[Rushtalk] Maine Changes Rule for Food Stamps that Every State Should Follow

Carl Spitzer lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Tue Dec 2 07:32:38 MST 2014


Maine Changes Rule for Food Stamps that Every State Should Follow

           by S Lachance 
      on November 7, 2014         

Maine Changes Rule for Food Stamps that Every State Should Follow

Another state is making people work for food stamps, and it has some
people up in arms without knowing all the details.
 Typical liberals, who are filled with lots of emotion but low on the
facts, are worried that children and disabled people will now go
without. If they did a little research, they would know this expired
waiver will only affect able-bodied people with no children.
The federal waiver that has been in place since 2010 because of the
recession has been allowed to expire in the state of Maine.
 This allows Maine to reinstate a mandate requiring able-bodied adults
who are 18 to 50 years old and have no children to work or volunteer 20
hours per week or they will be limited to three months of food stamp
benefits over a three-year period.

Just elected to a second term, Maine’s Republican Governor Paul R.
LePage is focused on broad welfare reform and said, “People who are in
need deserve a hand up, but we should not be giving able-bodied
individuals a handout. We must continue to do all that we can to
eliminate generational poverty and get people back to work. We must
protect our limited resources for those who are truly in need and who
are doing all they can to be self-sufficient.”

In Lepage’s State of the State speech hesaid, “There is no excuse for
able-bodied adults to spend a lifetime on welfare at the expense of
hard-working, struggling Mainers. That is not what I call compassion. As
John F. Kennedy said in 1961: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you,
ask what you can do for your country.’ These are words that still ring
true today.”

Nearly 12,000 people in the Food Stamp program are considered
‘Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents’ by federal rules. Approximately
$15 million a year in Food Supplemental benefits are provided to this

There are many ways for these people to fulfill this requirement. They
can work, volunteer for community agencies, or participate in the
Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, where they learn new skills that
will help them get better quality,  higher paying  jobs.

Maine Changes Rule for Food Stamps that Every State Should Follow

Calais, Maine. Population 3,000

Even in the small eastern city of Calais — where jobs are scarce, the
unemployment rate of 9% is almost double the state average, and 1 in 4
receive food stamps — people support the new requirement changes.

People interviewed by the Boston Globe at the local food pantry spoke
with emotion against the rampant abuse of the system.

Jean Wade, in her 50’s, said she lives modestly on disability payments.
As she carried bags of food to her car one recent morning, she said that
too many young people in the area, including her own son, are willing to
accept food stamps and work under the table. “They sneak around doing
odd jobs and getting paid,” she said. “We need to be whipped into

Paula Seeley, 51, accompanied her elderly brother-in-law to the food
pantry. She said Walmart is hiring, yet many young people won’t apply
for jobs. She and her husband moved to the area from Greater Boston
several years ago to retire early. She also supports the requirement to
work or volunteer. “It’s the ones that are able to work, and don’t work,
and don’t have kids,” she said. “Go get a job!”

Mainejoins at least 16 other states in renewing the ‘work for food’

What do you think? Should all states be required to do this?

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