Society and Culture
You Actually Have to Work for Food Stamps in Maine
I like to keep an open mind about our government and how different states run differently, but there are some things that I feel like would make more sense if every state did them the same way. Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage (R), has reinstated a policy that would make people have to work for food stamps. No more sitting around on your ass waiting for that welfare check to come in, nope, you have to actually work for the money.
“People who are in need deserve a hand up, but we should not be giving able-bodied individuals a handout,” LePage said in a statement. “We must continue to do all that we can to eliminate generational poverty and get people back to work. We must protect our limited resources for those who are truly in need and who are doing all they can to be self-sufficient.”
I think that this is one of the greatest ideas ever, but I also wonder why they have to reinstate such an idea, and why aren’t other states doing the same thing? Wasn’t the original idea of food stamps and welfare just to help people who are down on their luck and trying to find a job? When did we allow welfare to become a way of life? In fact, when did we start allowing people on welfare to become lazy and just accept a handout without having to work for it? I can’t say that I remember a time when everyone understood the value of a dollar and what a good work ethic is because I’ve never lived in a time where that held true, but I know that at one point in this country our citizens knew what they had to do in order to get by. Nowadays you can pop out a couple of kids, get on welfare, and just sit around waiting for that money to be deposited in your account. You don’t have to actively look for a job, volunteer, or commit to attend a workforce program. You can just say you need the money and the government will hand it on over, the more kids you have the more money you get.
I am no stranger to the ways in which some people have found to manipulate the system. I’ve heard stories of people who will get on food stamps or welfare, take the government’s money, and buy themselves a brand new iPhone or a new pair of Jordans or any other material thing that you don’t need when you are living off of welfare. Do you know where that “government money” is coming from? That money is coming from my pocket. That money is coming from the guy who works a 50-hour work week on minimum wage trying to make ends meet because he understands what hard work and supporting his family are really all about.
Do people not realize that when it comes from the government it’s actually coming from the people!? That’s why we pay taxes, so our government can supplement the many things that we need as a nation, and part of that goes to supporting those who are on welfare. If you are an able-bodied person who can work and is on welfare then there should be a stipulation that says you have to be doing something rather than sitting at home watching Real Housewives of New Jersey or hanging out with your friends. Why not volunteer or participate in a skills training program? Be an active member of society, be a part of your community in a positive way, and teach your kids that a handout is something to be ashamed of. Teach your kids good work ethic and respect for our government.
Under Maine’s new policy people capable of working would be limited to three months of food stamp benefits over a three-year period unless they work a minimum of 20 hours a week, volunteer a certain number of hours for a community agency, or participate in a state skills-training program. This was the point of welfare: to help you out until you can get back on your feet and support yourself and your own family again. Reinstating this policy is something that all states should think about doing (if they aren’t already)!
Way to go Governor LePage and good luck to the people of Maine!
Allison Dawson (@AllyD528) Born in Germany, raised in Mississippi and Texas. Graduate of Texas Tech University and Arizona State University. Currently dedicating her life to studying for the LSAT. Twitter junkie. Conservative.
Featured image courtesy of [Steve Hopson via Flickr]