EMILY COMPAGNO (GUEST CO-HOST): His administration is announcing now new regulations to make it harder for able-bodied people without jobs to get benefits. The crackdown is expected in impact about 688,000 people, saving the government more than $5 billion over five years.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): What do you make of the president tightening these work rules? Apparently they do not affect children and their parents, those over 50, those with a disability, or pregnant women. But, otherwise if you are able-bodied, you might have to get a job if -- or you are not going to get the food stamps.
STAR PARKER (CENTER FOR URBAN RENEWAL AND EDUCATION FOUNDER): I think that President Trump and his administration are doing an incredible job making America great again. This is fantastic news, that they are now acknowledging those that are sitting on their couch, they've gotten very comfortable on the couch, to say our national food stamp program is for those that are in need, desperate need. They fixed the economy, and now they are asking those that are not participating to participate. They're encouraging them to say we see the potential in you, so we're going to change a few rules to encourage you, to encourage your own life to get involved in what is happening and making America great again.
COMPAGNO: And Star, what's the counterargument to those that say look, you are kicking off almost 600,000 people from food stamps, it's a dire situation. What's the response to that?
PARKER: Well, the people that want the big welfare state have a vested interest. Most Americans don't understand or don't realize that we're spending about $900 billion a year in these anti-poverty programs. We have invested $24 trillion into this war on poverty, and yet less than 20 cents on a dollar actually reaches the household. So there is a lot of bureaucracy going on and a lot of swamping going on, and so of course people are going to say help us, we want to keep the status quo. But what the president has done -- he's an incredible leader. What he's done is said, I see potential in Americans, and I see potential in all Americans, and we are going to keep America great by making these little changes. Those that are complaining that it came before Christmas, it did not come before Christmas. Not only have we been working on these changes for years, but yet, they are not implemented until next April. So this is not a Christmas surprise.
DOOCY: And here's the thing, Star. First of all, it was a campaign promise. But at the same time as well, the executive branch has broad discretion on what to do with food stamps.
PARKER: That's right.
COMPAGNO: Right, and as you said, it's a little change, but it's a large investment. It's an investment into the potential of those able-bodied workers.
PARKER: It really, really is. This is telling the states to stop wavering. This is telling the states to see their people as human beings that have potential and capacity.