A customer selects beef at a Wal Mart supermarket in Burbank, California, on November 26. Photo source: visual China
Trump is going to work as an American slacker.
According to Bloomberg news, the trump administration will soon announce a new regulation on the 4th, which will limit states to exempt from work or job training requirements for food voucher recipients based on the unemployment rate. The new rules are expected to take effect on April 1 next year, or 750000 Americans will be affected, people familiar with the matter said.
Food voucher is the general term of the supplementary nutrition assistance program (SNAP) in the United States. It is issued in the form of a food shopping card. Snap will deposit the welfare into the card every month.
According to the current regulations of the U.S. Department of agriculture, healthy people aged 16-59 must meet the basic work requirements when applying for food stamps, including: registering for work, participating in snap employment training program or public service, accepting a suitable job, not resigning voluntarily or reducing the working hours per week to less than 30 hours without any reason.
Applicants who have worked for more than 30 hours a week, need to take care of children under 6 years old or other persons who are unable to take care of themselves, are unable to work due to physical or mental restrictions, are receiving regular alcohol or drug treatment, are half working, half studying or working while taking part in training are not required to meet the above work requirements.
In addition, applicants aged 18 to 49 who are physically sound, able to work, have no obligation to support or support (abawd) also need to meet additional work requirements, working at least 20 hours a week, otherwise they can only get food vouchers for three months every 36 months, except pregnant and those who are granted exemption from basic work requirements.
There is another exception. According to Bloomberg, if a states unemployment rate is at least 20% higher than the national level, then the state can also exempt work requirements for food voucher recipients.
Simply put, for example, if the unemployment rate in October is 3.6%, then states with an unemployment rate of 4.32% or more can exempt these requirements. According to the October data released by the U.S. Department of labor, Louisiana (4.5%) and Arizona (4.8%) are all eligible.
In 2016, about 2.8 million abaws in the United States received food stamps but did not work, accounting for 74%, according to the U.S. Department of agriculture. An unnamed person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the trump administration had intended to introduce stricter standards and impose restrictions on the States. The new standards will be published in the US government journal federal chronicle on April 5 and will take effect on April 1 next year.
In fact, the trump administration has proposed a similar severe strike plan as early as last year, and incorporated it into the $867 billion agricultural bill. However, in the vote of the two houses of the United States last December, the relevant provisions were finally removed.
But the USDA then proposed a rule that would urge more food stamp recipients to work when the US unemployment rate is as low as 3.7% (December 2018 data).
The U.S. Department of agriculture proposed at the time that the unemployment rate, which is exempt from work requirements, should be at least 7%. By this standard, about 755000 abawd will lose their eligibility for food stamps and save the government $15 billion over the next decade.
People familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the new rules to be announced on the 4th will have the same effect on the same scale. However, the Urban Institute, a think-tank in Washington, pointed out last month that the new standard may affect a much larger group than the size estimated by the U.S. Department of agriculture. If the relevant provisions were approved last year, it is estimated that 3.7 million people and 2.1 million families will no longer be able to receive food vouchers by this year.
Craig Gundersen, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, believes that this will only deprive one million Americans of food security. Even if half of the 3.7 million people get food stamps, they may still have a meal or not. If the relevant provisions are implemented, hunger and health problems will follow, For every adult who has no access to food security, that means $2000 in extra health care.
Last year, U.S. Food voucher recipients received an average of $127 a month in benefits, while the government spent $68 billion in fiscal 2018 on food aid programs such as snap. However, as the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a new low in nearly half a century, the number of food voucher recipients has also decreased. As of August this year, 36.4 million Americans received food vouchers, a year-on-year decrease of 1.7 million.