Mitt Romney on Welfare & Poverty

Former Republican Governor (MA)

My faith would inform my presidency

Kennedy's famous speech [on Catholicism in 1960] is actually quite different from the way it is often described. Instead of reconciling his religious identity with his role in public life, Kennedy entirely separated the two.

In the 2008 Republican primary, Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's Mormon faith was likewise perceived as an issue by some voters. Claiming that many would be reluctant to pull the lever for a person of his beliefs, some pundits and political advisors urged him to "do a JFK." Just give a speech, they told him, and reassure voters that your faith will have nothing to do with your presidency. Instead, he gave a thoughtful speech that eloquently and correctly described the role of faith in American public life.

Unlike JFK, Romney declared that our religious liberty is "fundamental to America's greatness." And he spoke openly of "how my faith would inform my presidency, if elected."

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.184-185 , Nov 23, 2010

Entitlements: focus on future beyond next election

The entitlement liability can be rectified, and the first step is to create public awareness that pushes the issue to the front burner. That will require political leaders who believe that their next election is less important than their children's future to speak out. It will also require able and relentless investigative voices in the media to refuse to let candidates off the hook who do not confront this issue. Prior to the 2008 economic collapse, there was reason to be hopeful that these voices would emerge. But the turbulence and uncertainty surrounding the financial crisis may keep the entitlement emergency in the shadows, allowing politicians to continue to ignore it for a while longer. Unfortunately, President Obama has done nothing in his first year in office to call attention to this looming crisis or to advance any solutions.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.156 , Mar 2, 2010

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 governors on Welfare & Poverty: Mitt Romney on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Deval Patrick
MA Senatorial:
John Kerry
Scott Brown

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Contact info:
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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 55239, Boston, MA 02205
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011