Email Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act (S. 2015)

In February, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% introduced the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act (S. 2015). This bill would “address the deep problems in the federal government’s welfare programs that make it more difficult for low-income Americans to work their way into the middle class and stay there.”

Unlike President Obama and the liberals in Congress who think that raising the minimum wage is the only way to address poverty, this bill actually takes aim at helping America’s low-income individuals. By implementing new work requirements for the food stamp program and capping welfare spending, S. 2015 works towards increasing self-sufficiency and reducing government dependence.

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Jim Jordan: Want to Cure Poverty? You Need Work, Strong Families, Free Markets

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) 95% shared inspiring ideas about how to cure poverty in America at Heritage Action’s Conservative Policy Summit earlier this month.

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Senator Mike Lee Introduces Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act

“Successful welfare programs are those that make poverty more temporary, not more tolerable, and we need to move current policy in that direction,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% in a press release regarding the introduction of his bill, the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act.

Lee explains:

The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act corrects and strengthens current welfare programs by restoring work incentives for individuals and families, improving state administration of welfare programs, rewarding states that transition beneficiaries from welfare to work, and imposing greater transparency in means-tested welfare spending.

This legislation is based on sound research and on the realities we face today as a nation.  The government spends nearly $1 trillion annually on 80 federal means-tested programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services for poor and low-income Americans.

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Heritage Expert: Raising Minimum-Wage as Welfare Reform Won’t Work

Advocates of increasing the federal minimum wage argue a minimum wage increase would result in fewer people relying on food stamps and other federal welfare programs.  The evidence suggests otherwise, but there are many examples recently of pundits and economists arguing for a minimum wage increase nonetheless.

The Associated Press reports an increasing number of food stamp recipients are working-age Americans, rather than children and the elderly, as was historically the case.  AP notes some economists have thought about a minimum wage increase as a means of helping these working-age Americans become independent of federal welfare programs:

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night is expected to focus in part on reducing income inequality, such as by raising the federal minimum wage.

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Woonsocket’s Government-Dependent Existence

In a 3,500-word piece, the Washington Post’s Elia Salow explains how the Rhode Island town of Woonsocket experiences a “monthly boom-and-bust cycle” thanks to a growing dependency on food stamps.  One-third of the town’s population – 13,752 – receive food stamps:

The economy of Woonsocket was about to stir to life. Delivery trucks were moving down river roads, and stores were extending their hours. The bus company was warning riders to anticipate “heavy traffic.” A community bank, soon to experience a surge in deposits, was rolling a message across its electronic marquee on the night of Feb. 28: “Happy shopping! Enjoy the 1st.” 

In the heart of downtown, Miguel Pichardo, 53, watched three trucks jockey for position at the loading dock of his family-run International Meat Market. For most of the month, his business operated as a humble milk-and-eggs corner store, but now 3,000 pounds of product were scheduled for delivery in the next few hours. He wiped the front counter and smoothed the edges of a sign posted near his register. “Yes! We take Food Stamps, SNAP, EBT!” 

“Today, we fill the store up with everything,” he said. “Tomorrow, we sell it all.” 

At precisely one second after midnight, on March 1, Woonsocket would experience its monthly financial windfall — nearly $2 million from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Federal money would be electronically transferred to the broke residents of a nearly bankrupt town, where it would flow first into grocery stores and then on to food companies, employees and banks, beginning the monthly cycle that has helped Woonsocket survive.

It is a commentary on both the state of the American economy and the level of dependency caused by the government’s growing entitlement regime.  The article continues:

Pichardo catered his store to the unique shopping rhythms of Rhode Island, where so much about the food industry revolved around the 1st. 


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