Guess What Happens In States Where Food Stamp Recipients Have To Work

Authored by Daniel Lang via,

Leftists are constantly reminding of us of the merits of welfare. They tell us that without the help of taxpayer funded handouts, millions of Americans will starve or be left homeless. There’s no doubt that some people really do need help, but this black and white view of welfare doesn’t paint the full picture. Conservatives and libertarians have suspected for decades that many of the people on welfare are actually mooching off of the system. So to reconcile the need to help people who are helpless with the very really problem of people abusing the system, they’ve come up with a great compromise.

In regards to food stamps, they’ve suggested that we offer food assistance on the condition that the recipients are working. Or at the very least, that they volunteer or community service or are making an effort to train themselves for a new job. So what happens in states that have work requirements for food stamp recipients?

Alabama began 2017 by requiring able-bodied adults without children in 13 counties to either find a job or participate in work training as a condition for continuing to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.


According to, the number of those recipients declined from 5,538 to 831 between Jan. 1 and the beginning of May – an 85 percent drop.


Similar changes were implemented in select counties in Georgia and by the end of the first three months, the number of adults receiving benefits in three participating counties dropped 58 percent, according to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported that in 21 additional counties that restored the work requirement, there was a 62 percent drop in SNAP participants.

Of course many leftists will try to shoot holes in this data, by suggesting that perhaps many of these people were working unofficial jobs that paid under the table. Because of that, they were already doing the best they could, and the government cut off their benefits when they couldn’t prove that they were working. The only problem with that assumption, is that we know exactly what happens to people who have to choose between getting cut off from food stamps, and finding a job. Statistics show that they choose to find a job, and their incomes go up drastically. They really weren’t working in the first place.

In October 2014, LePage announced that able-bodied adults would have to find work, spend 20 hours per week in a work program, or perform community service for six hours a week.


Food stamp participation declined 14.5 percent from 235,771 in January 2014 to 201,557 in January 2015, according to the state.


An analysis of a group of 7,000 Mainers who left SNAP in 2014 found their total earnings increased from $3.85 million in the third quarter 2014 to $8.24 million in the last quarter of 2015.


Kansas saw a 75 percent decline after implementing work requirements in 2013. In addition, nearly 60 percent of former beneficiaries found employment within 12 months and their incomes rose by an average of 127 percent per year, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability.

The left will never admit it, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that many of the people receiving welfare benefits are able bodied, and fully capable of finding a job. We know this, because when they’re given the choice between losing a couple hundred dollars per month in benefits, and finding a job that will earn them enough money to not need benefits, they choose to find work. We’re subsiding millions of people who just don’t want to work.

And the other detail that the left will conveniently overlook, is that these people are basically siphoning off money from folks who are genuinely in a bad financial place. There would be more money for people who are actually poor.

This is money that could be spent on those who work their hands to the bone every day to provide for their families, and still can’t pay their bills. Or it could be spent on people who simply need to make ends meet while they’re between jobs. If not for these welfare queens, the government could provide more benefits to people who actually need help. That would lift them out of poverty faster, which could reduce the taxpayer’s burden in the long run.

In short, there’s a lot of people taking advantage of welfare programs like food stamps, which takes money away from the people who really need help in our society. And the left’s welfare policies are enabling them.


hedgeless_horseman Captain Chlamydia Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:02 Permalink


The left will never admit it, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that many of the people receiving welfare benefits are able bodied, and fully capable of finding a job. 

Capable?  Sure.  But the plan is to have them vote for a living.

However, if my head is clear, I will sometimes hear the voice of Murry Rothbard.   He reminds me that by doing for these people what they could and should be doing for themselves, our government is intentionally preventing these, "descendants of slaves," from ever being truly free.  As Lyndon Johnson supposedly said, "I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for 200 years."…

In reply to by Captain Chlamydia

Never One Roach seek Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:45 Permalink

I met a guy once who said he was an SS administrative judge who heard these disability cases. He said for every valid case, there's over 50 fakers, at least  in his opinion, since they don't even show proof in many cases. They just stroll in with a neck brace on or have someone wheel them in (on a rented wheelchair) and try to get free stuff.

In reply to by seek

seek Never One Roach Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:36 Permalink

I had a HS acquaintence go through the SSDI process (and I'd put them in the abusing the system category, but I digress) and their atty told them to expect the case to be dismissed at least three times before it would be approved. All the people I know who are (or have tried to get) on SSDI have basically been malingerers with BS, unprovable diagnoses of exclusion.I've also heard that people with legitimate claims often have a harder time getting onto it because with a provable illness, there's a bigger paper trail and more avenues to dismiss the claims, and that often the clerks handling the case don't know what to do because virtually their entire caseload is fraudulent claims and legit claims are so different that it breaks their process.

In reply to by Never One Roach

Never One Roach seek Tue, 07/18/2017 - 18:26 Permalink

That's my understanding too. I know of a cleaning woman who actually had a hormone problem and not only was overweight but had other problems associated with her endocrine problems.She worked part time and applied for partial benefits so she was actually trying hard to work and it took her three times and four doctors' affidavits to get her SS checks of $65/week.She said that $65 was the different between feeding her family and paying rent or being thrown on the street.It is sad no matter what your take on our world. In a country where welfare queens drive purple Escalades and cheat the system left and right and this lady borders on destitution.....not to mention the Billionair crooks on wall street and DC.  

In reply to by seek

swmnguy seek Tue, 07/18/2017 - 18:48 Permalink

I know a guy who had been a commercial pilot but had a genetic degenerative spinal condition and the poor SOB's vertebra pretty much dissolved.  His father had had it too, and died, but they didn't know it was an inherited condition until he got it--and by then he had had kids, and both of them have it too.He worked up to the point where he had to take oxycontin all day just to function with the pain, so he couldn't fly.  He did office work until he couldn't do that anymore either.  He had dozens of surgeries, which didn't help much.  He had boxes and boxes of paperwork backing up his situation, letters from previous employers, all the documents from doctors.And the fuckers at SSDI rejected him over and over.  Before they finally accepted him, he'd had his car repossessed, liens placed on him and his house, was way behind on his (very modest) house payments and trying to get the bank to work with him.  He couldn't sit, could barely stand or walk.  Could barely bathe himself or get dressed, much less anything else.  It was unbelievable.  I haven't seen him in a few years; I wonder if he can get out of bed by now.  And his poor daughters, who are now out of high school; they've had to take care of him and watch him deteriorate, and know that's going to happen to them.Of course, this whole time the mom worked two jobs.This country makes me really angry sometimes.  We've got a Trillion dollars a year to flush down the toilet fucking around with optional Wars of Empire, but we can't afford to help a guy like that and his family.  My ass.

In reply to by seek

Silverlok Zero_Ledge Tue, 07/18/2017 - 21:45 Permalink

"This story is incomplete.  We also need data on how much the rolls for disability increased in the same time frame.  I'm sure it went up rather than down, but the question is by how much? Since there was a clause about "able-bodied" I wonder how many people started having back pain." ...DOT has that data; cross reference how many units on welfare also have handicap tags(compared to the general pop), you know before and after "able bodied" tagging.

In reply to by Zero_Ledge

All Risk No Reward hedgeless_horseman Tue, 07/18/2017 - 18:50 Permalink

Demand for government debt consumption provided by the Debt-Money Supremacists drops.

Oh, you thought that the debt-inducing "freebies" were given because of care for the poor?

Nope. They were given to keep the debt-money generation machine in exponential growth mode.

When it comes time to wind that down, implode the economy, and asset strip the debtors, well, there won't be a need to exponentially grow the debt anymore

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

crazzziecanuck Captain Chlamydia Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:40 Permalink

You didn't notice in the article how he goes and argues that "leftists" will argue the numbers but then assumes his sources are unimpeachable?  There is also another possibility: these people *left* the state for family in other states because that's pretty much what happened up here in Maine.  How do we know this?  Food bank records.There is also another possibility: corruption.  My mother used to work for the welfare office in the 1960s when my father was in university.  One month, it was decided people had to come in an pick up their cheques personally and sign for them.  There were a whole load of cheques unclaimed.  My mother always suspected it was *internal* fraud going on because even in the 1960s it was hard to defraud.  But it's not hard if one has access to the internal system and can bypass certain checks inside the system.  Let's just say they only did it once and nothing came of it.  Mother left the office soon after she created a miniscandal when she leaked info to the local paper.As J. R. Saul said, "Reality is not in the world, it's in the measurements made by professionals."  Pretty much explains in one sentence why were spiralling down the drain because our "professionals" are not professionals at all.  I'd like to say I'd love to see them all shot "Pol Pot Style" but then one has to consider the environmental damage all those bodies will create.  Maybe dump them all in the Marianas trench?

In reply to by Captain Chlamydia

swmnguy crazzziecanuck Tue, 07/18/2017 - 18:55 Permalink

Yeah, the story doesn't say what happened to the people who went off SNAP.  It certainly doesn't say they found jobs.  Maybe they left the area?  Went on disability?  Are in jail or prison?  Living under a bridge?  We don't know.As for the stuff about Maine, every time I see big numbers used I know that means they don't want to break it down.  Like when people take the budget for an entire school district, divide by the number of students, and complain about per-pupil spending.  They don't account for the fact that by federal law some of the kids have a full-time paraprofessional with them, changing their diapers or feeding them, until the end of Senior year.  That is required and it's in school budgets.  So they spend an order of magnitude and more on that kid, and it skews the numbers.Same thing here.  What happened to the people who went off SNAP?  The story simply doesn't say, and makes a dishonest implication that they're just hunky-dory now that someone saw through their ruse.  Whichever way you may feel about SNAP, this story has no worthwhile or useful information in it.Low-grade clickbait.  Maybe this would fly at Breitbart or FreeRepublic.  ZH'ers require, or at least used to, some sort of analytics and checkable support data.

In reply to by crazzziecanuck

Economy-X Captain Chlamydia Tue, 07/18/2017 - 20:02 Permalink

Tis surely a good policy to get welfare recipients to do community work, get trained up or participate in a work program. Keeps morale up, keeps skills honed and maintains social solidarity between workers and unemployed. Why the Left objects to this is a mystery. On the other hand welfare fraud is peanut pocket change compared to the fraud committed by Too Big to Fail Banks (no one should be unfailable in a real market economy), by corporations dodging already small taxes that pay for the services they use every day and by the ridiculous pay secured by CEOs over the last 30 years. During this time avergage Joe works harder for less while top managers have increased their pay hundreds of multples for doing same, same.Why the Right spends so much time on welfare fraud when all this other fraud is so much more costly is also a mystery.Actually its no mystery the Left and the Right, just like the Dems and the GOP are corrupt idiots who have spent so much time investing in beating each other that they are both screwing the working classes on all sides. Time for a new paradigm other than one based on bilateral confrontation of directionless directions!

In reply to by Captain Chlamydia

crazzziecanuck curbjob Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:37 Permalink

Drive people off the roles, and then force them into food banks and other charity work, or drive them out into someone else's state.  Again, "it's someone else's problem" for those decisionmakers at the top.There is no coordianted leadership from the top to actually deal with things, just letting everyone run around trying to patch holes on the sinking ship.

In reply to by curbjob

XBroker1 Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:00 Permalink

I wonder if Ratheon would go out and get a job if we stopped the fake wars. Maybe NASA would do some fucking work if we didn't allow them to fake everything. And then there's Elon Musk. Welfare for the rich vastly outstrips what we see in our local check- out line.

Akzed jmack Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:25 Permalink

What rock have you been hiding under?ISIS a US creation, ergo, fake enemy for a fake war… Are the Biggest Corporate Welfare Moochers?… means "deception" in Hebrew: ISS does not exist't even get me started on the fake moon missions.

In reply to by jmack

jmack Akzed Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:38 Permalink

you can see the ISS with the naked eye dumb ass. per your link, the federal government has spent 68 billion on grants and tax credits since 2000.  I wont even attempt to argue why tax credits are not welfare to your enfeebled mind, but if so, then we must include earned income tax credit to individuals as well as many other tax credits that must be considered welfare to all classes of individuals. but merely the costs of the SNAP program in 2016, just one program, was $66 billion.    Seymour Hersh says a lot of things, very few of which are incidentally related to reality.  Please go find a rock and get under it for the duration, you lack the necessary critical thinking skills to participate in a helpful manner.

In reply to by Akzed

Akzed jmack Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:53 Permalink

you can see the ISS with the naked eye dumb ass.Is that so? Then why does NASA fake it? So you can see a 747 from 250 miles? Are you talking about yourself or some guy who told you this? When's the ISS going to take a photo of a satellite drifting by? I mean a photo, not a photoshop.per your link, the federal government has spent 68 billion on grants and tax credits since 2000.$68B to how many companies? And Raytheon is among the biggest sponges, as noted above. Huh.Seymour Hersh says a lot of things, very few of which are incidentally related to reality.Someday you can give us some examples.  

In reply to by jmack