Maine required healthy, childless food stamp recipients to work, and…

posted at 9:21 am on February 10, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

It’s a case of miracles and wonders up in the Pine Tree State, folks. A report from Rachel Sheffield and Robert Rector at the Daily Signal takes a look at welfare programs and efforts to reform them, particularly in the area of food stamps. They note that one of the fastest growing segments of welfare programs over the last decade has been applications for food stamps by ABAWDs, or able bodied adults without children between the ages of 18 and 49. These are folks who are determined to be otherwise able to work but without a source of income. The total cost of these programs in 2014 was $83.1B.

In Maine they took some steps to make the program more efficient last year, much to the dismay of social justice advocates. The Governor put a new program in place which requires ABAWDs desiring food stamps to put in some effort.

In response to the growth in food stamp dependence, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, recently established work requirements on recipients who are without dependents and able-bodied. In Maine, all able-bodied adults without dependents in the food stamp program are now required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service.

Job openings for lower-skill workers are abundant in Maine, and for those ABAWD recipients who cannot find immediate employment, Maine offers both training and community service slots. But despite vigorous outreach efforts by the government to encourage participation, most childless adult recipients in Maine refused to participate in training or even to perform community service for six hours per week. When ABAWD recipients refused to participate, their food stamp benefits ceased.

You’ll note that the requirements here aren’t exactly onerous. If you do have some sort of employment you’re supposed to report it. If not, the job training programs are free. And if you don’t wish to do either, you can put in six hours of community service per week. That doesn’t exactly take up all your free time, and yet the number of people who rejected all of those options was overwhelming.

So how did that shake out?

In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015.

That’s an 80% drop in 90 days. How astounding is that? And it represents a serious savings for the taxpayers in terms of keeping the state’s budget afloat, though the majority of the cash comes from the federal government. But what of all the people who were no longer receiving the benefit? Are they starving? As it turns out, the study shows that a substantial number of recipients were working “off the books.” (And likely not paying taxes on their income either.) That allowed them to qualify for any number of social welfare programs while still having a cash income. Those folks dropped off the rolls quickly rather than have to own up to their income.

Compare that for a moment to New York City, where Mayor de Blasio has essentially thrown welfare reform into reverse.

The number of New Yorkers on welfare is reportedly on the rise, with about 13,000 more people being added to the rolls during the mayor’s first year in office.

The New York Post is reporting that the cash assistance program swelled by 4 percent in 2014.

According to an advanced look at the “Poverty and Progress in New York” report, the jump comes the same year the city added around 90,000 jobs.

Are we to believe that Maine is somehow unique, with an extraordinary number of residents signing up on the dole when they don’t actually qualify or are otherwise able to work but choose not to? Or perhaps New York City is just a mecca for paragons of honesty who would never short sheet the system. Both are unlikely. Welfare reform (or workfare, as we once called it) is being crushed by progressive elements at all levels of government and the results speak for themselves. What’s happening in Maine should be the benchmark for how to move forward rather than a target of criticism by Democrats.

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Comments

South Dakota has always had an A-Bod work requirement in place for its food stamp recipients.

*YAWN*

gryphon202 on February 10, 2016 at 9:28 AM

The Food Stamps program is really a get-out-the-vote program for the Democrats. “If you vote Republican they will cut your Food Stamps!!!”

albill on February 10, 2016 at 9:30 AM

“Don’t feed the animals, they will become dependent on you”

[a sign at the gate of a major national park]

Mcguyver on February 10, 2016 at 9:30 AM

The extent of the underground cash economy in this country would astound everyone if the data could be found. But this should give you a pretty good idea of what is going on out there.

In Maine, a lot of it is from drug dealing, but plenty of it is good old fashioned handyman work, car repair, landscaping, etc. Of course people would rather give up their small food subsidy than report all this nontaxed income.

rockmom on February 10, 2016 at 9:31 AM

The Food Stamps program is really a get-out-the-vote program for the Democrats. “If you vote Republican they will cut your Food Stamps!!!”

albill on February 10, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Funny how it hasn’t worked out that way for them though. There was a story a while back in the Atlantic
about how Dem strategists are freaking out over Matt Bevin winning the Governor’s race in Kentucky, after his Democrat predecessor went all-in on Obamacare and signed up a half million new people to Medicaid. They all voted Republican anyway.

rockmom on February 10, 2016 at 9:34 AM

The number of New Yorkers on welfare is reportedly on the rise, with about 13,000 more people being added to the rolls during the mayor’s first year in office.

Trump supporters, all of them.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM

If you are unwilling to work for your food you deserve to starve.

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM

BeCommieo is determined to return NYC to the days of Serpico; I haven’t been there recently but I understand the place is steadily devolving, but that’s anecdotal.

Bishop on February 10, 2016 at 9:36 AM

Is it still raciss to call Obama the “Food Stamp President”?

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 9:37 AM

In Portland, Maine there are intersections where you can see these young, white, able-bodied millenials on each corner holding cardboard signs saying, “Anything helps – God bless ” (of course). They rotate in shifts and refuse to get real jobs because they can make an average of $150 a day.

Portland tried to stop them but the courts ruled against them. I’m sort of on the fence about that one since the overwhelming consensus of Portland residence is hard core Liberal.

But good on Paul Lepage.

Cruz/ LePage 2016. (But I’ll settle for Trump/ LePage 2016)

Cleombrotus on February 10, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Portland tried to stop them but the courts ruled against them. I’m sort of on the fence about that one since the overwhelming consensus of Portland residence is hard core Liberal.

But good on Paul Lepage.

Cruz/ LePage 2016. (But I’ll settle for Trump/ LePage 2016)

Cleombrotus on February 10, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Time to start telling judges to Go Fluke Themselves.

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 9:38 AM

Funny how it hasn’t worked out that way for them though. There was a story a while back in the Atlantic
about how Dem strategists are freaking out over Matt Bevin winning the Governor’s race in Kentucky, after his Democrat predecessor went all-in on Obamacare and signed up a half million new people to Medicaid. They all voted Republican anyway.

rockmom on February 10, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Yep, and every week the Lexington newspaper runs some sort of editorial claiming them dumb A$$ hillbillys voted to kill themselves when they voted for Bevin. It is pretty amusing some times.

Johnnyreb on February 10, 2016 at 9:40 AM

Trump supporters, all of them.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM

How sweet the taste of your bitter tears are today.

Sugarbuzz on February 10, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Funny how it hasn’t worked out that way for them though. There was a story a while back in the Atlantic
about how Dem strategists are freaking out over Matt Bevin winning the Governor’s race in Kentucky, after his Democrat predecessor went all-in on Obamacare and signed up a half million new people to Medicaid. They all voted Republican anyway.

rockmom on February 10, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Are you claiming (or did your source claim) that food stamp recipients voted Republican in Kentucky? (That is the subject of discussion, not Medicaid.) If so, I’d like to see some source material to back that up.

Humphrey on February 10, 2016 at 9:45 AM

A goodly number of non-working, able-bodied men just moved to NYC.

vnvet on February 10, 2016 at 9:45 AM

In Portland, Maine there are intersections where you can see these young, white, able-bodied millenials on each corner holding cardboard signs saying, “Anything helps – God bless ” (of course). They rotate in shifts and refuse to get real jobs because they can make an average of $150 a day.

Portland tried to stop them but the courts ruled against them. I’m sort of on the fence about that one since the overwhelming consensus of Portland residence is hard core Liberal.

But good on Paul Lepage.

Cruz/ LePage 2016. (But I’ll settle for Trump/ LePage 2016)

Cleombrotus on February 10, 2016 at 9:37 AM

I’m over in Back Cove and I have to see those best-dressed-hobos-I’ve-ever-seen hipsters whenever I take Forest Ave downtown. Not only are they the best kept beggars I’ve ever seen, every day at lunch you can go over to the Whole Foods and see them hit up the salad bar, or across the street at Trader Joes you can see them getting their daily meals. My wife’s a doctor and I can’t even afford to eat every day from Whole Foods!!!

It was actually one of the few lapses of sanity that I’ve witnessed so far in this city trying to deal with those bums.

Defenestratus on February 10, 2016 at 9:46 AM

“Don’t feed the animals, they will become dependent on you”

[a sign at the gate of a major national park]

Mcguyver on February 10, 2016 at 9:30 AM

It’s so racist* to think that bears don’t want to work, just like Human Beings.

[* – Everybody is abusing “racist” for any kind of ethnicity, I’m trying to show how stupid that is by abusing the word for every kind of lapse in equality. Because equality is the best! No, wait, that makes it not equal…]

Axeman on February 10, 2016 at 9:46 AM

Its funny, yesterday LePage said that Trump owes him for speaking fees for being “politically incorrectly outspoken”.

Defenestratus on February 10, 2016 at 9:47 AM

How sweet the taste of your bitter tears are today.

Sugarbuzz on February 10, 2016 at 9:44 AM

I’m not crying. Trump was a lock in a socialist state like New Hampshire. They like commies and idiots. The fact that Ted Cruz did as well as he did despite the electorate is the more important story going forward.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:49 AM

Targeting low income folks again.

How about we go after Iowa millionaire farmers who are constantly robbing the tax payer in “subsidies”.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Targeting low income folks again.

How about we go after Iowa millionaire farmers who are constantly robbing the tax payer in “subsidies”.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

LOW INCOME?!?!?!?

LOW FREAKING INCOME!??!?!?!?!??!

THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT FREAKING WORKING!!! THEY’RE SITTING ON THEIR COUCH GETTING HIGH.

WHY THE FLYING F*CK SHOULD I PAY FOR THEIR SLOTH?

GOD I WANT TO DEFENESTRATE YOU SO BADLY.

Defenestratus on February 10, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Targeting low income folks again.

How about we go after Iowa millionaire farmers who are constantly robbing the tax payer in “subsidies”.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Did you read the article or just skim the headline again? You have a really bad habit of doing that here on Hot Air that goes back for years.

Seriously, stop using the weed before the damage becomes permanent.

Johnnyreb on February 10, 2016 at 9:58 AM

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

How about both?

Mimzey on February 10, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Targeting low income folks again.

How about we go after Iowa millionaire farmers who are constantly robbing the tax payer in “subsidies”.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Dude, I’m not low income and I could get food stamps if I wanted to.

It’s not about incomes or feeding people. It’s about GETTING EVERYONE ON A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM.

Because ultimately the Democrats don’t want anyone to eat without begging them for crusts of bread outside their mansions.

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Trump supporters, all of them.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM

I was looking for a Trump-free thread, but since you brought him up…
Trump has said numerous times he intends to stop the Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the VA, and I don’t recall any other candidate on the R side mentioning this. What if he tried to do the same to welfare on a national level, especially in his home state?

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

I’m not crying. Trump was a lock in a socialist state like New Hampshire. They like commies and idiots. The fact that Ted Cruz did as well as he did despite the electorate is the more important story going forward.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:49 AM

I am currently a Cruz supporter, but he didn’t do that well in NH. NH is an outlier because it skews so far left, even on the Republican side, but all the squishes together crushed Cruz. What if 3 of the 4 following names weren’t on the ballot? Rubio, Bush, Christie, Kasich. My guess is that the one name left would get all the votes that the others got.

South Carolina will be the big get for any of the Republicans.

NotCoach on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Seriously, stop using the weed before the damage becomes permanent.

Johnnyreb on February 10, 2016 at 9:58 AM

Too late.

NotCoach on February 10, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Targeting low income folks again.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

If you had any integrity whatsoever, you and other leftists would step up and replace their lost income.

malclave on February 10, 2016 at 10:04 AM

….its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015.

Good job, Maine! But no doubt that most of those parasites, er, uh, recipients will still vote for Bernie ‘envy, greed & theft’ Sanders.

locomotivebreath1901 on February 10, 2016 at 10:05 AM

If you had any integrity whatsoever, you and other leftists would step up and replace their lost income.

malclave on February 10, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Never happen. Besides telling everyone else what to do with their lives, leftists want nothing more to do with them….

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:06 AM

Trump supporters, all of them.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM

Bernie bots actually

rich801 on February 10, 2016 at 10:06 AM

Trump has said numerous times he intends to stop the Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the VA, and I don’t recall any other candidate on the R side mentioning this. What if he tried to do the same to welfare on a national level, especially in his home state?

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

But that is all he said. How exactly is he planning to stop the waste, fraud, and abuse in the VA? You can’t answer because Trump is all talk on a superficial level. No detail, plan, or anything beyond talking points of his ignorant rabble to take up as some sort of substantive position. What’s it like being such a gullible stupid political supporter?

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 10:08 AM

In Maine, all able-bodied adults without dependents in the food stamp program are now required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service.

weedisgood hardest hit.

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Defenestratus on February 10, 2016 at 9:46 AM

don’t see them in etna.
course only one real intersection they could do it at and people tend to run 50mph or more there LOL

dmacleo on February 10, 2016 at 10:12 AM

BeCommieo is determined to return NYC to the days of Serpico; I haven’t been there recently but I understand the place is steadily devolving, but that’s anecdotal.
Bishop on February 10, 2016 at 9:36 AM

Da commucrats lubs dere ghettos

Nationally and globally

I will attest to the accuracy of your statement

Mr Soames on February 10, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Maine offers both training and community service slots. But despite vigorous outreach efforts by the government to encourage participation, most childless adult recipients in Maine refused to participate in training or even to perform community service for six hours per week. When ABAWD recipients refused to participate, their food stamp benefits ceased.

I’ve been on these programs. There are two problems with them:

1) They schedule meetings with mandatory attendance without clearly informing the recipient when these meetings occur. Miss a meeting, even if you didn’t know about it, and you’re kicked off welfare.

It’s a stretch to lump all these people into a pile labeled “refuses to work”.

2) These programs create dozens of government jobs for people who are, basically, doing nothing. The collect attendance records for the unannounced meetings, they give resume tips, etc. It expands the bureaucracy, giving pay checks and benefits to people who are providing marginally useful services.

Magicjava on February 10, 2016 at 10:17 AM

It’s not about incomes or feeding people. It’s about GETTING EVERYONE ON A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM.

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

True story: Through a variety of circumstances, in 2013 I “qualified” simultaneously for AMT and EBT. Go figger.

Fambly had a good laff on that one, just before the realization/outrage re:EBT qualifications set in…

Hieronymus on February 10, 2016 at 10:24 AM

Are we to believe that Maine is somehow unique, with an extraordinary number of residents signing up on the dole when they don’t actually qualify or are otherwise able to work but choose not to? Or perhaps New York City is just a mecca for paragons of honesty who would never short sheet the system.

And we’re not supposed to talk about “VALUES”?

RL on February 10, 2016 at 10:26 AM

Quick question:

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Gullible and stupid?? I haven’t voted yet, but still undecided on whether to go for Trump or Cruz. I’ve got time.
Who was the last candidate you voted for based on what he said he was going to do, and what was his “plan” to accomplish that, once he got in office? And how happy about that are you, Happy Nomad?
The fact that Trump even notices that there’s WFA going on in gov’t agencies raises him in my esteem, especially since it doesn’t seem to matter to any of the others.

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Of course people would rather give up their small food subsidy than report all this nontaxed income.

rockmom on February 10, 2016 at 9:31 AM

They’re willing to risk tax evasion charges by blowing off the tax authorities but wouldn’t falsely deny/understate income to the food stamp bureaucrats? More likely the actual performance requirements were deemed to exceed the subsidy benefits.

Barnestormer on February 10, 2016 at 10:39 AM

Quick question:

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Short answer;

Weimar Germany.

Long answer;

Government collapse, followed by something that will very likely be staggeringly nasty. “Man on a white horse” time. That’s how Adolf came to power, after all.

For a potential “hothouse” version, watch Venezuela. Maduro is just about at the tipping point, after Chavez made the bed he lies in.

Argentina is another good example. As is Saudi Arabia.

The latter is far more potentially dangerous to the world as a whole than the former, just because of where it is and what and who is native to its soil.

(Islam. Medina. Mecca.)

clear ether

eon

eon on February 10, 2016 at 10:40 AM

This should be a requirement for all welfare and food stamp recipients including those with children with the exception of those who have kids under school age. Get a conservative in the WH who will require states to do this in order to receive federal welfare funding. It should be no different than what is required to receive unemployment.

hopeful on February 10, 2016 at 10:41 AM

But that is all he said. How exactly is he planning to stop the waste, fraud, and abuse in the VA? You can’t answer because Trump is all talk on a superficial level. No detail, plan, or anything beyond talking points of his ignorant rabble to take up as some sort of substantive position. What’s it like being such a gullible stupid political supporter?

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 10:08 AM

It’s what my wife and I call, his “glittering generalities”. He has yet to really lay down how he’d do anything in detail. It’s just going to be “the best”.

Trump has said numerous times he intends to stop the Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the VA, and I don’t recall any other candidate on the R side mentioning this. What if he tried to do the same to welfare on a national level, especially in his home state?

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Oh, stop. What politician hasn’t claimed they’ll stop waste, fraud and abuse? Hell, Obama claimed he was going to fund Obamacare by cutting waste, fraud and abuse in Medicaid and Social Security. It never happens. Too many Sacred Cows.

Hill60 on February 10, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Quick question:

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Reevaluation to make the wealthy pay even more of their “fair share.”

Teach me how to Bucky on February 10, 2016 at 10:43 AM

The number of New Yorkers on welfare is reportedly on the rise, with about 13,000 more people being added to the rolls during the mayor’s first year in office.

Some of those NYC “values” [OK not unique, just human, opportunistic unless deterred, but especially prominent in corrupt big cities full of thin skinned, self-righteous whiners, most of whom would starve if place on a ranch and told, “here it is, go to work”]. Awww, they’re really just signing up as an act of…LOVE!

RL on February 10, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Quick question:

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

I think we may have already passed that point. See for example: the national debt.

hopeful on February 10, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Wait. So for 6 hours per week I could live in coastal Maine AND get fed?

WryTrvllr on February 10, 2016 at 10:58 AM

Targeting low income folks again.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Maybe if they worked, their income wouldn’t be so low.

The Schaef on February 10, 2016 at 11:04 AM

From memory, they tried this in NYC for unemployed and/or welfare recipients years ago and as I recall a court struck it down.

tej on February 10, 2016 at 11:05 AM

Defenestratus on February 10, 2016 at 9:46 AM

Alright, I was wondering where you had settled in. I’m on the Hill.

Cleombrotus on February 10, 2016 at 11:07 AM

Quick question:

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Udopeia.

(No, I didn’t misspell it.)

trigon on February 10, 2016 at 11:08 AM

Wait, able-bodied adults without kids are allowed to have food-stamps… theres so much wrong with this country.

DocNathan on February 10, 2016 at 11:10 AM

Its funny, yesterday LePage said that Trump owes him for speaking fees for being “politically incorrectly outspoken”.
Defenestratus on February

Loved what he told the reporter when asked if they thought him a racist for not visiting the black inmates at the county jail.

” Tell them to kiss my butt”.

Cleombrotus on February 10, 2016 at 11:10 AM

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Ask Bernie. It’s a future you can believe in.

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 11:14 AM

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?
Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Tyranny

Mr Soames on February 10, 2016 at 11:18 AM

Quick question:

What happens when the number of people on welfare outnumber the people paying taxes?

Hank_Scorpio on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Reevaluation to make the wealthy pay even more of their “fair share.”

Teach me how to Bucky on February 10, 2016 at 10:43 AM

250% tax rates on the rich will fix that.

Nevermind that not one cent will ever get collected because they are all on the plane (with their wealth) heading out of the country before Comrade Sanders would ever be sworn in…

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 11:19 AM

Because ultimately the Democrats political class don’t want anyone to eat without begging them for crusts of bread outside their mansions.

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Minor fix.

GWB on February 10, 2016 at 11:22 AM

Good for Maine.

LeeBelieu on February 10, 2016 at 11:56 AM

Makes one wonder how many New Yorker’s now have a ‘Down Maine’ accent…

Woody

woodcdi on February 10, 2016 at 12:02 PM

one of the fastest growing segments of welfare programs over the last decade has been applications for food stamps by ABAWDs, or

able bodied adults without children between the ages of 18 and 49

.

Jazz, you disappoint me. Why do you want to eliminate children between the ages of 18 to 49 from the food stamp rolls? Ya know, a comma here and a comma there can make almost anything understandable.

Old Country Boy on February 10, 2016 at 12:13 PM

In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015.

Get with the program Maine!
You’re upsetting the natural balance of deadbeat losers.
Unless all states are on board with this, these do-nothings are going to zombie-walk to states like California where they can still leech off of the working class for free.

… of course depending on where they set up their cardboard box will determine which gang they will be required to enlist in.

/s

Voodoo Chile on February 10, 2016 at 12:18 PM

What if he tried to do the same to welfare on a national level, especially in his home state?

leftamark

HN would still squat, poop and fling his monkey feces like always.

xblade on February 10, 2016 at 12:37 PM

Quelle surprise!

neyney on February 10, 2016 at 12:43 PM

How about we go after Iowa millionaire farmers who are constantly robbing the tax payer in “subsidies”.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Seems like there is a conservative or two that is on record as wanting to end ethanol subsidies. Know any leftists who can make the same claim?

And haven’t I heard you say something to the effect that people shouldn’t be able to inherit their parents’ estate because they didn’t earn it? So why is it suddenly all different when welfare queens don’t earn it?

Are you saying that it shouldn’t be allowed for someone to voluntarily give you something you didn’t earn, but it’s all hunky dory for the government to give you something extorted under the threat of violence that you didn’t earn?

GrumpyOldFart on February 10, 2016 at 1:00 PM

I’m no advocate for the freeloader types. But…

If you have a job and no children, you probably don’t need or won’t qualify for food stamps.

If you’ve got no job (children or not), you may still wish to eat.

I can’t speak for those who’ve rejected community service or job training, but the needing a job part wiped out a big chunk of previously eligible people all by itself. Especially since once employed they’ll most likely no longer qualify anyway.

The whole “children” qualifier bugs me some too. Doesn’t it promote having kids you can’t afford to raise?

I can see it having a determination on the amount of benefits, but as a straight up qualifier, it can be a bit unfair. You can be in some pretty dire straits financially without ever having added to that burden by having kids.

Again, not advocating for those who take advantage of the system and make it a way of life. But I speak from experience when I say, “it can happen to you”, and I’ve got no kids.

Oxymoron on February 10, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Oky my 2 cents so to speak for what it is worth. I live in Fl, and while we do not receive S.N.A.P. benefits, we did at one point. My hubby lost his job and unemployment doesn’t stretch that far when your feeding a very large family.

I do not know much about the rest of the Country but here in Fl. able bodied adults have quite a bit more to do for help than 6 hours of community service. Here if you do not have a job you are required to do 40 hours per week of community service in exchange for help.(Note : this is if you are single if married and at least 1 spouse works the requirement is not there.)

Thankfully we no longer need that kind of help. While i think the folks in Maine whining about 6 hours is ridiculous, i must say i do believe 40 hours is a bit too much. I had a friend who needed help and was a single mother, by the time the week was over she had spent an hour on the bus to and another hour from a non paying community service job 5 days a week for a whopping total of 385 dollars of ebt per month and 275 in Cash assistance to pay her bills.

So for those of you thinking that so called leeches have it made can you feed and clothe 2 kids keep a roof over their head and the heat on for 660 dollars a month? It;s not quite that cut and dried sorry.

While some people do abuse the system not everyone using it does. Sometimes those hoops you folks want to keep adding to the process become so onerous that it actually does more to hinder them getting back on their feet than help.

katee bayer on February 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Targeting low income folks again.

How about we go after Iowa millionaire farmers who are constantly robbing the tax payer in “subsidies”.

Cheech Wizard on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Your problem, besides the fact that you have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have the IQ of a pot seed, is that Maine is in the Top 20 States for per-capita income.

F-

Del Dolemonte on February 10, 2016 at 1:17 PM

I’m over in Back Cove and I have to see those best-dressed-hobos-I’ve-ever-seen hipsters whenever I take Forest Ave downtown. Not only are they the best kept beggars I’ve ever seen, every day at lunch you can go over to the Whole Foods and see them hit up the salad bar, or across the street at Trader Joes you can see them getting their daily meals. My wife’s a doctor and I can’t even afford to eat every day from Whole Foods!!!

It was actually one of the few lapses of sanity that I’ve witnessed so far in this city trying to deal with those bums.

Defenestratus on February 10, 2016 at 9:46 AM

I live up in Bath, Maine. This past December, every freaking entrance/exit to the Topsham Fair Mall, and at Walmart and Cook’s Corner had one of those hipster hobos standing there with a similar sign. At Topsham, I stopped and rolled down my window and told the fellow that if he wanted to get in my car, I’d gladly drive him to the McDonalds on the corner, or to the Hannaford Supermarket beside it. Both had big signs saying help wanted and they’d hire him on the spot. He hollered “Fvck You!”and told me he’d call the cops if I kept harassing him. I drove off and smiled to myself.

Later on, I called the owners of the mall and told them what had happened. They started having the cops move those folks along. Apparently the mall, being private property can enforce the “no loitering/pan handling” laws. Portland, having those guys on public property can’t do a whole lot legally. Sadly.

TKindred on February 10, 2016 at 1:19 PM

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 AM

You’re a leech.

CWforFreedom on February 10, 2016 at 1:38 PM

While some people do abuse the system not everyone using it does. Sometimes those hoops you folks want to keep adding to the process become so onerous that it actually does more to hinder them getting back on their feet than help.

katee bayer on February 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Early in my married life I qualified for every type of welfare assistance available and I had a job. I worked a minimum of 60 hours a week with no car. I walked to work in sub zero weather. My wife and I elected to go it on our own and not become dependent on anyone else. My solution was to improve myself and better my station in life. I managed to work myself up to a hefty six figure income with ample benefits. I put three kids through college and the only financing I used was a credit card which never accrued any interest, always paid off monthly. That with two in school at the same time for at least 5 years both maintaining off campus lodging. It took years of hardship though but I’ve never regretted it. I could have used the help but declined. Wife shopped bargain basement and second hand shops for kids clothes. From the time I entered the work force until I retired I was never out of work long enough to qualify for unemployment and haven’t qualified for assistance of any kind since the very early 70s. Don’t tell me I’m lucky either, luck had nothing to do with it. Aggressiveness, determination and tenacity is what it took. Luck was not a factor. Not saying everybody could do what I did but the fact that I did it shows that it’s possible. Not easy but it can be done.

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 1:40 PM

If you have a job and no children, you probably don’t need or won’t qualify for food stamps.

Oxymoron on February 10, 2016 at 1:02 PM

That’s not true.

GWB on February 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM

Nevermind that not one cent will ever get collected because they are all on the plane (with their wealth) heading out of the country before Comrade Sanders would ever be sworn in…

ConstantineXI on February 10, 2016 at 11:19 AM

You’re wasting your breath. Anyone supporting a self identified socialist in any manner is too stupid to be able to understand how miserable a failure socialism has historically been. They cannot have even a basic grasp of human nature and, obviously, no understanding whatsoever of history. The little pea brained putzes just don’t understand that the only ones who’ll be paying is them. As you say, those that can will bail leaving only those who put the socialists into power to foot the bill. Of course they won’t be able to foot it for long and will eventually slide down into the lower strata of society and become just more life sucking parasites until we decay into economic collapse and eventually move to a dictatorship.

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Hang in there, ABAWD dudes, Bernie is coming soon.

Kissmygrits on February 10, 2016 at 1:58 PM

Trump supporters, all of them.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM

Never miss a chance, do you, peckerwood?

And then you whine and snivel about Trump supporters calling you names and being so mean to you.

Most of the new welfare recipients are either Bernie or Bloomberg voters….YOUR choices.

Solaratov on February 10, 2016 at 2:13 PM

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 1:40 PM

I’ll bet you did it all without cable tv, a cell phone, disposable diapers, or an ipad. And you ate a lot of beans and rice, amiright?
I think it’s a generation thing. People today under 50 can’t live without stuff that costs money.

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 3:24 PM

Oh yeah…Maine is a real bastion of Conservatism:

Feds award Maine $640,000 to boost rural economy

PORTLAND, Maine — Two Maine organizations will share $640,000 in federal grant money designed to help support entrepreneurs in rural areas and to explore ways to get investor money to early-stage natural resource businesses.

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development won a $390,000 grant to expand its entrepreneurship training programs, and Coastal Enterprises Inc. landed $250,000 to pursue a seed capital investment program that would cater to natural resource-based businesses in rural Maine.

Jay Williams, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, was in Portland Monday to announce the awards for which 170 organizations nationally applied and only 25 won, including the two in Maine.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 10, 2016 at 4:11 PM

Charity is not a proper function of the federal government, period. All charity should be managed at the lowest (i.e. municipal, county or state) level, so that those managing it can fully evaluate the applicants for need. Those that don’t have a real need, but are freeloading the system, get nothing. Those that have legitimate needs, get the necessities to survive, not thrive.

Even so, all entitlement programs should operate with incentives to leave the program as quickly as possible. Currently, the perverse incentive to remain on the programs as long as possible is the reality.

A while ago, my wife and I agreed to take in a man who was struggling, for a minimal monthly rent payment. After a couple of months, it became clear that he had no plans to do better than struggling, and seemed that he would be content to live on our grace (and eat more than his share of our food) for as long as possible.

At one point, I asked him how much money he earned each month (I was allowed to ask, since he had requested to miss a rent payment). He began listing things like disability (he had a broken wrist three years ago, it’s completely healed), unemployment, a GI Bill payment for the two classes he was taking. . .
I stopped him and clarified that I asked not how much money he was GETTING each month, but how much he EARNED. In return I got a blank stare. He couldn’t even process the question. He simply expected that others would always help take care of him. BTW, he wasn’t a kid, he was nearly 40. On that day, I told him that he had two months to either find full-time work and start paying a full adult share of the household rent/utilities/etc., or find somewhere else to sleep.

Freelancer on February 10, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 1:40 PM

I’ll bet you did it all without cable tv, a cell phone, disposable diapers, or an ipad. And you ate a lot of beans and rice, amiright?
I think it’s a generation thing. People today under 50 can’t live without stuff that costs money.

leftamark on February 10, 2016 at 3:24 PM

Yep, beans, rice, pasta and meatless sauce. Yes they can live without that stuff, they just don’t realize it.

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 4:44 PM

Trump supporters, all of them.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM

Ah, c’m-on. Not every thread has to be a Trump thread.

Count to 10 on February 10, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Charity is not a proper function of the federal government, period. All charity should be managed at the lowest (i.e. municipal, county or state) level, so that those managing it can fully evaluate the applicants for need.
Freelancer on February 10, 2016 at 4:28 PM

At most. Really, government should not be involved in charity at all, except where it becomes a public health and safety issue. But, you are right that only the lowest level should get involved even with that. Honestly, our biggest goal on the federal level should be to divest all federal charity programs (including Social Security and Medicare) down to the state level.

Count to 10 on February 10, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 10, 2016 at 4:11 PM

No state in the Union is a bastion of conservatism. If nothing else, they all have cities in them.

Count to 10 on February 10, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 1:40 PM

I think my income as a student might have qualified me as living under the poverty line, but I actually managed to save up over $20k during that…and blow a few thousand dollars on books and video games while I was at it.

Count to 10 on February 10, 2016 at 5:43 PM

Again, not advocating for those who take advantage of the system and make it a way of life. But I speak from experience when I say, “it can happen to you”, and I’ve got no kids.

Oxymoron on February 10, 2016 at 1:02 PM

I’m with you, and I HAVE kids. The difference is we only have two. When our family hit hard times, it was temporary (still feeling it), but we only had two kids, and I still worked. I see women at daycare dropping off babies and toddlers, and it just isn’t fair that career welfare baby factories get to stay home with their baby-daddy-babies on our dime.

Laura in Maryland on February 10, 2016 at 5:56 PM

I think my income as a student might have qualified me as living under the poverty line, but I actually managed to save up over $20k during that…and blow a few thousand dollars on books and video games while I was at it.

Count to 10 on February 10, 2016 at 5:43 PM

Yep, just supports the position that if you get your priorities straight and make a plan and can put up with a little sacrifice you can do most anything. People today just don’t get it. They’re too steeped in the me, me, me culture to even accept the idea of sacrifice.

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 1:40 PM

I don’t mean to belittle your achievements in any way, they are indeed something to be proud of.

But today’s job market isn’t what it used to be (thanks Obama) back in the 70’s, 80’s, or even 90’s. Especially if you’re getting on in years.

What you’ve managed to do is highly commendable. But the opportunity to pull that off is becoming more scarce. If you’re approaching late 40’s to early 50’s these days, and have had a good solid decent paying career up until lately, finding similar work for similar pay can be next to impossible.

Between younger, less experienced, people willing to start out at much lower pay, and H1B visa’s bringing in foreigners to work for peanuts. There’s not a big market for older, wiser, more experienced employees.

Of course they can always work 3 part time menial jobs for less than half of their accustomed pay and no benefits in order to stay off the dole, if they have that level of integrity.

Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in today.

Oxymoron on February 10, 2016 at 6:27 PM

That’s not true.

GWB on February 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM

I’m guessing that would depend on what state you live in. Here in PA, if you make something around 17k-18k and have no kids, you make too much to qualify for food stamps.

With rent being around 1k / month, it’s not easy paying rent, utilities etc, keep a car running / insured, and still have enough for food.

Throw in mandatory health insurance and maybe a small car payment and you’re not eating, unless maybe your $8.50 job happens to be at McDonalds.

Oxymoron on February 10, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Excellent stories – even if the plural of anecdote is not data, it’s a start.

AesopFan on February 10, 2016 at 8:23 PM

Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in today.

Oxymoron on February 10, 2016 at 6:27 PM

What you say is true but then again I was hearing the same thing when I was moving up through the food chain. I can’t tell you how many of my less aggressive relations warned me that everything I had achieved was going to come crashing down. I just nodded and told then that then I’d start all over again.

I don’t know if I could do it again but if I had to I know I’d damn well try and I’d either succeed or I’d die trying.

I’m guessing that would depend on what state you live in. Here in PA, if you make something around 17k-18k and have no kids, you make too much to qualify for food stamps.

Oxymoron on February 10, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Yeah, had several folks from Pa tell me the same thing. They had trouble making ends meet in Pa even with having engineering degrees and lots of specialized training in my field. Know what they did. Packed everything up and moved to get a better job. One very tenacious lady told me that she would have walked out if she’d had to. She just told her husband that she and the kids were moving to Virginia and he could come with or stay in Pa. He came and became her house husband. She’s very secure now financially with a management position and getting ready to retire at an early age.

Oldnuke on February 10, 2016 at 9:10 PM

South Dakota has always had an A-Bod work requirement in place for its food stamp recipients.

*YAWN*

gryphon202 on February 10, 2016 at 9:28 AM

Kudos to SD but you shouldn’t poo-poo Maine’s efforts. Au contraire, you should laud Maine and any other states that do this or are trying to.

soghornetgunner on February 11, 2016 at 9:52 AM

Trump supporters, all of them.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:35 AM
How sweet the taste of your bitter tears are today.

Sugarbuzz on February 10, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Hey SugarB, sweet zinger. Nice one

soghornetgunner on February 11, 2016 at 9:56 AM

How sweet the taste of your bitter tears are today.

Sugarbuzz on February 10, 2016 at 9:44 AM
I’m not crying. Trump was a lock in a socialist state like New Hampshire. They like commies and idiots. The fact that Ted Cruz did as well as he did despite the electorate is the more important story going forward.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 9:49 AM

Just one prob, HN. Cruz is not a NBC. Therefore, ineligible.

soghornetgunner on February 11, 2016 at 9:59 AM