Shortly after succeeding with tax reform, it became clear that Trump would press on even further to reign in social assistance and welfare. This includes programs like SNAP and TANF, Housing Assistance, and potentially, the Supplemental Security Program. The President’s budget proposal indicated potential cuts of up to $192 billion from these programs. Unfortunately, Trump’s suggested changes were met with significant concern from multiple sources — including Congress and leaders from both sides.
• Nearly 13 percent of Americans rely on assistance programs for help. Many of these Americans are already working, disabled, or are single mothers, while others are elderly and no longer capable of working. Currently, those capable of working are required, in most cases, to show their efforts to find work. Trump and many other Republicans believe that benefits are handed out much too easily with too little oversight.
• Resistance stems from the fact that the Republican voter base is aging and/or largely working within blue-collar sectors. Individuals and families falling within both of these sectors may already benefit from supplemental welfare programs. Some leaders, including Democratic strategist Doug Thornell, believe such a move may produce significant backlash from affected voters.
• Thornell also stated that cuts to assistance programs likely only appeal to a small subsection of Trump’s voter base, rather than the majority of Americans. But Trump’s voter base, as previously identified, disproportionately impacts Americans that fall within the aforementioned voter groups. This includes the elderly, the poor, and a significant chunk of blue-collar workers living in rural America.
• Congress worries about angering people or losing their jobs; Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t care because he isn’t a “lifetime politician.” Rather than worry about the next election, he’s focused on using the little time he has to push through fast fixes for serious issues plaguing America. As someone with significant experience managing money and businesses, this attitude just may make him right for the job.
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What changes do you think need to be made to the welfare system?