Donald Trump on Welfare & Poverty

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


Rebuild our black inner cities, which are so sad

Trump put forward a particular vision of America after he won the California primary: "We're going to rebuild our inner cities, which are absolutely a shame and so sad. We're going to take care of our African-American people that have been mistreated for so long. We're going to make you and your family safe, secure, and prosperous again. Together, we will put the American people first again."

Trump's rhetoric about black Americans has been shaped by conservative views about what black America is like and what its people want. They've been predicated on the idea that there are hard-working black people who are being held back by the cultural pathology of their inner-city surroundings.

This is a vision of the African-American community that's been common in both white and black conservative politics for decades. It's the vision that brought some African-American leaders to support the war on drugs. It's the vision of "respectability politics" proponents from Ben Carson to Bill Cosby.

Source: Timothy A. Clary on Vox.com, Donald Trump's Black Outreach , Sep 17, 2016

Help those in need by massive tax cuts & cutting regulations

I want to discuss the economy, and helping those in need. There is no more charitable group in this country than Christians. And all of us here today are determined to lift suffering Americans out of poverty. Going to do it, with a lot of other people going to help. As your president, I will pursue a complete reform of our economy to bring back millions of new jobs into our country.

That includes, we will be doing massive tax cuts for working families and for businesses. It includes, very importantly, the elimination of all needless job-killing regulations. It includes lifting the restrictions on American energy, which is under siege. I will also renegotiate NAFTA. And if they don't want to renegotiate it so it becomes a two-way highway, not just a one-way highway out of the United States for our companies and our jobs, we will terminate NAFTA. It's going to be America first, and it's going to be the American worker first.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

1970s: opposed rent control but lived in rent-controlled apt

In 1971, Trump moved into a Manhattan apartment on the seventeenth floor of a building on East Seventy-Fifth Street. He parked his Cadillac convertible in a garage next door and each day drove the sizable distance to work at the Trump Management office on Avenue Z. The Upper East Side apartment had a certain appeal for a young man, in part because it was rent-controlled; city law prohibited the landlord from increasing the rent substantially each year. (In 1975, Trump handed the apartment over to his brother Robert. About that time, Donald spoke out against rent-control laws: "Everybody in New York gets their increases but the landlords, and we are going to put an end to that practice.")
Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 58-9 , Aug 23, 2016

1981: Rent-control tenants are "millionaires in mink coats"

Trump pushed for a massive condo complex on the southern edge of Central Park. In 1981, he bought two grand old buildings--the Barbizon Plaza Hotel, and a 15-story apartment building next door--for $13 million. Trump bought them to demolish them, but he ran into hard resistance from tenants eager to keep their rent-controlled units. Trump decried his opponents as "millionaires in mink coats, driving Rolls-Royces." Some of the residents were seniors on fixed incomes; others were indeed well-to-do.

Trump, tenants said, tried to force them out by annoying them. He proposed to move homeless people into at least ten vacant apartments. Maintenance workers ignored leaky faucets and covered up windows of empty apartments with ratty tinfoil. A tenants' group accused Trump of harassment, but he denied all. "The rich," he said, "have a very low threshold for pain."

After a 5-year standoff, Trump dropped his demolition plans and renovated into luxury apartments. The existing tenants could stay.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 91 , Aug 23, 2016

Sought to exclude welfare recipients from his residences

Where Trump and the Feds disagree, he said, was on the landlord's standards for approving or rejecting a tenant. The government's lawyers, acting on claims of would-be renters, said that black applicants with the same financial qualifications as whites who were given leases had been turned away. Donald Trump insisted this was not true and that his company only sought to exclude welfare recipients, who, he feared, would not pay rent and move out in "one or two months." Trump said that the settlement by the LeFrak Organization [another city landlord] required that LeFrak rent to applicants on welfare, and that if Trump agreed to the same type of settlement, tenants would flee his buildings and entire "communities as a whole." Although LeFrak tried to dispute this description of the arrangement, Trump was in fact correct. LeFrak had agreed that applicants who were not working but received enough in welfare to pay their rent could live in his buildings.
Source: Never Enough, by Michael D'Antonio, p. 80 , Sep 22, 2015

I don't like firing people; work makes people better

The American work ethic is what led generations of Americans to create our once prosperous nation.

That's what I find so morally offensive about welfare dependency: it robs people of the chance to improve. Work gives every day a sense of purpose. A job well done provides a sense of pride and accomplishment. I love to work. In fact, I like working so much that I seldom take vacations. Because I work so hard, I've been privileged to create jobs for tens of thousands of people. And on my hit show "The Apprentice", I get to work with people from all works of life. I'm known for my famous line, "You're fired!" But the truth is, I don't like firing people. Sometimes you have to do it, but it's never fun or easy. One of my favorite parts of business is seeing how work transforms people into better, more confident, more competent individuals. It's inspiring and beautiful to watch.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.107 , Dec 5, 2011

Food stamps should be temporary; not a decade on the dole

The food stamp program was originally created as temporary assistance for families with momentary times of need. And it shouldn't be needed often. Thankfully, 96 percent of America's poor parents say their children never suffer even a day of hunger. But when half of food stamp recipients have been on the dole for nearly a decade, something is clearly wrong, and some of it has to do with fraud.

The really infuriating thing is that the Obama administration doesn't seem to care about how taxpayers are being shaken down by this outrageously mismanaged government program.

The blatant waste of taxpayers' dollars doesn't bother Obama, because it's all part of his broader nanny-state agenda. Perhaps that's why his administration doesn't give a rip about policing fraud or administering responsible oversight-he's buying votes.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.113-114 , Dec 5, 2011

Apply welfare-to-work to 76 other welfare programs

The secret to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act's success was that it tied welfare to work. To get your check, you had to prove that you were enrolled in job-training or trying to find work. But here's the rub: the 1996 Welfare Reform Act only dealt with one program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), not the other seventy-six welfare programs which, today, cost taxpayers more than $900 billion annually. We need to take a page from the 1996 reform and do the same for other welfare programs. Benefits should have strings attached to them. After all, if it's our money recipients are getting, we the people should have a say in how it's spent.

The way forward is to do what we did with AFDC and attach welfare benefits to work. The Welfare Reform Act of 2011--proposed by Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Scott Garrett of New Jersey--does just that.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.116 , Dec 5, 2011

I give a lot of money away to charity

Once you have reached the top, what do you do? Once you have reached the top, it is time to give back. Give to charity, give to your children, give your knowledge to others, and give to your culture. I made a lot of money, and I give a lot of money away to charity.

Warren Buffet is a great example: billionaire investor Warren Buffet is distributing more than $30 billion of his stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on global health issues.

It is also important to give your knowledge and insight freely to anyone who asks. I believe people absorb more efficiently and faster when they learn by doing, and I am intent on giving people the knowledge they need to succeed. I give two-hour speeches at The Learning Annex Wealth Expos for the same purpose, and I donate a large portion of my speaking fees to charity.

Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.218-9 , Sep 8, 2008

Let “saints” help teen moms; restrict public assistance

Can restraint be taught? Teenage mothers [shouldn’t] get public assistance unless they jump through some pretty small hoops. Making them live in group homes makes sense. A lot of these girls didn’t have fathers or full-time parents. But there are people-I think we can call them saints-who dedicate their lives to helping kids like this. Whoever they are, and whether they work out of a church, a temple, or some kind of public facility, they deserve all our support.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.107-8 , Jul 2, 2000

Other candidates on Welfare & Poverty: Donald Trump on other issues:
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Donald Trump(R-NY)
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Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
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Gov.Bill Weld(L-MA,VP)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
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Page last updated: Mar 03, 2018