Welfare should not be permanent

Katelyn Moriarty

Welfare was incorporated into the economy in 1935 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the purpose of supporting the disabled, elderly, and unemployed. Welfare was not created to float people money while they choose not to work. The program has continued on into present day society and is no longer used as a last resort or even frowned upon by others. Instead it is more freely distributed and is, in some cases, given to those who do not deserve it. Under the Trump administration, there is a hope that welfare will be given only to those in the most necessary of situations and recipients may be more limited.

Welfare programs like TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and food stamps provide assistance to low income families, but are also sometimes given to people who are not in the worst financial situations. The amount of fraud committed by people in the United States is unreasonably high. The Office of Management and Budget within government said they lost $115.3 billion in “improper payments” in 2011. As recent as October 2017, 12 people were charged with Food Stamp fraud after hiding $20 million worth of food stamps.

Currently, only 15 states have mandated that drug tests be given before someone can receive the benefits of welfare. But even within these states, only recipients ‘suspected’ of drug use are forced to be tested.

Thankfully, President Donald Trump has chosen to cut down food stamp usage by over $1 trillion over the next ten years. These cuts would force the able-bodied people on welfare to either work towards earning the benefits they receive, or require those who can not immediately find a job to be under a type of training to help prepare them for finding a new job. Though I do support Trump’s budget cuts within this department, we must make sure that those who cannot provide for themselves are not harmed by these cuts.

So as to not leave people without help, there should be more strict limitations put in place for who is able to receive these benefits. All recipients should be legal citizens and have a legal disability to where they either can not work at all, or have no ability to change the job they work at now. It is understandable that some people do not have the ability to leave their current jobs and are stuck making low wages. New regulations should provide these people support, but also push them to improve their jobs and wages to eventually relieve them of welfare. There should also be special regulations for retired Veterans that have mental illnesses or physical limitations and are unable to find work or reintegrate themselves back into civilian life. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are at least 40,000 homeless veterans that have no job and no place to call home.

As a solution to stop the abuse of the welfare system, all states should require recipients to complete a drug test, show proof of citizenship and make sure that the people who are applying have a legal handicap, whether physical or mental. Those who truly cannot provide for themselves or their family should be taken care of by the government and taxpayers. Americans work hard for an education and choosing the best career path possible in order to give their families the best possible future. They do not want their tax dollars going to people that see an easy way through life, sitting back living off the hard earned money of others.

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