Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in April. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The Agriculture Department’s proposal to tighten work rules for food-stamp recipients, potentially denying the benefit to as many as three-quarters of a million people, is ill-considered and mean-spirited [“Proposal would toughen work rules for food stamp recipients,” news, Dec. 21]. Given that the number of recipients has fallen about 15 percent in the past six years as the economy has improved, it’s clear that people go off food stamps when they are able. Tightening requirements would just make life harder for those not yet able to afford food without aid.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s double talk about “the dignity of work” doesn’t change the facts.

Dean Wight, Rockville