Not gaffes: Romney’s plans for the poor

Standard

Romney in January:

Asked about his economic plan, Romney said repeatedly that he was not concerned with very poor Americans, but was focused instead on helping the middle class. Romney explained that he was confident that food stamps, housing vouchers, Medicaid and other assistance would keep the poor afloat — he pledged to fix holes in that safety net ‘if it needs repair.’

Here is Romney saying the same about not worrying about the poor in October (h/t Andrew Sullivan from Business Insider’s Michael Brendan Dougherty). I guess not that many folks were paying that much attention then. But Romney has continued to expose himself as someone who doesn’t have a regard for addressing issues that affect the poor.

How does he reconcile not worrying about the poor with his religious beliefs?

He can’t.

The basic contradiction of Romney being a Mormon and saying this is that it is a severely un-Christian statement. The standard Christian position on the poor is  that you must regard the poor and that heaven doesn’t favor human beings for their worldly wealth. In Bible verses Mark 10:21 – 24, Jesus counsels a wealthy man who leads a good life and wants to know how he can get to heaven:

 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[e] [sometimes: "is for those who trust in riches"] to enter the kingdom of God!

25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

I don’t know about what the Angel Moroni tells Romney and his fellow Mormon’s, but I will leave that to the evangelical voter to reconcile.

What about the working poor?

For more secular issue voters like me, it is the thoughts of a rich man who has consistently shown that he doesn’t value hard work, he values hard currency.

He is the face and feeling of trickle down. It’s not “inartful” it’s not a “gaffe”, it’s his ideology. The Working Poor is a real thing. Almost 10% of Americans are Working Poor. They exist, They are real, and they matter. Their work should be respected by the people that govern them. Romney is simply promising to be a President that doesn’t enact policies for the poor and the working poor will be profoundly neglected by a Romney administration.

Thinking about every time you may have been out to eat. That goes from Applebee’s to Capital Grille..there are dishwashers in that kitchen and bus boys cleaning your table and bar backs hauling around our garbage. Here is the median salary of a full time dishwasher/food prep:

We do not have salary data for this specific career but we can provide average wages for all careers in the category of Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE: $18,610
MEDIAN HOURLY WAGE: $8.95*

TOTAL EMPLOYEED NATIONALLY: 2,692,170

What’s Romney’s plan for these Dishwashers? A slate of service cuts and tax credit reductions. Less is more for the least of those.

Romney’s tax policy, described simply, is to extend the Bush tax cuts and, then on top of that, sharply cut taxes on corporations, the wealthy, and upper-middle class investors, while letting a set of tax breaks that help the poor expire.

Let them eat gratuity!