The wall, the caravan, Mueller and more may be the focus of most mainstream media news reports, but one key factor that has benefited millions of Americans has been overlooked.
For the first time in decades, a whopping 3.5 million individuals have gotten off of food stamps. For many families, food stamps become a way of life and a vicious cycle — in some cases, a raise in pay or access to more hours at work was seen as a negative, because it could lead to the family or individual losing public assistance benefits. The increase in people falling off the roles is a good thing, as it signifies more are making enough money to return to self sufficiency and to prosper without government intervention and assistance.
According to the most recent report from the USDA, over 42 million Americans were receiving SNAP or food assistance when President Trump was sworn into office. As of September 2018, that number had plunged to 38 million, an unheard of reduction in today’s world. Every month for the past 11 months has seen a sharp decline. This dramatic and ongoing drop off has been caused by several conditions, ranging from the improved outlook for job seekers to the lower unemployment rate established under the Trump team.
Key reforms designed to combat abuse and ensure that those who truly needed assistance had access have helped dramatically lower food stamp rolls. In some cases, fraudulent recipients (collecting for people who were deceased, who never existed in the first place or who made too much to qualify) were dramatically reduced. This attention to fraud ensured that benefits were available for those who really needed them, and relieved some of the pressure placed on an already stressed system.
In the past, freshly arrived immigrants were welcomed into the SNAP program, often with few questions asked. Reforms to immigration laws, more strict adherence to immigration policies and less assistance for those who freshly arrived or arrived illegally has caused a drop in enrollment as well. According to the USDA report, food stamps and SNAP assistance to immigrants has dropped about 10 percent in the past year. Fewer people are applying after entering the country illegally, cutting these numbers.
As unemployment continues to drop, there are more and better opportunities available for those wishing to work. With better opportunity, more income and more self sufficiency, some individuals no longer need to rely on the food stamp programs of the past.
While people leave the food stamp program for a variety of reasons, the trend seems to be continuing under President Trump and should continue to benefit the economy as a whole, while still supporting those truly in need of assistance.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter