President Donald Trump was apparently unaware that not all—in fact, the vast majority—of welfare beneficiaries are not black as recently as last March, according to a new report.
In the spring of 2017, the newly elected president met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. During that meeting, one of the members mentioned to Trump that welfare reform would be detrimental to her constituents— adding, “Not all of whom are black,” according to NBC News.
The president was incredulous. “Really? Then what are they?”
Statistically speaking, they were probably white.
In fact, whites are the biggest beneficiaries when it comes to government safety-net programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly referred to as welfare.
White people without a college degree ages 18 to 64 are the largest class of adults lifted out of poverty by such programs, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The think tank’s 2017 report stated that 6.2 million working-age whites were lifted above the poverty line in 2014 compared to 2.8 million blacks and 2.4 million Hispanics.
When it comes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP—the initiative formerly known as food stamps—the numbers look similar.
Just over 40 percent of SNAP recipients are white. Another 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American, according to a 2015 Department of Agriculture report.
Despite Trump’s newly gleaned information, welfare reform remains one of his top goals for 2018. His administration and Congressional Republicans are looking to overhaul federal safety-net programs like SNAP, Medicaid and housing benefits.
News of Trump’s welfare comment arrived as he’s dealing with the backlash of reportedly calling African countries a “shithole” during a bipartisan meeting on immigration Thursday. Trump has denied using such language.