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Massive Change Made To Food Stamps That’s Already Affected 2.8Mil

That’s what we like to see!

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Food stamp usage in the U.S. has seen a significant decrease under President Donald Trump’s leadership. That equates to a 7.8% reduction since President Trump’s election and more than 2.8 million people dropping off the program altogether since President Trump’s first full month in the White House in February 2017. This is the fastest such drop in American dependence on state sustenance ever since the food stamp program’s inception, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Currently, there are around 39 million people relying on the food stamp program which historically is the fewest amount of Americans to rely on government sustenance handouts since February 2010. This is fantastic news…unless of course, you happen to be Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY-D) or Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-D).

According to Breitbart

“The latest USDA data shows that since Trump served his first full month in office in February 2017—when food stamp enrollment was at 42,134,301— participation in the federal government’s food stamp program decreased by 2,804,945 to 39,329,356.

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During Trump’s first year and a half as president, many people discontinued their SNAP benefits due to the Trump administration’s attempts to reform SNAP at both the federal and state levels of government.

Trump released an executive order on welfare reform in April that would require the USDA to issue updated rules for those receiving benefits such as food stamps, and invest in workforce development programs.

The USDA also hired an “integrity officer” in March to bolster the administration’s efforts to prevent SNAP fraud, and announced in February the rollout of its “Harvest Box” program to give food stamp recipients a box of shelf-stable food as part of their monthly benefits package.

The continued decline in the number of individuals enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—the federal government program in charge of administering food stamps—during Trump’s year and a half as president is consistent with the downward trend in SNAP enrollment since 2013.

In 2013, when the Obama administration was in power, enrollment in the program reached its highest levels in the nation’s history.

After 2013, SNAP enrollment declined when state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits. The improving economy also contributed to the continuing decline in food stamp usage.”

And according to the Independent Journal Review, the burgeoning economy under Trump is causing the major change to food stamp enrollment.

“The number of Americans dependent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dropped by 2.8 million users as President Donald Trump’s economy continues to grow.

SNAP has been on a downward trend for a few years, but membership has declined significantly since the president’s first full month in office.

Most of the decline in SNAP participation is believed to be from U.S. economic growth. President Trump’s administration has seen record job numbers and low unemployment, greatly reducing American dependence on government programs like SNAP.

Although much of the SNAP reduction is believed to be from economic growth, there have also been many proposed changes to the program itself that may have encouraged users to find an alternative.

On the state level, several states already implemented work requirements for food stamps and saw participation levels drop rapidly.”

This dramatic decline in food stamp usage comes as the Trump administration implements a variety of changes to the program, which as Dan Calabrese notes recently are genius insofar as you are not supposed to like being on welfare nor is it supposed to be a career goal! It is speculated that enrollment in the nation’s food stamp program might plunge even further if work requirements are included in the latest Farm Bill going through Congress.

President Trump tweeted his intentions regarding food stamps – “When the House and Senate meet on the very important Farm Bill – we love our farmers – hopefully they will be able to leave the WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS PROVISION that the House approved. Senate should go to 51 votes!”

The House recently passed a version of the bill in June. This version of the bill included a provision requiring able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages 18 to 59 work, enroll in job training, or look for work under the supervision of a case manager in order to receive food stamps. The Senate version of the bill did not include the work requirement provision.

Adding further to that is President Trump’s Harvest Box proposal. A Harvest Box is a package box of nutritious, 100% U.S. grown and produced food. According to the USDA – “Under the USDA America’s Harvest Box proposal, all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participating households receiving $90 per month or more in benefits will receive a package of nutritious, 100-percent U.S. grown and produced food. Approximately 16.4 million households or about 81 percent of SNAP households would be impacted by this proposal.

The amount of food received per household would be scaled to the overall size of the household’s SNAP allotment, ultimately representing about half of their benefits. SNAP participants would receive domestically-sourced and produced food in lieu of a portion of their SNAP benefits.

USDA would utilize a model similar to that currently used to distribute USDA Foods to other nutrition assistance programs to provide staple, shelf-stable foods (such as shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, ready-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables) to SNAP households at approximately half the retail cost.

This proposal creates a new approach to nutrition assistance that combines retail-based SNAP benefits with the delivery of USDA America’s Harvest Boxes supporting the President’s leadership on Buy American. This proposal is cost-effective, enhances the integrity of SNAP, and provides for states’ flexibility in the administration of the program.

The remainder of the household’s benefits will still be provided via the current Electronic Benefit Transfer card.”

As Zero Hedge reports –

“The Department of Agriculture estimates the change would save taxpayers $129 billion over 10 years by switching to defined packages that would presumably have a predictable, consistent cost. I’m guessing it would actually save a lot more than that precisely because people would hate being restricted to the Harvest Boxes, and at least a significant percentage of them would respond to the added incentive to improve their situations.

And of course, I’m sure part of the idea here is that people can’t trade or sell their food stamps or find some clever way to use them to get booze, cigarettes, drugs, etc.

Yes, the government would be picking out your food for you. Yes, that would be frustrating and no fun.

The point of food stamps is not to treat you to gourmet meals. It’s to prevent you from starving to d***h while you get out of the trouble you’ve gotten yourself in, whether that takes the form of unemployment, underemployment or some other type of financial mess. We want you to have food. We want you to live. But if you want the kind of food you prefer, that’s going to require you to earn your own money and buy it.”

 

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Immigrants Living On Taxpayer Dime Got Rude Awakening Thanks To Trump’s ‘New Rule’

Immigrants just got a harsh wake-up call from President Trump!

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A new rule is being cooked up by the Trump administration that will send a rude awakening to immigrants living on the taxpayer dime. Trump’s new rule brings up the “public charge” in what the New York Times stated was a law that was about 100-years-old but was reworked in 1999. President Donald Trump’s new rule, which is in the works, not in action, could affect up to 1 million people in New York alone.

It has to do with immigrants using resources for welfare benefits and being listed in the realm of being a “burden” on the funds.

The New York Times stated: “But a new rule in the works from the Trump administration would make it difficult, if not impossible, for immigrants who use those benefits to obtain green cards.

New York City officials estimated that at least a million people here could be hurt by this plan, warning that the children of immigrants seeking green cards would be most vulnerable.

That’s because if applicants use any welfare benefits, even for children who are United States citizens, that could indicate they would be a burden on government resources. “What feels deeply concerning,” said Bitta Mostofi, New York City’s commissioner of immigrant affairs, “is the impact on the welfare of children, period.”

The spin they put on it makes it seem like this will leave families without food and that President Trump is going after immigrant children. What it should really be looked at is a rule that helps people become more motivated to get jobs and provide food for their families on their own, not live on the government dole while other people work 60 hours a week just to have funds for the welfare of others taken out of their check via taxes.

There are two ways to look at their new possible rules. The liberals will say it’s an attack on children and immigrants. The people with more common sense will say it’s about time that people started working for themselves. That brings up the classic debate that many of the working class are tired of hearing about – taxes and welfare. People who work for a living don’t like seeing their money given to people who refuse to work for a living.

Being on welfare because you have to is one thing. Some people are unable to work and need help. That’s different and most Americans are happy to help in that scenario. When people are on tough times, then sometimes they need a little bit of help, and that’s acceptable and nothing to be ashamed of. However, there are people who milk the system and refuse to work and that needs to be stopped at all costs. Being on welfare because you purposely choose not to work is a bad thing and any president that we have should be inclined to get people off the couch and back to being productive.

Just for reference, the public charge fact sheet states:

“Introduction

“Public charge has been part of U.S. immigration law for more than 100 years as a ground of inadmissibility and deportation. An individual who is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to become a legal permanent resident. However, receiving public benefits does not automatically make an individual a public charge. This fact sheet provides information about public charge determinations to help noncitizens make informed choices about whether to apply for certain public benefits.

“Background

“Under Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), an individual seeking admission to the United States or seeking to adjust status to permanent resident (obtaining a green card) is inadmissible if the individual “at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge.” If an individual is inadmissible, admission to the United States or adjustment of status will not be granted.

“Immigration and welfare laws have generated some concern about whether a noncitizen may face adverse immigration consequences for having received federal, state, or local public benefits. Some noncitizens and their families are eligible for public benefits – including disaster relief, treatment of communicable diseases, immunizations, and children’s nutrition and health care programs – without being found to be a public charge.

“Definition of Public Charge

“In determining inadmissibility, USCIS defines “public charge” as an individual who is likely to become “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance, or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.” See “Field Guidance on Deportability and Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” 64 FR 28689 (May 26, 1999). In determining whether an alien meets this definition for public charge inadmissibility, a number of factors are considered, including age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills. No single factor, other than the lack of an affidavit of support, if required, will determine whether an individual is a public charge.

“Benefits Subject to Public Charge Consideration

“USCIS guidance specifies that cash assistance for income maintenance includes Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and state or local cash assistance programs for income maintenance, often called “general assistance” programs. Acceptance of these forms of public cash assistance could make a noncitizen inadmissible as a public charge if all other criteria are met. However, the mere receipt of these benefits does not automatically make an individual inadmissible, ineligible to adjust status to lawful permanent resident, or deportable on public charge grounds. See “Field Guidance on Deportability and Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” 64 FR 28689 (May 26, 1999). Each determination is made on a case-by-case basis in the context of the totality of the circumstances.

“In addition, public assistance, including Medicaid, that is used to support aliens who reside in an institution for long-term care – such as a nursing home or mental health institution – may also be considered as an adverse factor in the totality of the circumstances for purposes of public charge determinations. Short-term institutionalization for rehabilitation is not subject to public charge consideration.

“Benefits Not Subject to Public Charge Consideration

“Under the agency guidance, non-cash benefits and special-purpose cash benefits that are not intended for income maintenance are not subject to public charge consideration. Such benefits include:

  • Medicaid and other health insurance and health services (including public assistance for immunizations and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases, use of health clinics, short-term rehabilitation services, prenatal care and emergency medical services) other than support for long-term institutional care
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)- commonly referred to as Food Stamps, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, and other supplementary and emergency food assistance programs
  • Housing benefits
  • Child care services
  • Energy assistance, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Emergency disaster relief
  • Foster care and adoption assistance
  • Educational assistance (such as attending public school), including benefits under the Head Start Act and aid for elementary, secondary or higher education
  • Job training programs
  • In-kind, community-based programs, services or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter)
  • Non-cash benefits under TANF such as subsidized child care or transit subsidies
  • Cash payments that have been earned, such as Title II Social Security benefits, government pensions, and veterans’ benefits, and other forms of earned benefits
  • Unemployment compensation

“Some of the above programs may provide cash benefits, such as energy assistance, transportation or child care benefits provided under TANF or the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and one-time emergency payments under TANF. Since the purpose of such benefits is not for income maintenance, but rather to avoid the need for ongoing cash assistance for income maintenance, they are not subject to public charge consideration.

“Note: In general, lawful permanent residents who currently possess a “green card” cannot be denied U.S. citizenship for lawfully receiving any public benefits for which they are eligible.”

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Colorado Christian Cake Shop Owner Exonerated By Supreme Court Just Got Really Bad News

This is outrageous!

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Here we go again. I’m sure you are familiar with the Colorado Christian cake shop owner who just won a huge case in front of the Supreme Court this last June. Jack Phillips is the Christian baker who made history by prevailing in front of the High Court after he refused to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple on the basis of religious beliefs. Most of America celebrated with Phillips when he won the case and it provided a glimmer of hope for religious freedom once again here in the United States.

At the time of Phillips case, the Supreme Court admonished the state’s attorney who was standing against the baker for religious intolerance. He allegedly made a number of comments that gave the court pause on First Amendment grounds. The Supreme Court issued a powerful rebuke to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for its “religious hostility” toward Christian baker Jack Phillips. They were right to think that and it has been proven even more to be true this week as this baker just got really bad news. Phillips just filed a lawsuit in federal court late Tuesday against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. From what I am seeing he is being set up to be taken down in a different legalistic move… this time it involves gender issues.

Phillips and his attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom contend that the Commission has revived its campaign against him following June’s High Court decision, singling Masterpiece Cakeshop out for disparate treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs. It’s like deja vu all over again.

“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said Kristen Waggoner, who is an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney that represents Phillips. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”

The person allegedly behind all of this is an attorney named Autumn Scardina. She reportedly called Phillips’ shop the day the decision in his favor was rendered and asked him to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. The caller asked that the cake be blue on the outside and pink on the inside. Over several months after that, Phillips received requests for cakes featuring marijuana use, s******y explicit messages, and Satanic symbols. He’s convinced that Scardina was the one who made all of the requests to set him up for legal action.

From PJ Media:

“To forestall a second round of litigation, ADF filed suit against the commission in federal court. Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel and vice president of U.S. Advocacy and Administration, told PJ Media his firm would “preemptively file a lawsuit in federal court to try to stop what the commission is doing.”

“‘We think the circumstances are uniquely aligned to do that,” Tedesco explained.

“Especially since the Supreme Court ruled that the commission had treated Phillips unfairly on the basis of his religion, thus violating his right to free exercise, this follow-up round seems particularly noxious. “It seems like another round of targeting him and putting him through this very difficult process simply because he wants to be faithful in his business in what he creates through his art,” Tedesco said.

“The commission could have decided not to pursue this second case against Phillips. The ADF lawyer explained that, when a Colorado citizen thinks he or she has been discriminated against, they file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division, which then conducts an investigation and determines probable cause.

“When Autumn Scardina filed this complaint, Tedesco would have expected the civil rights commission to reject it. “After Masterpiece came down from the Supreme Court, we expected Colorado to take that into account and realize that it was a bad decision to keep targeting Jack for his religious convictions,” the lawyer explained. “Instead, they found probable cause.”

“‘He’s going to be fully investigated again, there will be hearings from an administrative law judge,” Tedesco said. “It’s restarting the entire scenario.”

“‘It’s appalling,” the lawyer declared. “It’s unconscionable that they would go after him again right on the heels of losing a case because they were openly hostile to his religious beliefs.'”

Scardina has now filed a complaint with the civil rights commission. She is alleging discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The complaint was held aside while the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ other case. Just three weeks after Phillips won his case, the commission issued a probable cause determination, finding there was sufficient evidence to support Scardina’s claim of discrimination. This sure looks as though it was all planned out this way. “Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor,” Phillips’ lawsuit states. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.”

The freedom of religion is sacrosanct in this nation as a First Amendment right. Weaponizing lawfare to take it apart is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable. I sincerely hope that Phillips prevails once more and that a more solid ruling by the Supreme Court puts an end to this form of religious bigotry.

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