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Archive → November 14th, 2016

Illinois waives food-stamp work requirements for able-bodied adults

llinois is one of only eight states that do not enforce food-stamp work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents. But reinstating work requirements would benefit Illinois food-stamp enrollees as well as state and local economies.

Welfare programs such as food stamps should offer individuals a hand up – temporary assistance until they are able to get back on their feet – rather than becoming a way of life. Work requirements are an important part of this prescription. Without work requirements, adults can become trapped in the welfare system, which robs them of opportunity. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening in Illinois today.

Federal welfare legislation signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1996 mandates that able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without dependents must work in order to receive food-stamp benefits. These adults are required to work at least 20 hours per week in order to qualify for food-stamp welfare. If they don’t meet these requirements, their eligibility is limited to three months (in a three-year period).

Most states are enforcing these federal requirements to help these adults get back to work and free up limited resources for those who need them most. Unfortunately, Illinois is not one of these states.

States can opt to waive work requirements and, in the wake of the Great Recession, many states did. In 2015, 42 states waived work requirements, allowing able-bodied adults to stay on welfare indefinitely.

Thankfully, as of October 2016, this trend has largely reversed. Forty-two states are now enforcing work requirements (either statewide or in some regions), leaving just eight states – including Illinois – with no work requirements at all.

Work requirements are wildly popular. Nationally, 79 percent of voters support food-stamp work requirements, including 77 percent of Independents.

But, most importantly, work requirements are good policy. Without work requirements, able-bodied adults are allowed to stay on welfare indefinitely, with no incentive to go back to work, and limited state resources are diverted from the truly needy. With work requirements in place, adults are more likely to work, increase their incomes, and create better lives for themselves than welfare ever could.

Kansas and Maine prove work requirements help get people back into the workforce

Two states serve as examples of the power work requirements have to increase incomes and reduce welfare dependency. Kansas and Maine reinstated work in their food-stamp programs in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Using employment and wage data the state was already collecting, they tracked the income of every adult that left food stamps. What they found was remarkable.

After work requirements were reinstated, Kansas food-stamp enrollees were twice as likely to work, and their incomes more than doubled. But those who left the program were better off as well. Nearly 60 percent of adults who left the program found work within a year, and their incomes more than doubled, more than offsetting lost welfare benefits and leaving them better off than they were before. Overall, wages for these adults increased by $89 million per year, resulting in higher revenues for the state and increased economic activity.

A similar story has unfolded in Maine. After work requirements, able-bodied adult enrollment dropped by more than 90 percent and, within a year of leaving the program, able-bodied adults saw their incomes increase by an average of 114 percent. These adults re-entered the labor force, worked more hours, or increased their earnings. As a result, able-bodied adult enrollees who are working are now above the poverty line, on average.

This is a story that could and should be replicated in Illinois. All policymakers have to do is allow the state’s work waiver to expire.

There are 273,691 able-bodied adults without dependents on food stamps in Illinois, according to the most recently available data from the state. If work requirements were reinstated, based on the experiences of Maine and Kansas, 205,000-230,000 adults in Illinois would be freed from welfare.

With these people returning to the workforce, not only would economic growth improve, but state revenues would increase from the taxes those people would pay. More importantly, the former welfare recipients would experience the joy and dignity of work. And this shift would free resources for the most vulnerable.

People moving from welfare to work wouldn’t be thrown out in the cold – they can increase their work hours while receiving assistance and set themselves on a path to independence. In fact, due to work requirements, wages for able-bodied Illinoisans currently on food stamps are projected to increase by $600 million-$700 million per year, according to estimates from the Foundation for Government Accountability.

This additional economic activity could also generate between $14 million and $16 million in new state income taxes and up to an additional $5 million in state sales tax from new revenue on currently untaxed food purchases.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has decided to leave the waiver in place, for now. But there’s still time to reverse course: The administration can let the waiver expire. And this simple policy change would improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, setting them on a path out of welfare dependency and toward self-sufficiency.

TAGS: food stamps, jobs, SNAP, unemployment, welfare

Source: Will County News

70% of the US electorate believed America was in decline

By Dan Ptoft 11/14/2016

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Trump won 91 of Illinois’ 102 counties to Romney’s 79. This should be noted by ILGOPers who suggest and behave as if Trump is the name that shan’t be spoken: we can’t lead the revolt from behind.

Trump was indeed a drag down-ballot in suburban Cook and the collars where we must win. So was Mark Kirk. But the notion advanced by surrender Republicans in Illinois that the path to suburban supremacy is by jettisoning social conservatives and slapping Coexist bumper stickers with the GOP logo on the minivans of haughty sophisticated barbarians is without evidentiary support.

70% of the US electorate believed America was in decline and they wanted to do something about it (and 31 states did). 80% of Illinoisans think the state is on the wrong track (and has been for some time) and suburban Cook and the collar counties said they don’t want to do anything about it.

I think the latter group wants to do something about it but they are easily swayed by the bigot-baiting and culture of deference promulgated by the Left. This is particularly so when the center-right lacks definition, pride, and a willingness to contend that they represent more than just being not Mike Madigan.

This is a time of reflection. So perhaps it’s worth contemplating an approach that incorporates the always-on-offense, asymmetrical style of Trump with more dignified conduct and thoughtful, informed rhetoric.

Or we can just continue what we’re doing and wallow in the minority while Illinois circles the drain.

Source: Will County News

Anti-Trump crowd clamors for its own slavery

People protest the election of Donald Trump on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS)Politicians, bureaucrats and U.S. media have so skillfully inserted the word “democracy” into American lexicon that the crowd has total confusion of groupism and individual liberty.

Democracy by all definitions is mob rule or groupism. It is anathema to individual liberty. Democracy does not equal human liberty. Democracy precisely means the manipulated mob. Mobs are never spontaneous.

This applies to the mobs of “protestors” — who are actually rioters — disrupting traffic, vandalizing property and marching in America’s major cities in an effort, apparently, to overturn the will of the voters in the last presidential election.

These mob riots are not spontaneous but are astroturf demonstrations funded by George Soros’ Moveon.org and his leftist and globalist comrades for the express purpose of destabilizing the American system. Paid “demonstrators” are being bused into select cities in order to foment riots.

Destabilizing the system is an oft-used tool of the power elite – particularly the U.S. government — seeking to topple foreign governments and set up puppet regimes they can control. Destabilization benefits the ruling class and the oligarchs.

Unfortunately the astroturf protesters are being joined by “useful idiots,” vacuous individuals dumbed down to an almost nonfunctional state from years of programming by the American (non)education system and government propaganda. Many of them, if television interviews are any indication, did not even vote. They assumed what they heard from mainstream propaganda media and social media and from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that a Hillary win was assured because Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist, homophobe unqualified to be president and incapable of standing in a room full of minorities with putting them down, a room full of women without sexually harassing them, and room full of sodomites without killing them. Therefore he would not and could not be elected.

Among the complaints being voiced by the so-called #notmypresident mobsters is that Trump is not the legitimate president-elect because he did not receive the majority of the popular vote (a fact that is not yet set in stone because not all votes have been counted). Many, if not most, of them are now calling for the ending of the Electoral College and petitioning the electors to select Clinton (I warned you of this possibility) and calling for change in the electoral process so that the president will be elected by popular vote.

This trope is being egged on by the astroturf protesters like this former CNN employee-turned-activist who was interviewed by CNN as a legitimate protester and the mainstream media, which profits from coverage of staged events while serving as the public relations arm of the globalists and banksters.

But whether Trump ends up with the lead in the popular vote is irrelevant as he won the electoral vote. America is a republic, not a democracy, a fact lost on the empty heads wandering about chanting anti-Trump slogans into their phones to broadcast over social media and when the television cameras light up.

The ignorance, normalcy bias and cognitive dissonance being demonstrated by these “useful idiots” is profound, but should not be surprising given the recent news coming out of college campuses regarding millennial snowflakes and their quest for “safe spaces” free of “hate speech” and contrary opinion and their efforts to create a society where gender dysphoria is the norm. This is the direct result of decades of mollycoddling in schools and society.

The public (non)education system, rather than teaching the three “Rs” and allowing students to stand or fall on their own work, has long taught a “value-based” curriculum in which students were constantly pampered and enabled and taught there are no “wrong answers” and no winners and losers.  Scorekeeping was removed from competitions and participation trophies were handed out which rewarded mediocrity and failure the same as exceptionalism, hard work and success.

Additionally, schools teach pseudohistory and muddled civics if civics is taught at all.

The result is those students are now physical adults but emotional toddlers who have run head-long into reality and life in which there are always winners and losers, but because of their conditioning they are unable to cope with disappointment and are responding like the children they are.

Unfortunately there is a long game at play here.

Unseen powers sow the seeds of chaos, disunity and crisis in order to consolidate control. They use divide and conquer tactics, separating groups and minorities and classes and creating dissension among them.

Who are these minorities and groups? They are, of course, racial minorities. But there are a whole lot  more. There are homosexual minorities, feminine minorities, so-called civil rights minorities, and all the minorities that make up the “diversity” of the U.S.

Public policy is molded on these manipulated minority influences, all contributing to the power and collectivism of government. This is all an invisible charade, an organism, with a totally different and opposite orientation to individual liberty. It is in reality New Age slavery, a benevolent totalitarianism, an illusion of freedom.

One can always identify minority special interests simply because they welcome government intervention and intrusion (socialism) as a net for perceived social inequality, poverty and underachievement. Guilt manipulation and all manner of charades are used to force social and economic equality where none is earned.

The principle of government is that political power is maximized by forcibly leveling every individual to the same status of conformity, collectivism, ecumenicalism, and serfdom.

The truth goes deeper. Because of perceived social, cultural, racial and psychic inferiority, minorities desire to parasite on government force and socialism to subvert those they envy and wish to imitate.

This makes the crowd clamor for more “democracy” and “equality” and government intervention in order to gain more special privileges for themselves even when those privileges come at the expense of other people’s natural rights.

But anyone seeking human liberty, privacy and private property under the mental deception of democracy is under the greatest illusion of all. The riotous crowds must purge their minds of this seductive appeal, this spiritual despotism which is stealing their conscience, their soul and their honor.

It will be their legacy to future generations to whom they are passing on their slavery.

Source: Will County News