Food stamp recipients decline by 7 million in Trump era

Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 27, 2019

The number of people receiving food assistance benefits has declined significantly during the Trump era — thanks to a booming economy and greater accountability.

Some 36.03 million people, or 18.23 million households, were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, according to the most recent government data. That’s a decline of approximately 7 million million, 4 million households, since 2016, the last year of the Obama administration.

“How could this be? Well, it does not take an economic genius to understand that lower taxes and fewer regulations result in more jobs in the economy. Employed people can afford their own groceries, and there is now more money in people’s pockets to buy them,” wrote Chris Talgo, editor of the Heartland Institute, this week in the Washington Examiner.

As Talgo noted, the U.S. labor force participation rate edged up to 63.2 percent in August. More people working, more people earning money, less people dependent on taxpayer-funded government services.

The Trump administration, too, has worked with states like Wisconsin, to bring greater accountability to welfare programs such as SNAP.

That could change, however. Sources tell Empower Wisconsin that Gov. Tony Evers ‘administration appears to be slow-walking some of the welfare reform measures passed in the Legislature in recent years.

Wisconsin paid out $65.49 million in SNAP, or FoodShare, benefits in July, the latest monthly data available. Total benefits payments declined each year between 2014 and 2018.

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