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Maine governor reinstates law requiring welfare recipients to actually contribute to society

Welfare recipients

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(NaturalNews) America was once a nation made up of self-reliant, hardworking people who would avoid a government handout unless absolutely necessary. In years past, I'd say the majority of people living in the United States would prefer to go to bed hungry rather than accept a welfare check.

Americans have always been ready to help those in need, but to accept a government handout while being able to work -- even at a low-paying job -- was unthinkable. At least until recently, anyway.

Something has shifted in the way Americans see themselves. We were once confident in the belief that hard work would get us through even the worst of times, and that to become dependent on anyone was the same as admitting defeat. It just wasn't the way we were brought up.

Today, nearly half of Americans live in households that receive some form of direct monetary aid from the federal government. As recently as the early 1980s, only one-third of Americans were in that position.

Too many of us have become used to the idea that there aren't enough jobs to go around and that it's easier to let the government (which of course means other taxpayers) foot the bill. There are disincentives built into the system that actually discourage people from wanting full-time jobs -- if they want a job at all.

But some lawmakers are trying to reverse the trend of incentivizing laziness. Why should we continue to support able-bodied adults who are capable of working, unless they are at least willing to go out and look for a job?

Maine governor Paul LePage has taken a step in the right direction. He recently announced that the state of Maine will no longer utilize a federal waiver that allows able-bodied adults to collect food stamps without meeting work requirements.

The new policy went into effect in October 2014, and by the end of the year more than 6,000 people were kicked off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Federal waivers allow states to relax work requirements during times of economic crisis, but Maine is one of a few states that has decided to enforce the rules requiring food stamp recipients to either be working or enrolled in a job training program.

Maine was one of 37 economically hard-hit states that received the offer of federal waivers for the SNAP program, but Governor LePage, along with officials in several other states (including Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin), has decided that it is time to fight the trend toward dependency among able-bodied adults.

In LePage's own words:

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.

It's refreshing to see leaders at the state level who are willing to challenge the trend toward creating a nation of dependents. Those who are able to work should be expected to do so.

Disincentivizing productivity is one of the most effective means of destroying a functional society.






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