Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
In a recent opinion piece, Steven Roberts claims the new food stamp requirement will result in 700,000 people losing their benefit. He also claims children and households with children will lose their benefit. He then notes many states have asked for a waiver for areas with high unemployment because those people may not be able to find a job. All these statements are false. The new rule is limited to “able-bodied adults without dependents." Of the 3 million able-bodied on food stamps, two-thirds are exempt. Of the 700,000 left, the rule simply requires they either look for work, or, if a job is not available, undertake training, perform community work or at least look for a job. If they do any of these things, they will receive food stamps until they no longer need it.
This is not too much to ask by the taxpayers paying the bill. In addition, in Maine and Kansas, which implemented a work requirement for these recipients, restoring the requirements before 2009, thousands of people in both states found work and left the food stamp program. Those finding work increased their income 127% and half who left the program had earnings above poverty level. This allowed the state to use their portion of the money saved for education and other costs. Mr. Roberts artfully misleads to the detriment of those on the program, states, taxpayers and the truth.