Mitt Romney on Welfare & Poverty

Former Republican Governor (MA)

Opportunity is in our DNA; dependency is death to initiative

What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity--opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who donít have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nationís strength and they always will be.

The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960ís welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals havenít given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug. We have got to fight it like the poison it is.

Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference Feb 7, 2008

Creating jobs helps poorest workers; not cash handouts

Q: Democrats say your economic plan doesnít give any money to the 50 million Americans who donít pay taxes.

A: Well, my system is primarily based on trying to create jobs, not handing out cash to individuals. I do lower the lowest income tax bracket from 10% to 7.5%. And that helps people at the low economic level. But the heart of what Iím doing is trying to get businesses to become more active, buying capital equipment, trying to get businesses to grow in this country and to create more jobs.

Q: But what about those 50 million who donít pay any taxes? Nothing for them?

A: Well, itís focused on jobs. What you want to do is provide the incentives to help companies to be create new jobs. Obviously, the best antidote to having an economic slowdown is growth in the business sector, creating jobs, and that generates more income for everybody. But for those that are not paying any taxes at all, simply writing a check doesnít seem to me to be the right course to follow.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: ďChoosing the PresidentĒ series Jan 20, 2008

Vetoed $220K for state-run homelessness projects

Budget Item 7004-3036 was reduced by the Governor from $1,221,925 to $1,000,000; the Governor disapproved $141,000 for Just-A-Start housing stabilization conflict management services, a program to prevent homelessness; and $80,925 for the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance. A vote of YES would override the Governorís veto and fund the two programs.
Source: MassScorecard.org Bill H.4001; roll call 127 passed 143-8 Jul 14, 2005

Vetoed studying how MA can overcome federal workfare rules

The governor vetoed the part of Budget Item 1599-4408 which authorized a study on potential state responses to federal welfare rule changes. The study would propose methods to maintain existing welfare coverage when federal changes reduced such coverage.
Source: MassScorecard.org item 1599-4408; roll call 93 passed 130-19 Jul 14, 2005

Would require welfare recipients to work

Romney suggested three policy changes: requiring welfare recipients to go to work immediately; eliminating capital gains taxes for firms that invest in inner-city enterprise zones and awarding tax credits for hiring poor residents of those areas; and imposing a crime crackdown with tough mandatory minimum sentences.
Source: Anthony Flint in Boston Globe Nov 1, 1994

Other candidates on Welfare & Poverty: Mitt Romney on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010