President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to reform the welfare system to make the present work requirements stronger and create more such requirements, among other things. From the Hill (emphasis added):
The order does not detail which specific programs will be subject to such requirements.
Instead, Trump’s executive order calls on the heads of the departments of Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and Education to review public assistance programs within their agencies.
Those department heads are expected to submit a report within 90 days with a list of recommended changes to achieve Trump’s goals, according to the executive order.
The order, “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility,” promotes marriage in addition to work as a way to escape poverty.
Last September, President Trump restored the work requirement for certain recipients in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which the former president had waived.
Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, was a consultant on the 1996 welfare reform bill. Star had this to say in 2012 after Obama waived the work requirement:
We were very successful with the work requirements in welfare reform. The women were successful. We’re talking 5 million women and 9 million children whose lives changed because of work requirements. These children, for the first time in their lives, had an opportunity in America to be prosperous because of their mom bringing in more than the welfare would pay.
I think that the women now know what freedom looks like and tastes like and they’re not going back. I don’t think that because they’ve changed the work requirement poor women are going to stop working.[W]hen you promise somebody that you’re going to take care of them from womb to tomb, the end result is larger numbers dependent, which is what’s happening in food stamps and more bankruptcy, if you will, for our government coffers. We’re not going to be able to limit the size and scope of government, reduce that size, if we continue to allow for these out-of-control poverty programs.
Featured photo credit: Gage Skidmore – Wikimedia Commons