Want your food stamps? It just may be that you will have to pee in a cup first. That’s a proposal being floated by the Trump Administration. Is this government overreach or just good, old-fashioned common sense at work?
Liberty-minded folks will no doubt find this proposal a massive invasion of personal privacy. However, others might believe that it’s high time we put a few restrictions on those who are getting government subsidies. Thus, a hue and cry is expected from both the libertarians and the progressives. Perhaps it’s one of those policy areas where left meets right.
Take the Cup or Else
The plan, which is currently under review, would only apply to about 5% of those without any sort of disability who are applying for certain types of jobs. Some states have been asking for more control over their food stamp programs for years and have not been given the high sign from the Feds.
According to the Associated Press, “Federal law bars states from imposing their own conditions on food stamp eligibility.” But the Trump administration is reconsidering this strategy. This would clear the way for states like Wisconsin, who sued the USDA for blocking a drug testing program they planned to implement.
It’s a classic case of push me, pull you. Should the federal government mandate what the states are permitted to do with the food stamp program, or should the states have free reign? Considering that the current Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is the former Governor of Georgia, one might justifiably surmise that he is all in for states’ rights. And he’s on record as saying:
“As a former governor, I know first-hand how important it is for states to be given flexibility to achieve the desired goal of self-sufficiency for people,” he said. “We want to provide the nutrition people need, but we also want to help them transition from government programs, back to work, and into lives of independence.”
This comes on the heels of another food stamp proposal that is not exactly getting rave reviews. In fact, critics of the USDA have had a field day with a plan to issue “Harvest Boxes” to Food Stamp recipients. The purpose would be to lower the cost of the program, fill the boxes with homegrown American products, and promote a more nutritious diet for low-income families. Much has been made of Food Stamp recipients buying, shall we say, not the most nutritious items with their government money and this would, if not solve the problem, go a long way to assuring that people use the government dole more wisely.
Without a doubt, these are innovative ideas, but are they just another example of government overreach as seen here in an article about a Maryland dairy farmer being harangued by the FDA? After all, the government does seem to have its hand in just about everything we do and consume these days.
On the other hand, who can say it’s not a good idea to keep those with Food Stamp privileges on the straight and narrow?
Then again, is it anybody’s business if Food Stamp folks are smoking weed or more? The argument can be made that if you are getting something for free, those doling out the goodies should have a right to a few rules and regulations to accompany the handout. This is clearly not one of those cut and dried issues, and perhaps that’s why it’s just an idea at this point.
Should it become more than just a proposal, then liberty-minded people will have to sit down and give this one a think.
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