A new report reveals that more than 5.9 million people have dropped off food stamps with new work requirements and the burgeoning economy of President Donald Trump – just six years after food stamp levels hit an all-time high under former President Barack Obama in 2013.
With the unemployment rate hitting a 50-year low at 3.5 percent this fall and reaching all-time record low rates for blacks, Hispanics and women, the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveal that 5,975,739 Americans have discontinued using food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) between February 2017 and September 2019.
Getting America back to work
More and more families are now back to work and no longer dependent on government assistance under the Trump administration.
"Household participation in the food stamp program has gone down, as well, with 2,493,912 households discontinuing their participation in SNAP," Breitbart News divulged from the USDA report. "There are currently 36,322,055 individuals and 18,443,991 households enrolled in the food stamp program. Still, USDA officials said those numbers are 'preliminary' due to the 2018 government shutdown, which affected food stamp administration at the beginning of 2019."
Those numbers are a drastic decline from when Trump first took office, and an even bigger drop since Obama was in office, when reliance on the federal government for food was at an all-time high.
"When Trump took office, 42,297,791 individuals and 20,937,903 households were enrolled in SNAP," Breitbart noted. "Individual and household participation in SNAP had consistently declined overall since 2013, when the Obama administration was in power, and enrollment in the program reached its highest point in U.S. history."
After dependence on welfare skyrocketed under Obama, new regulations requiring Americans to be actively seeking work made millions more reliant on their own income and less on government support.
"At the Great Recession's peak during former President Barack Obama's first term in office, enrollment in SNAP grew by 135 percent and cost taxpayers $78 billion," Breitbart explained. "Food stamp enrollment plummeted after state legislatures passed work requirement reform measures to curb dependency on welfare – requiring food stamp recipients to work, volunteer, attend school, or receive job training for 20 hours per week."
Trump's aggressive policies to get Americans back to work have seen dramatic results.
"Enrollment has continued to decline under Trump, but the Trump administration has taken welfare reform measures a step further by taking work requirement legislation found in the states nationwide," the Breitbart report continued.
"The USDA recently finalized a SNAP proposal stating that those who are able-bodied and between the ages of 18-49 and without children or dependents who receive food stamps for more than three months in a 36-month period must work, go to school, receive job training or volunteer to receive benefits, [but] the rule does not apply to those who are over 50-years-old, disabled, pregnant or caretakers for children."
Even lower unemployment is expected with the new proposal slated to take effect in April.
"The law allows states to waive out of this time limit requirement due to poor economic conditions, but before the rule was put into place, areas with unemployment as low as 2.5 percent were eligible for waivers," Breitbart recounted from the USDA report. "The USDA estimates that approximately 755,000 people would discontinue participating in the nation's food stamp program under the work requirements rule, and the rule would reduce federal spending by $7.9 billion over five years."
Saving taxpayers money, getting Americans back on their feet
Conservative columnist and author Tom Basile explained how Trump's policies on food stamps promote self-sufficiency, with the Agriculture Department saying they cut could around $5.5 billion of government spending using tax dollars by 2025.
"This is what the president was elected to do," Basile said, according to Fox News. "To reform the federal bureaucracy, to cut taxes, to help create an environment where people can get jobs – not just have these programs, and not just have a handout."
Agreeing with Basile, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue insisted Trump's move will promote financial independence and job attainment.
"Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream," Perdue contended, as noted in the Fox News report. "We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand, but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand."
Basile commended Trump for helping Americans to become economically better off and self-sufficient through fiscal responsibility, lowering the unemployment rate and opening up more jobs.
"For the Trump administration to say that we want to try to responsibly bring down the number of people who are on food stamp programs – if they are able-bodied adults – is not only the responsible thing, but will save taxpayers billions of dollars," Basile argued. "It will contribute to the ultimate goal of greater stability and economic prosperity."
This summer, Trump touted the biggest decline in food stamp usage in a decade. "Food Stamp participation hits 10-year low," Trump tweeted on July 9.
The accuracy of his proclamation was confirmed by Politifact the following week. "[President Trump's] correct …" Politifact maintained. "We rate this True."