Sonny Perdue hints that those with jobs should be barred from food stamp program

Agriculture Secretary Secretary Sonny Perdue. AP file/Jacquelyn Martin

Sonny Perdue is hinting that big changes could be in store for the federal food stamps, which fall under his purview as U.S. secretary of agriculture.

During a speech in New York this week, the former Georgia governor was critical of the fact that able-bodied people with jobs receive the benefits. From the Wall Street Journal:

Speaking at the WSJ Global Food Forum on Tuesday, Mr. Perdue said that relying on food stamps has become a “lifestyle” for some able-bodied adults.

“We want the people who need the help to get it,” said Mr. Perdue, adding that the benefit shouldn’t be “the whole enchilada” of a family’s food security.

He suggested that enrollment in the program would fall if individuals who are able to work are restricted from using it.

Georgia is already cracking down by insisting that the able-bodied get jobs in order to continue receiving food stamps. From an AJC piece published in April:

About one in five Georgians receives food stamps, making it among the most frequently used social service programs. Debate is heating up as states adopt federal rules that able-bodied people without children must work or lose the benefit. Georgia enacted the requirement in three counties in January and reached its first deadline April 1. Already, the number of these people on food stamps in the three counties has been cut in half, down to 2,590 recipients.

But in a state hostile to unions and with a minimum wage of only $5.15 an hour, also barring those who receive paychecks from receiving food stamps would have tremendous impact. An estimated 546,000 working Georgians live in households that receive the help, according to one study.

That fact, or at least this portion of it, has already made its way into the 2018 Republican race for governor:

According to a study based on census data, recently highlighted by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, some 3,200 members of this state’s law enforcement community — bailiffs, prison guards, jailers, beat cops and deputy sheriffs — are food stamp recipients.

“That’s probably correct,” said Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.

 

***

The morning word from the White House is all about Puerto Rico — who gets the blame, and who should bear the burden:

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The Atlanta Press Club will host a mayoral debate at 10 a.m. today. You can watch the live-streamed event on Facebook here. WABE (90.1FM) will rebroadcast it at 8 p.m. tonight. A televised version will be shown on PBA30 at 10 a.m. Sunday.

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The AJC’s Ernie Suggs helped Roland Martin break down the race for mayor of Atlanta on Wednesday. Watch it here.

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Dec. 5 is shaping up to be a pretty lively news day. That Tuesday is the day, assuming a runoff, we’ll learn the identity of Atlanta’s next mayor. It’s also the date set for oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This is the case of the gay couple refused service at a Colorado bakery.

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You know about that heated at-large Atlanta City Council race that features incumbent Michael Julian Bond and challenger Courtney English. On Wednesday, former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin decided it needed a little more gasoline. From an emailed fundraising plea on behalf of English:

I’ve seen a lot of things in politics. But I’ve never seen an incumbent excited to be polling below 50%.

Michael Julian Bond is touting a recent 11 Alive poll that shows he has a lead in his re-election bid against Courtney English. However, he’s under 50%. What this poll really means is that despite running for office for over 20 years, a famous last name, the power of incumbency and after spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars campaigning, the majority of voters are not committed to re-electing the councilman…

City hall is under a cloud of corruption and Councilman Bond, the recipient of the largest ethics fine in the history of the state–$45,000 for over 300 violations– is contributing to that cloud. It’s time to clean up city hall and after working with Courtney English, I know he has the courage and integrity to lead Atlanta forward.

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 In the nonpartisan race for mayor of Atlanta, the Georgia Democratic party has backed up its anti-Mary Norwood online assault with a Twitter account. It’s called – wait for it – Mary NoWood.

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Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin is no fan of Mitch McConnell. The Cherokee County local was one of a handful of conservative group leaders to write to the Senate majority leader Wednesday requesting he resign. The subject line? “Failure of leadership.”

There’s more. During a press conference on Capitol Hill, Martin indicated she would be willing to back Georgia U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., as majority leader over McConnell. Via Fox News:

Asked about Georgia Sen. David Perdue, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots suggested she could support him as leader. “I’m from Georgia, so I’m not opposed to him,” Martin said, praising his background as a CEO before being elected to the Senate.

Perdue’s folks have yet to weigh in on this one. (Tamar Hallerman)

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One thing U.S. Sen. David Perdue has weighed in on this week: Nuclear energy. The Republican took to the opinion pages of The Hill newspaper calling for a “renewed commitment to domestic nuclear energy.” “We need to send a signal to the rest of the world that nuclear energy is going to continue to be a major part of our domestic energy production,” Perdue wrote.

As the Insider previously told you, Georgia’s lawmakers, and particularly U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, have unexpectedly found themselves the last men standing for nuclear energy on Capitol Hill now that Plant Vogtle is the only new project left in the U.S. In his op-ed, Perdue ultimately steered clear of discussing of the tax credits Vogtle’s backers so desperately want the Senate to approve. Some critics have raised questions about how the credits would be paid for. (TH)

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Gov. Nathan Deal sounded optimistic about Georgia’s chances against Florida in the water rights case that will come before the U.S. Supreme Court this term. Our colleague Tyler Estep reports that Deal rattled off statistics about the state’s reduced per capita water usage over the years during a speech in Duluth on Wednesday:

He called those numbers and others “a pretty good indication of why the state of Florida had such a hard time in the suit they filed against us.”

“We hope that that will continue to go well,  Deal said….

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear oral arguments in the never-ending Georgia-Florida fight later this term.

***

On the eve of National Coming Out Day, state Rep. Renitta Shannon did just that. The Decatur Democrat posted on Facebook she is bisexual, writing that she is “generally a private person” but that under President Donald Trump’s administration “proactive visibility seems more important than ever.”

The Georgia Voice reports that she’s now the fourth LGBT member of the state Legislature. The others are Park Cannon, Sam Park and Karla Drenner, who was the first openly gay state lawmaker in Georgia history. (Greg Bluestein)

***

Georgia Democratic moneyman Daniel Halpern, the founder of a restaurant and hospitality company, was tapped as a deputy national finance chair for the Democratic National Committee. Halpern is a close ally of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – he chaired his mayoral campaign – and was a trustee for President Barack Obama’s 2008 inaugural committee. (GB)

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MARTA got a shout-out from the country’s top transportation official on Wednesday. The AJC’s David Wicker reports that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao gave the mass transit system kudos during a conference at the World Congress Center for serving commuters following the I-85 bridge collapse this spring. (TH)

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Typically media-shy, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, spent half an hour in the C-SPAN hot seat Wednesday morning, cheerfully taking viewer questions on tax reform while some of us were still getting out of bed. One of his most interesting observations was about President Donald Trump. “I think for the president, relationships are a negotiation,” he said. Woodall went on to praise Trump for the way he has “shaken up the normal flow of the Capitol.”

Woodall also acknowledged he would like to be House Budget Committee chairman now that the current head has announced she’s stepping down. “We have got a whole bunch of people on the Budget Committee that would be outstanding chairmen,” he said. “I would like to count myself to be among those.” Woodall has the seniority to make a real run at the chairmanship, but recent reporting from other D.C. media outlets has suggested his colleague Steve Womack, R-Ark., has the edge with party leaders. (TH)

***

Mayor Kasim Reed may need to step up his efforts to woo Amazon to Atlanta. Check out this eager video from Reed’s Kansas City counterpart:

(TH)

 

 

Reader Comments 1

38 comments
Tim Lehnerer
Tim Lehnerer

Flipping burgers for 28 hours a week is one (1) job. Being the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is one (1) job. Yet somehow, even though the burger flipper and national-level policy maker both have an equivalent number of jobs, those jobs are different! Why, I think the person kept at part time so the employer doesn't have to pay benefits might not be able to afford caviar and pheasant for every dinner! It's almost as if having a job is no guarantee that food security is something you will have along with it!

Richard Thornton
Richard Thornton

The problem is not the food stamps program.  The folks in power now got it all wrong. They have created an economy in which a large percentage of the population can work full time and still be desperately poor.  If Sonny Perdue cuts off their food stamps, he should be very concerned about where he is spending eternity.

The problem is at the local FACS offices, which are letting people use food stamps, based on fraudulent applications.  The food assistance debit card saved my rear end in 2009, when as an architect I had no income because all my clients had gone under.  However, then and now, I observed people using that debit card, who had very expensive new cars and pricey clothes.  It was obvious that they should not be getting assistance. If they are caught for filing false income statements, they should go to prison, plus pay back what they owe the taxpayers.

abbmom
abbmom

My God. So the working poor should have to choose between a job which doesn't cover even minimal living expenses and food stamps? 


As a Georgia taxpayer, I see a maddening irony in hearing this from a man whose pension I'll be contributing to for the rest of his miserable life. This is one rotten human being. 

Atlanta Doc
Atlanta Doc

Good job, Jim. Showed Sonny and other old white men that it is just not black people on food stamps. Isn't that what this is about? I bet they back off knowing white-bread sheriffs have to get food stamps. There are people with 40-hour a week jobs in homeless shelters because of Our Right to Work state and miserable pay.

Bob in Sandy Springs
Bob in Sandy Springs

Why is it that a lot of state employees need food stamps?  Because they are paid POORLY!!!

Queen of Ctown
Queen of Ctown

Fine, give a corresponding increase in the minimum wage.   Food stamps and other benefits (which are really hard to get btw) are more corporate welfare since they subsidize the low wage workers.

Marcus Maxon
Marcus Maxon

@Queen of Ctown  better wages have to be sought out and earned...not handed to you.  corp welfare is a made up leftist term made to sound like county welfare

abbmom
abbmom

@Marcus Maxon @Queen of Ctown Uh no, it's a fact that taxpayers subsidize giant corporations such as Wal Mart. They reap huge profits by underpaying workers, who are then forced to resort to food stamps to eat. So even though I haven't set foot in a Wal Mart in years and am determined to never, ever shop there again, I'm still contributing to their profitability by supporting their workers. (It was once policy for Wal Mart HR personnel to refer workers to government agencies and food banks in lieu of benefits.) And the just-in-time scheduling that so many employers use means that those workers are unable to take second jobs, because they must be available pretty much any time with no guarantee of getting hours. 


I can think of many better uses for my tax dollars than paying do-nothings who can afford $200 million yachts and have contributed nothing good to the world in their entire lives. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

I see folks all the time using them while talking on their I-phone and then get in a car that is much nicer than mine. That is BS.

Can'o'corn
Can'o'corn

@TOJacket not really BS, since both of those things can be made affordable with the right financing.

Marcus Maxon
Marcus Maxon

@Can'o'corn @TOJacket  they can't finance with no ability to pay. some brown skinned retailers might allow you to abuse food stamps....try them

Covfefe23
Covfefe23

@TOJacket Perhaps if you didn't spend all day sitting on your fat can obsessing about UGA football you'd be able to afford an iPhone and a nicer car.

Covfefe23
Covfefe23

@Can'o'corn @TOJacket Always amusing when people talk about smartphones like they're excessive luxuries.  First, they have no idea what that phone cost; they could have gotten a used one for cheap.  Second, smartphone plans cost roughly the same as landlines did a few decades ago inflation-adjusted, and I doubt anyone was whining about "those welfare queens with their fancy touch-tones" back then.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Suck that nipple confefe, how much $ worth of SNAP do you get?

TOJacket
TOJacket

I can afford anything sport. But how do you get SNAP and a car loan on a new car?...like I said sport. BS

abbmom
abbmom

@TOJacket Sorry, I call nonsense on this. And anyway, other people's purchases and methods of payment are none of your business. Random shoppers don't actually have to justify themselves to mean-spirited busybodies. I'm much more appalled by people who were apparently never taught that it's rude to stare.

_Alana..
_Alana..

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Robert1959
Robert1959

While poverty rates for Blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is White. More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41% of the nation's destitute, nearly double the number of poor Blacks. I guess that old "Son of a Bigot" Sonny Perdue forgot who he is hurting.  It must be a requirement to work in the Trump administration to be a racist and bigot.

Marcus Maxon
Marcus Maxon

@Robert1959  more white people dummy.  you'll find whites are at the top of any category.  home ownership, employment...etc

Kenneth Andrews
Kenneth Andrews

Yes, let's punish more people for working and continue wondering why people stay unemployed.

Stupid idea.if somone is employed and makes so little that they still qualify it they deserve it more than whose that don't work.

Marcus Maxon
Marcus Maxon

@Kenneth Andrews  get skilled up and make yourself useful.  pay attention when you're younger.  I know who I'm not going to hire

WPWW
WPWW

Agreed.  If someone is drawing a 'decent' paycheck, they shouldn't 'need' taxpayer subsidies.  However, ALL corporate welfare needs to be ceased.

Robert1959
Robert1959

@WPWW This month Facebook said Russia brought thousands of sites and spent over $58 million dollars on Facebook. Did Russia use Facebook to "target" America's homegrown terrorist groups (tea party, Heritage Foundation, Koch Bros., Freedom Works, Freedom Caucus and other extreme rightwing 501 (c) (4) corporate welfare - to funnel money to fuel hatred, fear and bigotry in the USA?

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@WPWW And other kinds of welfare, like getting your interest from your house loan off your income taxes, and how the spouses of workers (usually women) who never worked outside the home for a day in their life "qualify" for half their spouse's SS check!


Absolutely welfare!

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

With Trump undermining HC, don't worry about getting food stamps. You'll die first!

curt49
curt49

So people with minimum wage jobs shouldn't get help? Just how cruel and selfish can republicans get?
 Purdue started his campaign with a cartoon of a pig over the state capitol. He's confirming my belief that it was actually him.

reader77
reader77

Sure, "Get a job!", 

then punish people who do but still need assistance, while corporations and the 1% hoard all the money.


Kathy
Kathy

Feeding low income folks seems to disturb Senator Purdue who obviously has never missed a meal. Yet, they don't mind giving huge tax subsidies, or welfare, to major corporations as though they are doing citizens a  big favor.

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