President Donald Trump Thursday repeated his pledge to boost job prospects and wages for American workers, and then went a step further by pledging to reduce dependence on government assistance for families on poverty.
"We have a lot of positive things happening, you're going to see it bursting out. You're going to be seeing it very soon," he told Republican congressional leaders at a Philadelphia GOP retreat. "We want to get our people off of welfare and back to work. So important. It's out of control. It's out of control.
But Trump's pledge ignores the steady decline participation in the government's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), widely known as welfare, over the last two decades.
Over the last 20 years, the national TANF average monthly caseload has fallen by almost two-thirds — from 4.4 million families in 1996 to 1.6 million families in 2014, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Since the 1996 welfare reform law created TANF, the number of families who get benefits has fallen from 68 out of every 100 with children in poverty to just 23.