Several years ago, Putin tried to abolish welfare assistance for about 1,2 million people in the Greater Moscow area (where cost of living is higher than wherever it is that you live). People got angry, took to the streets, protested, and Putin had to cave. The welfare assistance was left in place.
Two weeks ago, Putin once again abolished the same welfare measures. Not a single person protested.
Moral of the story: if you fire up people’s diseased patriotism and allow them to feel no shame for hating their neighbors, you can easily take away all of their welfare protections.
And what it is that Trump is doing right now? Exactly.