Anyone watching TV over the past day, especially Olympic coverage, has been barraged with a new campaign ad from Mitt Romney, an ad devoted to promoting perhaps the most deceitful characterization yet of any Obama administration action.
Back in the 1990s, bipartisan efforts (you remember those, from your high school history classes, right?) brought about significant reform to the federal welfare system. Signed into law by President Clinton, new rules required substantial efforts at obtaining job training and employment in order to continue or qualify for welfare benefits.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney pushed for changes to that system, to stiffen up such requirements, on a state by state level. Well, that is just what was accomplished by new rules promulgated last month by the Department of Health and Human Services – the transferring to states of the right to put into force new, stronger requirements for welfare recipients to obtain benefits. In fact, the new rules require that such state requirements must exceed federal requirements by a minimum of 20% to be acceptable.
But, Romney’s campaign ad, and his statements on the ole campaign trail, are outright lies, saying the the new Obama administration rules end these work requirements for welfare recipients: “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.” (Just listen to the ad).
This is clearly a renewed effort to pander to right-wing bigots, a class of voters encompassing people that firmly believe that welfare recipients are unemployed, lazy minority freeloaders, as they have been so described by gop candidates since the campaign days of ronald reagan. Government statistics, of course, have continually shown that white Americans compose the largest group of welfare recipients, but hey, if it works!