"He is deeply generous with both his time and his money when peole need  a lift.  It seems that everyon who has know him has a tale of his altruis, whether it's quitely funding a chariable cause or helping build a playground to honor the tlate son of a firend and neidbor.      The Real Romney, by Boston Globe's Karnish and Helman (who are known as left-leaning).

"Mitt Romney sympathizes with the needy, the disadvantaged and the misfits of society. He is capable of giving selflessly, living a life of devoted and compassionate service to others, as a healer, physician, social worker or minister."



Romney worked with Bob Dole to help the poor.   Romney lobbied for CityYear, helping students and schools succeed: "Unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation."

When he first went to work for Bain Consulting, he arrived for work before everybody, but when it was mentioned, he noted that he would have been there sooner, but he had spent time visiting the poor in his church before coming to work.


He set up a charitable trust (Tyler Charitable Foundation), which has made grants of  $7 million dollars so far; he contributed from 1999 to 2010 $9.5 million.  Examples:  United Way of Massachusetts, $152,000; City Year, $65,000; Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, $36,050; and, lots to his church. 


Romney gives 16% for charitable causes (including his church, which helps their poor); Obama is at 1% and Biden at 0.2%.  Gingrich, who chides Romney, is at about 2.6%.  Who really shows by deeds that he cares?
(Obama wants people to pay their fair share, but does not do so voluntarily.) (His church's welfare system produces an approximate $200 million annually in Utah alone.)

He worked out an innovative plan to cover health care for those who could not afford it, at the same time charging a fee to 'free riders' to cover the costs for their "free care" - this providing money for the poor, while not burdening the taxpayers.  Pretty clever.  And caring. 


The truth is that he is definitely concerned about the poor, despite the possible misinterpration of the quote in the next section.  This needs to be made clear, so I hope he will clearly say something like: 

"I'm very concerned about the poor."

“It’s time Republicans took back the mantle of concern for the poor. We are the party that ended slavery. We are the party that enacted welfare reform that turned millions of Americans from takers to makers.”

"I'm also concerned about the working poor, who work hard to take care of themselves but can't quite do it, despite their struggle."

We care about encouraging policies that will enable the poor to stop being poor. One of the great things about our society is mobility.


The media and his opponents are stretching it and quoting Romney out of context as "I'm not concerned about the poor."  And then they "evaluate it" as a "stupid comment."   Their comments don't seem to be just and they seem to be quite silly "twistings".   But was it?

Well, that's not the actual truth and it is highly misleading.  He actually said:

"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich ... I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling."

It is reasonable to focus on those that have no recourse, no government or wealth to fall back on. 

Of course, opposing politicians jump on the opportunity (though I doubt that they are so dumb to think Romney meant he didn't care for the poor.  One guy said:  "I really believe that we should care about the very poor, unlike Gov. Romney."  Bullbleep.  

In defense of Romney:  “That’s why he gives 15% of his income to the very poor,”  

And someone understands:

"Let’s try to figure this out on why this is a problem. He said I’m not concerned about the very poor or the very rich. The very rich are taking care of themselves. The very poor are being taken care of by our safety net.  If there is a hole in that safety net I will repair it.  I have to concentrate on the middle income.  Why?  Because the middle income is the engine, and the very heart of America.  If you lose the middle income, if you lose the middle of this country, then the very poor starve to death because would be money for the safety net. They would starve to death. The rich will take care of themselves. The poor, we will always take care of them. We always have taken care of them. We will always provide a safety net.  I will make sure that happens."


Tom Stemberg, the co-founder and former CEO of Staples,  decided to challenge his comrade to think big. “We were talking about a bunch of stuff,” Stemberg recalled. “I said, ‘Mitt, if you really want to do a service to the people of Massachusetts, you should find a way of getting health care coverage to them.’”


“The safety net has functioned very well during the recession,” said Haskins, now a fellow at the Brookings Institution. “There are people who fall through the cracks, but I don’t think that’s a huge problem.”

More than 20 million Americans (6.7%) live in a household with income of less than half the federal poverty rate, the level social scientists often use as a category for the very poor, according to census data for 2010. Last year that meant an annual income below $11,057 for a family of four.

It’s a safety net that has been shifting and provides more support for working families than it did 20 years ago,” Sherman said. “But if you happen to not have a job, the safety net has weakened and is less likely to keep you out of the deepest forms of poverty.”

Earned Income Tax CreditS and child tax creditS, extended unemployment benefits and a higher maximum payment, expanded eligibility for food stamps and a higher maximum food stamp benefit and the expired “Making Work Pay” tax credit, Sherman said.

Cash assistance for families varies widely by state, she said.

The effect of the financial disaster

The economic issue of our era is the damage done to middle and working class families by the financial disaster of the past decade.  The housing crisis has destroyed the most potent method of capital accumulation available to ordinary people.  The transition out of industrial era capitalism to a more dynamic information-based economy has stalled, leaving millions of workers in limbo.   A culture of debt at all levels of our society is choking off opportunities for investment and fostering stagnation.

Meanwhile in the midst of the worst crisis since the Great Depression our safety net for the very poor is so strong that we have had to redefine hunger.  We no longer count the number of people who starve to death, because that number is zero. We no longer count the number of people who suffer from malnutrition because that is so rare. The hunger statistic we follow now is called “food insecurity.”

As Romney correctly pointed out, the very poor have state and federal assistance available to help with housing and food. They can receive direct financial payments. They get healthcare provided by the government through Medicaid (more than 50 million people in 2010).  Democrats deserve credit for building this safety net and Romney in his statement makes clear his commitment to keep it working.  The outcome of this election will not negatively affect the support system for the poorest Americans, but Romney is to make sure that the system functions much better.  

It's the economy

The best anti-poverty program is the one that creates jobs.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

The expansion of the safety net

Incidentally, the safety net has been expanding at an alarming pace. Transfer-program spending has been soaring. It’s up $600 billion, or about 35%, in the last three years. Medicaid, food stamps, and unemployment insurance have seen benefit levels rise and eligibility expand. This is a huge drag on the economy. We are paying too much to not work, and rewarding too little to work.

Welfarism is not compassionate. Opportunity is.

Improving education

Education reform is critical.  We must revive real choice and competition; spread merit pay and performance to judge the schools; and insist on high-school diplomas or associate degrees or streamlined training programs to bring the unemployed into the high tech age.

Still, there will still be those who will not participate because they do not sufficiently understand how important it is, due to the culture they grew up in and naturally learned from.   However, a nation where responsibility is emphasized more, instead of "we'll rescue you", will help clear up the fact that people need to take the bull by the horns and create prosperity for themselves.

It is wrong for hard work to be prized less than entitlement. 

Government's role

Government provides more effectively for the poor when it protects their ability to provide for themselves, ensuring a genuinely fair process and securing stable communities.

There is no actual indication that upward mobility is impaired in the US.  I would challenge those who say that to identify the specifics and to lay out the solutions. 

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