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Caring for the poor is always defined by support for the latest Democratic Party proposal

During my teen and young adult Democratic Party activism years in the 70s and 80s, the number one scare tactic used by the party to scare widows and orphans, i.e. the poor,  was their claim that if Republicans controlled the government, they would “take away your checks”. Ronald Reagan, famously asserted his support for a safety net for the “truly needy” and despite several periods of exclusive GOP control of the executive and legislative branches over the last 30 years, the safety net remains intact.

And yet, the Democratic Party mantra against Republicans as having a lack of concern for the poor has continued unabated with the goalposts continually being moved to re-define caring as support for the latest liberal Democrat proposal, whether it be Stimulus, ObamaCare or mortgage bailout bills.

Enter Mitt Romney:

“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.”

Translation: We agree with the Democratic Party. Our concern for the very poor has been satisfied by the welfare state they have constructed and if we must spend more money to expand that safety net to show we care about the poor, we will.

Mitt makes many mistakes with this statement and one of  the mistakes is in thinking that Republicans can ever satisfy the Democrats on the issue of caring for the poor. We can’t. Why? Because their concern is in buying the votes of the poor by keeping them dependent on government and creating more poor people to be dependent on them.

Republicans need to make it clear that we favor a safety net for the truly needy, but that does not mean accepting the status quo, which, by the way, no longer includes the wildly successful Gingrich-Clinton welfare reform since it was eliminated as part of President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill.

This issue reminds me of an incident that occurred in the later days of my Democratic Party activism in the mid-90s when a charity came to my law office asking for donations. My flippant response was that I already gave. I paid my taxes.

Within seconds I felt guilt at having farmed out charity to the federal government, knowing that no government can love.

A few years later, I switched parties mainly because I saw that conservative economic policies help the poor and everyone else more than Democratic Party policies. My caring concern for the poor drove me to reject the class warfare and envy of the left and embrace the supply-side policies of Reagan that Newt/Clinton basically continued.

The conservative message to the poor is that most of you need not be poor. Our policies encourage job creators to take risks to start businesses by getting out of their way and letting them keep most of their profits, which profits are the reward for risk taking that creates wealth and jobs.

Mitt, your success over the last 40 years was made possible by such policies. Your success helped there be less poor and less very poor, and yes, for those that can’t get ahead, we have a safety net. But all that are in that net today, need not be tomorrow. You know that and you should quickly learn that you can’t mollify the Left by affirming support for the specifics of the safety net ObamaDems have constructed, nor by supporting automatic increases in the minimum wage.

We had hoped you would repudiate RomneyCare as a failure. You didn’t and yet, neither do you run on it as a great achievement. Now, you continue the “competence” theme against a supposed failed Obama due to his inexperience.

Wrong. Obama is a success from his standpoint and quite competent in his goal of fundamentally changing the America that created wealth as no other for so many for two centuries and defended Liberty for a century.

The changes that ObamaDems have wrought must be reversed and the number one reversal must be the ObamaCare nee RomneyCare.

Hence, my last ditch support for Rick Santorum.

Mike DeVine

Atlanta Law & Politics columnist –

Editor – Hillbilly Politics

Co-Founder and Editor – Political Daily

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

More DeVine Gamecock rooster crowings at Modern ConservativeUnified Patriots,  and Conservative Outlooks. All Charlotte Observer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-eds archived at


3 Responses to Romney, ObamaDem vs conservative safety net-concern for the poor

February 2012


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