White House Floats Drug Testing for Food Stamps


The Trump administration is reportedly pondering the idea of drug testing for food stamps, affecting roughly five percent of snap recipients.

The plan would apply mostly to people who are able-bodied, without children and seeking some specialized jobs.  Even so, Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, calls it a waste of time.

“The states that have tried this have found they actually spent more money testing recipients than they save by weeding out people who shouldn't be eligible,” he says.

“While we believe that government programs seldom help the poor and we certainly should be doing our best to get the poor into jobs and not on welfare, simply punishing them for being poor is not the answer either.”

Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs for FreedomWorks, thinks the focus should be elsewhere.

“I think what we should be doing more than anything else is addressing the root cause of this problem which is drug addiction and we should be doing more to get rid of those addictions,” he says.

Both argue the entire welfare system needs a reboot.

“At the same time we need to do it very cautiously and very carefully and avoid populous policy like what they're proposing here with drug testing for welfare,” says Pye.


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