While the debate over welfare policy in Washington D.C. and in states is ongoing, there is very little debate about the state of the American economy. Economic indicators ranging from near record-low unemployment rate to a record number of jobs and people working show that the United States economy is booming. But despite this unprecedented economy, there remains a record number of able-bodied adults on welfare.
With more than 20 million able-bodied adults on food stamps and 28 million on Medicaid, welfare enrollment among able-bodied adults has hit unprecedented levels. Even more alarming, most of these able-bodied adults do not work at all. Much more must be done to get these adults off the sidelines and back to work.
Work is not just good for businesses and the economy. When able-bodied adults on welfare have work requirements, they go back to work in more than 600 different industries and earn twice as much as they did when they were on welfare, more than replacing their previous benefits.
To help people move from dependence to independence, to fill open jobs and help employers, and to keep the U.S. economy growing and thriving, the time for welfare reform is now.