Welfare is the new work, by Stephen Moore

It’s getting easier and easier to live on somebody else’s dime, and harder and harder to make it on one’s own. From Stephen Moore on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Two recent news stories highlight how pernicious the welfare state has become in America today.

The first was an announcement by the feds that food stamps can be used to have groceries delivered right to a recipient’s door. Service with a smile. The Obama administration says it is too much of a hardship for those on welfare to actually travel to the grocery store. What’s next? Cooking the meal for them? If only the DMV would do home deliveries for drivers The second story was about the hullabaloo over a proposal by Maine governor Paul LePage to prohibit food stamp recipients from using their food aid to purchase junk foods like sugary soft drinks and candy bars.

He says that the state has an obesity problem and he will “implement reform unilaterally or cease Maine’s administration of the food stamp program altogether.” The Obama administration rejected his request and the left activists act as if the idea that a welfare recipient can’t buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at taxpayer expense is a violation of civil liberties.

The welfare/entitlement state of mind has spiraled out of control in America. No one is lifting a finger of opposition. The cost of welfare is now well over $1 trillion a year. Food stamps are so ubiquitous that they have replaced dollars as the new standard currency in many inner cities in America. Even in affluent areas with upscale grocery stores, food stamp recipients fill their carts with everything from cakes to lobster.

Liberals love welfare. It was only a few years ago that Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi opined that putting more people on food stamps and unemployment insurance is one of the “best ways to stimulate the economy.” Which is more astonishing? That she believes this lunacy or that she would be dumb enough to say it out loud.

We are in the seventh year of a so-called recovery, yet 45 million Americans depend on taxpayers to put food on their table. This is roughly 5 million more than when President Obama took office. Medicaid rolls have exploded by more than 10 million, too, and Mr. Obama openly boasts about how many people he’s moved into the program. Unemployment insurance beneficiaries have fallen, thankfully, but the number of Americans collecting disability has continued to climb. Wow this is some recovery.

By the way, disability rolls are growing even as worker safety has hit an all-time high. Shouldn’t safety and automation mean fewer disabled workers? The reality, as everyone in the welfare industry knows, is that food stamps and disability are the new welfare. Neither one of them requires work in exchange for benefits.

No one wants to admit that the ease of entry into the welfare state and the generosity of the benefits is one big reason why labor force participation has collapsed. Why work?

Welfare expert Peter Ferrara notes that a big instigator for the welfare state expansion has been the decimation of welfare reform laws passed in 1996. “It’s infuriating that a law that worked incredibly well in lowering costs and getting the unemployed into the workforce, has been largely gutted,” he concludes.

To continue reading: Welfare is the new work


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