Willard “Mitt” Romney said: ''I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.''
Although many considered this a gaff, it is more reflective of republicans than many – including those in the GOP would like to believe. It is not by accident that they GOP consistently try and place the growing poverty across America at the feet of President Barack Obama. However, it will be hard for them to abrogate themselves from the fact that the most impoverished states in the nation are places like Mississippi, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama and North Carolina – all solidly republican strongholds and under GOP executive leadership.
It is clear that poverty is not a concern for the GOP but as well that it provides target practice for their political folly. Across the nation, like bungie jumping in the past, GOP are excited with the unmitigated expectation of passing or trying to pass legislation on immigration, drug testing for welfare reform and voting ID restrictions. None of which do anything to improve the US economy or grow jobs. As if the GOP want to be known for being the bullies of the poor and struggling. Just this past January, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett indicated that he was formulating plans to start restricting eligibility to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program via an “asset test” that would mandate that anyone under 60 years old with savings of more than $2,000 would no longer be eligible for assistance. In Iowa, GOP senators have proposed that people submit to drug testing before they can receive their unemployment checks. They also wanted to force those collecting from state welfare programs to undergo drug tests. A measure introduced by Iowa State Sen. Mark Chelgren that would have required parents receiving child support to submit to drug tests at the request of the person making the payments was just defeated.
In Arizona, the Senate passed a measure that would require the jobless to pee in cups in order to receive unemployment insurance, along with more than a dozen other GOP dominated states which have also considered unemployment drug testing laws. Florida Gov. Rick Scott was one of the first to sign such a law into place, requiring drug testing for welfare benefits.
Republicans in Oklahoma and Georgia have also passed similar laws that force welfare recipients to take a drug test, but both voted against amendments that would require state elected political figures to be required to take drug test to receive their payment. Add to the fact that according to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-5(a), (b)) which mandates that states must register all eligible welfare applicants to vote, the state of Georgia were not weren’t giving welfare applicants/recipients access to voter-registration materials as required by federal law. As a consequence, the state was recently forced to settle a law suit that demonstrated that “Shortly after Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, Georgia reported getting 100,000 registration applications in a two-year period. In 2010, just 4,430 registered while the state was getting nearly 70,000 Food Stamp applications each month.”
In Florida, since the law requires that applicants who pass the test be reimbursed for the cost, an average of $30, the cost to the state was $118,140 - more than would have been paid out in benefits to the people who failed the test. I just don’t get it. The GOP put in place laws that punish the less fortunate for the benefit of a few, which happen to be mainly fellow republicans. The middle and lower classes in America, of which the GOP do not belong, have had it the hardest, regardless of race, creed or political affiliation. Increasingly, gains in income are mostly concentrated at the top; Based on 2010 data, 37 percent of all income gains went to the top 0.01 percent of all income earners and 56 percent of all income gains went to the rest of the top 1 percent. Only 7 percent of all income gains went to the bottom 99 percent.
According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. Not to forget that the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined compared to the 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States. How can someone say they desire to save cost but produce and implement programs that increase cost and tend to punish the poor and children in particular? If they want to do something test the cooperate executives who get more state and federal money than average citizens. About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs compared to $92 billion on corporate subsidies annually. Meaning that the Federal and state governments spent 50% more on corporate welfare than on food stamps or any other social assistance programs combined.
The reason Romney is the likely challenger to Barack Obama is because he is out of touch with the average person and reflects the best interest of corporate plutocrats (something Obama does well also). America's poverty rate is now 15.1 percent (the worst since 1993), with over 46 million people are living in poverty, 2.6 million more than in 2009. Republicans have to understand that folk don’t become poor at the drop of a dime and that drug testing and doing all you can to disenfranchise the people via voting, starving children and abrogating access to health care is a no win for America.
Romney is the face of new American Republicanism. On welfare and regulation, Romney said, “Dependency is culture killing.” In his autobiography, asserts that women should have a choice to work or to stay at home with the kids but makes it luminous that the same is not true for poor women who receive government assistance. Romney states this inconsistency suggesting that poor women should work. His desire is to “increase the work requirement” for mothers who receive welfare. In his book “No Apology: The Case For American Greatness” Romney suggest that the children of “nonworking parents” will grow up to have “an indolent and unproductive life” when their mothers do not work. Strange, since a reduction of his argument would proffer the query, if mothers on welfare produce “indolent and unproductive” children, if they do not work, then why doesn’t the same hold true for women such as Romney’s wife Ann?
Yes Romney is the poster child for basic republican beliefs that suggest people are poor because they are lazy and don’t work hard when the reality is that poor people aren't lazy and on average work longer and harder the most republicans. I don’t think anyone in the GOP can work a field like the immigrants they are targeting and desire to leave the country. I’m sure they would have a hard time delivering packages like delivery personnel and would know what to do If they had to work 40 hours a week. Only in politics can you play golf all day, get paid, drink with lobbyist and get paid, And work only 3 days a week and get paid a full salary.
Maybe Kanye West was a little off when he said George Bush didn’t like black people. However it may be another thing all together and more accurate to suggest that the GOP has no affinity for the poor. Across the nation, Republican legislators via their actions indicate that they value their corporate affiliates more than families. The push for being against contraception and abortion but are nowhere to be found when it comes to a desire to take care of the children produced as a consequence of right to life policies. Instead they punish and criminalize those who bring the very life into the world they fought to protect.That’s what I describe as the GOP morality, a morality that is stuck between stacks of hundred bills.