Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Mitt Romney: Will Direct His Policies to the "Middle Class" -- Not the "Very Poor"
Liberal commentators have pounced upon these statements, claiming that they demonstrate Romney's indifference to poor folks. I have a few responses.
FIRST, Romney's critics are correct. His comments show a stunning disregard for poor folks, including the working poor who cannot qualify for many government benefits. Even though he also said that he was not concerned about very rich folks, the President of the United States should have a deep concern for the plight of poor folks.
SECOND, Although Democrats have not said anything as politically sloppy as Romney with respect to poor folks, their rhetoric often focuses on the middle-class as well. President Obama, for example, created a Middle-Class Task Force during the first month of his presidency. He did not, however, create a similar task force for poor people. Also, when Obama tours important swing states, his speeches usually stress the plight of middle-class Americans above all others. Basically, both parties are chasing large chunks of middle-class voters who live in states such as Ohio, Florida, Missouri, and other "purple" jurisdictions. If the "very poor" were a larger voting bloc and antipoverty programs had more support among voters, then both parties would pay more attention to the needs of poor folks.
So, Romney has made a very troubling statement. But it is hard to say that Democrats are doing all that they can do for poor people. Democrats' policies, however, do more for poor people than the policies advocated by most Republican politicians.