Single mothers should get to work instead of collecting food stamps, claimed New Jersey Senate hopeful Steve Lonegan (R) during an appearance on MSNBC Saturday.
Lonegan noted that his own mother worked hard to build a successful life after the passing of her husband, despite the lack of government assistance.
Said Lonegan, “We never had to have SNAP, when I was a kid … you go to work, you roll up your sleeves … and my mom built a successful career."
Lonegan was referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as “food stamps” although the current system actually uses debit cards.
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Lonegan made this statement on the MSNBC show Up with Steve Kornacki, and also said, “Ok, so, this thing that every single mother is the poster child for the welfare state is nonsense … I know a lot of single moms go out to work and do very, very well for themselves.”
Despite Lonegan’s sentiments, evidence shows the SNAP program to be effective in fighting poverty and an efficient use of funding, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Many people receiving SNAP assistance do have jobs, but earn too low a wage to support their families.
The CBPP also notes that SNAP is not contributing to budget woes because it is not growing faster than the overall economy. As more people find jobs in the growing market, fewer people will need SNAP aid.
When asked how he would help single mothers cope with work and family responsibility without SNAP, Lonegan suggested freeing the market by reducing environmental regulations as well as slashing Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversight.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a potential presidential candidate for the next election, has openly endorsed Lonegan.
Lonegan formerly headed the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, a group that campaigns to reduce regulation and give corporations more control.