Recipients Fear Cuts to Food Stamps and Disability Aid in Trump Budget


JACKSON, Miss. — Hoyt Cantrell drove a truck for more than 20 years before seizures — 23 of them since 2009 — cost him his livelihood. His two-bedroom house in the heart of this Southern state capital is partly boarded up, with no running water or electricity, but he cannot afford much better.

He has tried hard to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance and food stamps. So far, he has failed.

To President Trump, people like Mr. Cantrell are the exceptions in the expanding world of American poverty. In the view of his administration, access to food stamps is far too easy, and being on disability is just a matter of finding a friendly judge.

The budget that the president has proposed for the coming fiscal year would expand a work requirement for “able-bodied” adults receiving help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps, slicing $192 billion over 10 years. He would also trim $70 billion from Social Security’s disability program by tightening access.

“We need people to go to work,” said Mick Mulvaney, the White House’s budget director and the proposal’s chief architect. “If you’re on food stamps, and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance, and you’re not supposed to be — if you’re not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction.”


Low-Wage Work in Mississippi: Enhancing Opportunities for Families

On behalf of JSRI, Dr. Kathleen Fitzergald studied the needs of low-wage workers in Mississippi, what the state is doing to address these needs, and what additional policies and programs can be implemented to address the myriad unmet needs of this vulnerable population. This report was prepare for OxFam America. 

Low-Wage Work in Mississippi:Enhancing Opportunities for Families Report

The State of Working Mississippi 

JSRI released the State of Working Mississippi Report to coincide with the recent Labor Day holiday. The report examples current and historical data related to wages, labor force participation, job market, education, assets and poverty in Mississippi. It also includes proposed policy solutions related to the findings. Please click HERE for a summary of the report's findings. 

Dr. Sue Weishar is the lead JSRI liaison to Mississippi groups, assisted by other staff as appropriate.

Mississippi JustSouth Articles

Faith in Action: Mississippi Catholics and Child Well Being-- Kammer [JustSouth Monthly, February 2016]

Smart Criminal Justice Reform: Mississippi and Texas Leading Gulf South States-- Mikulich [JustSouth Quarterly, Fall 2014]

Mississippi Rejects Immigration Enforcement Bill--Weishar [JustSouth Quarterly, Summer 2012]

Immigration Enforcement Bill Fails to Pass in Mississippi, None Proposed in Louisiana Legislature -- Weishar [JustSouth E-News, April 2012]

Not Good Law or Good Sense: Proposed Mississippi Immigration Legislation Through the Lens of Catholic Social Teaching -- Weishar [JustSouth E-Newsletter--February 2012]

A Welcoming Church: Mississippi Congregation Reaches out After Devastating Immigration Raid--Weishar [JustSouth Quarterly, Summer 2011]

Religious leaders call Mississippians to end predatory lending--Pending bill continues debt trap for low-income borrowers--Mikulich [JustSouth E-Newsletter, January 2011]

Jim Crow--Born Again: The Case of Mississippi--Mikulich [JustSouth Quarterly, Fall 2010]

Mississippi's missed Katrina recovery—Kammer [JustSouth E-Newsletter, August 2010]