advertising
Si senor, Fritos can be bought with food stamps.

By the way these freebies don’t just include bulk grains, fresh veggies and cooking oil but things like Pepsi and Coke, Oreos and Fritos.

The service was expanded again in 2008, again signed by Dubya, and later expanded (naturally) by President Obama.

The 2014 Farm Bill passed by the Tea Party-influenced, Republican-controlled Congress put restrictions on government advertising SNAP on television and radio. This included broadcasting in Mexico.

Well heavens-to-Betsy, it is being reported that after more than a year the Agriculture Department is finally implementing this law.

Wonder if a certain political campaign might have set a little fire under their tails to finally act.

And how did this policy ever get implemented in the first place?

Note: the U.S. in 2014 budgeted $756 billion for food stamps and nutrition.

And you really think President Trump is going to have a problem cutting our deficit?

SNAP Ends Mexican Advertising

Irony Lesson

This lesson in irony is courtesy of Rick Palinko Irony Lesson -- The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.  Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."  Thus ends today's lesson in irony.
The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”

Thus ends today’s lesson in irony.

Irony Lesson

American Poor Don’t Exist

Forbes.com is claiming   American poor don’t exist and is basing the claim on this study by the Brookings Institution.

That’s right, there is no poor in the United States. The war on poverty is over. We won.

Of course,  Brookings, a liberal-leaning think tank that is called most influential in the world,  doesn’t really say it that way. In fact, it claims that “millions of Americans live on less than $2 a day — a threshold commonly used to measure poverty.”

Forbes, however, rebuts it pointing out income, as officially defined, is a bad metric as it does not account for the various government subsidies provided such as SNAP and Section 8 housing vouchers.

More significantly, it points out that the $2 a day standard when applied to  developing countries is based on consumption, not income.

When this standard is applied to the United States, it is found that consumption is the same for those who report zero income and those who report $20 per day income — which is adjusted to account for the values of the many different currencies.

According to global standards, middle class is between a globally adjusted $12 and $50 per day.

So, yes, there is no poor in America which is something that could easily be determined by driving through the lowest-income neighborhood one can find and counting the dish antennas, window air conditioning units, cars parked on the street, and observing the absence of malnutrition among the residents.

Suffering in the United States is not caused by lack of material things. It is caused by making stupid choices and living in proximity to those who exalt in making such choices.

American Poor Don't Exist

American Poor Don’t Exist

Welfare Takers Outnumber Workers

Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis is reporting that 40 percent of the U.S. is on welfare which is more than those who are full-time employed.

The site claims that Obamacare has expanded welfare by 23 million.

The reasoning can be read here.

Hat tip Tom Coniglia

Welfare Takers Outnumber Workers

Welfare Takers Outnumber Workers

No Sugary Drinks For Food Stamps

No Sugary Drinks For Food Stamps

We recently experienced a “super moon,” an event where that celestial body is at its closest point to Earth all year.

As everyone knows, full moons bring out eccentric behavior in people. But this super moon was an extra doozy for me. Against all odds, I found myself agreeing with not just Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (first time ever), but 17 other big city mayors. Talk about strange bedfellows.

This Gang of 18 sent the federal government a letter requesting that soda and sugary drinks become ineligible purchases for those in the food stamps program (known as SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). And since more people (47 million) receive food stamps than the population of Spain, that’s a big deal.

The mayors have the right idea, but to some extent, are pushing it for the wrong reason.

They are making their case to combat obesity and other health-related diseases, citing the huge health care costs associated with that enormous problem. While it’s noble trying to take a chunk out of obesity, this issue is much more basic.

When you’re on the public dole, there are strings attached. Period. And that’s exactly how it should be.

It’s totally irrelevant whether soda causes or contributes to diabetes, heart disease or obesity. Inarguably, there are no nutritional aspects to sugary drinks; So, given that the word “nutrition” appears in the program’s very name, allowing soda is contradictory.

Not surprisingly, many in the food stamp program have expressed righteous indignation with the mayors’ proposal, as have numerous advocacy groups. (Help me out with that one. Why do we need advocates for people receiving free food? Only in America.)

Talk about an entitlement mentality. Taxpayers foot the bill, and that’s still not enough. The expectation is that the recipient — not the donor — should be calling the shots.

Common sense tells us that those receiving generous SNAP benefits, courtesy of those who actually work for a living, should have no say whatsoever in what they can and cannot buy with food stamps. But too often they do, evidenced by the fact that this soda debate has raged for years with no action.

The same rationale applies to why welfare recipients should have to pass a mandatory drug test before receiving benefits. If those reaping taxpayers’ largesse don’t like the criteria by which they must comply, that’s fine. There’s a very simple alternative. As “The Big Lebowski” says, “Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did. Get a job!”

Food stamp recipients aren’t the only ones opposed. The American Beverage Association has been whining that sugary drinks shouldn’t be singled out, stating that obesity is “a complex health condition that affects Americans of all income levels.” Hey, diet soda doesn’t contribute to obesity, but has no nutritional value, so it too should be banned from SNAP.

“Targeting struggling families who rely on (food stamps’) vital safety net will not make America healthier or reduce government spending,” it also stated.

Fantastic. If only that made any sense. But it doesn’t.

First, soda isn’t being singled out as the cause for obesity. We all know it’s the “thyroid problem” that all members of the fat brigade seem to have. Well, that, and the infinite supply of cheap, fattening comfort foods (along with soda) and the fact that it’s a lot easier to don sweatpants (as George Costanza says, a sign you’ve “given up”), and sit in your chair watching reality TV shows instead of going outside for a walk or, God forbid, work out once a week.

Attempts have also been made to ban candy and other zero-nutrition items from the food stamp program, to no avail, so the beverage folks need to sit down and shut up on this one. It’s not about soda. It’s about taxpayer money being spent unwisely.

And for the record, reduced government spending has nothing to do with it. The cost of the food stamp program won’t change because soda is banned. It just means people will have to use their gift card — and it is a gift card — on nutritional food.

Oh, and of course we’re “targeting” families on food stamps, because we can. Whom else should we target? Free market consumers using their own money? Notwithstanding New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s insane attempts to restrict soda portions, no one is doing that, nor should they. Sure, obesity is a national epidemic, and we are all paying for it at a skyrocketing rate, but you will never stop it with government bans. Personal responsibility, individual choices and suffering the consequences of bad decisions will, and should, rule the day.

But those things don’t apply, or at least they shouldn’t, when public assistance is involved.

Interestingly, some of the Right don’t agree with the mayors’ push, arguing that it is too paternalistic, too Big Brother for the government to tell people what they are permitted to buy. Others argue that such restrictions would discourage the needy from joining the program.


A. If you don’t apply for food stamp subsidies because you can’t buy grape soda, great. Don’t let the door hit you in your large posterior on the way out.

B. So what if it’s paternalistic? It obviously needs to be. You aren’t permitted to buy alcohol or cigarettes (though some still do), and you shouldn’t be hauling live lobsters home either. No one is saying you can’t buy sugary drinks — you just shouldn’t be able to do so with other people’s money.

This will be a fascinating political development to watch, as it is Democrats imploring other Democrats to put in place what is ultimately a Republican idea.

Knocking back the sense of entitlement, instilling accountability into a government program, teaching personal responsibility, and even making people a little healthier. Hopefully, all it will take is a spoonful of sugar to make that medicine go down.

No Sugary Drinks For Food Stamps

Food Stamps Corporate Greed

Food Stamps Corporate Greed — The tenderhearted souls who call themselves “progressives” and claim to want care for the poor– albeit always by someone else — are huge defenders of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which is still often referred to as “food stamps” despite the benefits now being distributed by a plastic card.

SNAP benefits for a single person in Pennsylvania are maximized at $200 and they can be used to buy  soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and  ice cream novelties.  Any attempt to restrict this program to things like fresh veggies, bulk grain and unsweetened dairy are met with shrieks and media stridency. You ever wonder who is paying for these shrieks and media stridency, and be sure that it is being bought although many of those doing the shrieking aren’t seeing the money?

Well, who is it that makes the soft drinks, and junk food? That’s right progressives, you are simple tools of corporate greed.

Ponder this: the asset/resource limit for SNAP in Pennsylvania is $5,500 or $9,000 for homes with a disabled or elderly member. If we were to halve the maximum — which would also be to roughly $75 for additional household members — yet limit what can be purchased to the healthy stuff that one has to prepare oneself, say like rice which costs about $20 for a 50 pound bag, you can double the resource limit and make a lot of needy people a lot better off.

As PepsiCo would not approve, though, don’t expect this to happen.

Food Stamps Corporate Greed

Food Stamps Corporate Greed

Pa. To Use UC Money To Save State Jobs

The State House has approved a bill to take money from unemployment compensation taxes and use it keep workers at unemployment centers from losing their jobs and pay for “infrastructure” improvements to the service centers, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).

That would be a definition of irony if it were written by Ambrose Bierce.

Cox says House Bill 26 would divert a portion of employee unemployment compensation taxes to be deposited into a newly established fund known as the Service and Infrastructure Fund.

Money deposited into this fund would allow the Department of Labor and Industry to improve the “quality, efficiency and timeliness of services” provided by unemployment compensation centers, Cox said.

The bill aims to save the department from unemployment compensation service center closures and personnel cuts that would further degrade services to claimants, Cox said.

So were employers paying too much in unemployment comp taxes allowing
for a surplus to be used to save these state workers and improve the
infrastructure as per the bill? Was there a surplus in the unemployment
fund with our great booming economy?

Maybe if the employers paid lower taxes they would not have to lay so many people off and we would not need so many state workers in the unemployment office. Was that considered?

Ninety-nine weeks of “funemployement”. Wheeeee.

Hey, what’s money but magic green paper anyway?

The measure now goes before the Senate for consideration.

Tsarnaev Welfare Records Protected By Mass

Tsarnaev Welfare Records Protected By Mass — The Democrat-run government of Massachusetts has clamped down on requests to show the extent the Tamerlan and baby brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — the Boston child (and other) killers were supported by the nation’s taxpayers.

It has been confirmed that the Tsarnevs had electronic benefits transfer cards.  The bureaucrats, however, are citing the Islamic terrorists’ “right to privacy” and  refusing to answer requests as to whether they were getting Section 8 housing benefits, college assistance, government-paid cellphones, and unemployment compensation.

This nation is run by corrupt, gutless morons.

Daddies don’t name you kid Tamerlan, by the way. It would be like naming him Hitler or Stalin or Che.


Tsarnaev Welfare Records Protected By Mass


Tsarnaev Welfare Records Protected By Mass