Paul Ryan's Last Act: Kicking At Least One Million People Off Food Stamps

Paul Ryan's Last Act: Kicking At Least One Million People Off Food Stamps

Paul Ryan is working overtime to ensure that he goes down as one of the most disgusting people to ever roam the halls of Congress. His last piece of legislation may put the final nail in the coffin. What is he doing? Well, he is working to ensure that over a million people are removed from the SNAP program (aka Food Stamps) because who needs food to function, right? He already worked to take away health insurance from 3.2 million Americans since Trump took office and Ben Carson is trying to triple the rent for low income Americans. Why not also take away their food?

They'll be homeless, lacking medical care and starving. Talk about the party that cares about average Americans! MAGA.

Here is how it works under the current SNAP plan: if you are "able bodied", between the ages of 18-49 and able to work, you are "required" to accept a job if you are offered one. You can only receive benefits for a limited amount of time, unless you can show that you are working or attending training for 20 hours per week.

Paul Ryan would make you think otherwise. The Republicans make it sounds like millions of Americans are sitting at home, eating lobster, refusing to work, and taking money away from all the other taxpayers that are going to work. Indefinitely. That is simply not the case.

So how is he trying to change this bill? They are adding the changes to the "House Farm Bill" and upping the age to 59 instead of 49. You will still have to work work at least 20 hours a week, but that jumps to 25 hours per week starting in 2026. If you can't find a job for some reason, states will be responsible for offering you a spot in a training program (how will you get paid or pay for childcare, who knows). If you refuse to attend or violate some other rule, you will be kicked off SNAP for a full 12 months. Mess up again and the punishment jumps to 3 years.


↓ Story continues below ↓

Based on these work requirements, the CBO has determined that over 1.2 million people would no longer be eligible due to the work requirement alone. On paper, it looks good, though. Slate reports that it will be a true "welfare to work" bill. But it will end up costing more money overall, especially to states with high unemployment, as they will have to provide job training to everyone ages 18-59. This bill also creates a huge vacuum of hoops for SNAP recipients to jump through. They will have to provide proof every single month that they worked 20 hours per week, were in training or were exempt. Who is going to do those verifications? States will have to hire people to fill those jobs.

At the end of the day, this is a cruel bill designed to catch people and kick them off at the first opportunity. You have a sick kid and miss a few hours of work? Boom, off for 12 months. It is nice on paper, makes for some good ads designed at "hard working Americans who are subsidizing those lazy takers who refuse to get a job" but really it is more cruel than that. It is about literally starving the most vulnerable and punishing them for the economic situation they are in, even if it largely out of their control.

Is this what America stands for in 2018? When Republicans control all three branches of government, apparently it is.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.