America’s dependency crisis

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America is in the midst of a dependency crisis. There’s no other way to state it. Despite a strong job market and nearly 6 million open jobs across the country, welfare rolls remain at or near record highs. And able-bodied adults are driving the crisis.

States have finally begun reversing Obama-era policies and reinstating work requirements for some able-bodied childless adults, but federal law significantly limits what they can do. Able-bodied adults on food stamps are mostly exempt from work requirements if they have children, despite the fact that they have no disabilities keeping them from working.

With no real work requirement in place, enrollment and spending have soared. Today, more than 12 million able-bodied parents are dependent on the program — nearly three times the number enrolled in 2000. And although work is critical to making families self-sufficient, just one in eight able-bodied parents on food stamps are working full-time. Most do not work at all.