by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The president made it known early in his first year in the White House that he would not touch Social Security or Medicare, but his rhetoric has changed in recent months and shows a willingness to engage with reforming welfare.
The change in Trump has signaled that for the first time in over two decades, Republicans could have a viable shot at achieving the long sought after goal of retooling welfare. No one sees the opportunity more than Ryan, who has spent the entirety of his tenure in Washington — from think tank aide to speaker — looking for the chance.
Ryan has his eyes locked in on fundamentally reshaping the American welfare state, proposing substantive changes to funding and eligibility requirements for a number of government programs, including Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a welfare program intended to help low-income families achieve self sufficiency.
“The speaker believes he has the consensus to do welfare reform,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans For Tax Reform, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This year we are looking at Medicaid, the rest of Obamacare, food stamps and TANF—welfare.”