A vast majority of likely voters in America - including Democratic and independent voters - favor state-driven welfare reform, according to a new poll put out Tuesday by the Foundation for Government Accountability. The poll comes at a time when several million U.S. workers are out of work, and many of them have stopped looking altogether.
In the poll, voters were asked if support requiring able-bodied, working-age adults with no children at home to work or train for work for at least 20 hours per week in order to receive taxpayer-funded food stamp benefits. 82% of all voters said "Yes" with only 13% saying "No." Of the Democrats asked that question, 75% said "Yes" as well.
Voters also overwhelmingly supported checks on the financial status of welfare recipients, keeping those who owe child support from receiving welfare benefits, and blocking EBT use at ATMs in casinos, liquor stores, and strip clubs. In each case, the Democratic voters were also extremely supportive of such measures.
Welfare reform is a frequent point of discussion in Washington D.C. and in many states. But many right-leaning voices believe it's become all too permanent in many instances. The poll also shows that many people want to see current welfare policy enforced. "Welfare was never meant to be a permanent way of life, and these results clearly show that Americans want existing federal requirements for food stamps enforced," said Kristina Ribali, Senior Coalitions Director at the FGA. "Those requirements have been proven to help people escape the devastating cycle of welfare dependence."
“The reforms outlined in this poll are so important," added Tarren Bragdon, FGA CEO, "because they will help those who are trapped in poverty, get fraudsters off the system, and free up much-needed resources for the truly needy.”
The poll was conducted using phone interviews with 596 likely voters. The pool of voters was 52-48 female-to-male, featured 34% Republican responses versus 37% Democratic and 29% Independent, and 40% of the respondents were below 44 years old. "Our polling also demonstrates that voters from both major political parties and independents as well overwhelmingly support common sense welfare reform," Ribali said.