Friday, February 3, 2012

Willard M. Romney breaks with Reagan regarding the "very poor", the working poor and extensions of the "safety net"

Mark Schmitt at The New Republic:
Let’s give Mitt Romney the benefit of the doubt: He didn’t really mean it when he said, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” Or, let’s just say he cares about them no less than he cares about the rest of us. Only 41 percent of respondents in a recent poll said that Romney “cares about people like me,” so if the wisdom of crowds is any guide, the very poor are hardly unique as objects of his indifference.
"Battling for America's soul..."

Let’s look instead at Romney’s follow-up: That there’s a “safety net” for the very poor, and “if there are holes in it, I’ll fix them.” This isn’t just a walk-back of the “not concerned” comment. It represents a very real element of an emerging conservative argument, one that deserves to be taken seriously. In this antiquated vision of the economy, everything is fine for most people, but there is a slice of the “very poor” who might need some help. Poverty, in this vision, is the exception; prosperity and opportunity without government aid is the norm...