Here's free advice for Mitt Romney.
Before bringing up the poor again, read my book, "Uncle Sam's Plantation."
Romney has been taking a drubbing about his remarks in a CNN interview that he is "not worried about the very poor ... we have a safety net there ... If it needs a repair, I will fix it." And then going on to say it is "middle-income Americans ... that are really struggling" that are his concern.
What the Republican presidential front-runner missed in his off-the-cuff economic analysis of American class is that the cause driving the struggle among both low- and middle-income Americans is the same -- economic stagnation and social breakdown caused by welfare-state socialism.
As I explain in "Uncle Sam's Plantation," America's inner cities offer laboratory results that can be extrapolated to what is wrong today with the whole country.
If you want to know why America is failing, look at why our inner cities are failing.
Romney is incorrect to label as a safety net welfare-state programs such as temporary assistance for needy families, basic skills training, Section 8 housing and food stamps.
A safety net is what is provided when a free person, acting on his or her own initiative, falls and we offer assistance to help him or her get back up and start again.
The welfare state amounts to a wholesale takeover of individual lives. As opposed to government stepping in to soften the blow, the welfare state assumes from the start that individuals won't make it without government managing their lives.
It is not an accident that despite some $10 trillion spent on anti-poverty programs since the 1960s there is little discernable change in our poverty rate.
The problem was made worse because the broken families and broken spirits resulting from government-plantation dependence have institutionalized inner-city poverty.
If America is going to get back on track, we must appreciate that we are doing to our whole country what we did to America's poor.
Seventy percent of government spending today consists of transfer payments -- government redistributing funds from one set of individuals to another.
Even before the Obamacare government takeover, government already dominated our health-care market. In 1960, about half of health-care expenditures were made by individuals. Today, only about 10 percent of health-care expenditures are made by individuals.
Despite the central role that government-sponsored enterprises -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- played in the recent housing collapse, their role in today's housing market is even greater.
In 2011, 95 percent of all new mortgages were bought or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Federal Housing Administration.
And, of course, just about every working American is part of Social Security and Medicare, both of which are now fiscally untenable.
Now layer onto all this Obamacare $1 trillion in spending on stimulus programs and bailouts of banks and auto companies. Then add $5 trillion in new debt over the past four years as a down payment on it all.
The bigger role government plays in our lives, the more America resembles the U.S. Postal Service rather than FedEx.
And the bigger role government plays, the harder it is to fix the problem because individuals become used to these programs and fear fundamental change.
Romney touts his business experience as his qualification for the presidency.
That business experience amounted to turning companies around and improving their performance by making more efficient use of their assets.
This is exactly what our country needs today -- a reallocation of our assets from government to private-sector efficiency.
Getting off Uncle Sam's Plantation is no longer a problem limited to our poor. It is a problem and challenge for the whole country.
The things that increase the likelihood of improving one's life are the very things the President and his liberal friends fight. (comments)
Obamacare was never primarily about getting the best, most affordable health care to Americans. (comments)
Anyone who knows just a little bit of history knew from the day President Obama signed this law in 2010 that what is happening today was inevitable. (comments)
He has demonstrated that his own political calculations are more important to him than his party or his nation. (comments)
The Republican Party still has not learned lessons necessary to reverse setbacks of recent years. (comments)
Both are living examples that personal success is not about government programs but about taking personal responsibility. (comments)
Because fewer are working for every retiree, our taxation nowhere near covers what the requirements for Social Security and Medicare will soon be. (comments)
Americans may have different opinions about what is wrong with the country. But there is plenty of agreement that the patient is sick. (comments)
The rate of child poverty in 2009 was 11 percent in homes with married parents and 44.3 percent in homes headed by single mothers. (comments)
Our president refuses to sit down and negotiate with Republicans who are constitutionally representing popular sentiment. (comments)
Big business, unions and Congress are getting themselves exempted out of Obamacare, ready to leave the rest of country to be shepherded into socialized medicine. (comments)
Only in Washington is it considered abnormal and obstructionist for a member of Congress to ring the alarm about the loss of freedom in America. (comments)
This president not only sits by and allows wanton murder of unborn children. He supports and endorses it. (comments)
We should wonder how we have so many discussions about freedom and so few about individual free choice and personal responsibility... (comments)
Fifty years after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, isn't it time for some new thinking? (comments)
The liberals who control the event have little interest in serious thought about why there have been failures. (comments)
It is high time that the black pastor, rather than the black politician, return to leadership in black American life. (comments)
Where is the money going to come from to pay for all the subsidized purchases of government insurance? (comments)
The Gosnell trial showed the nation that in America today, we have abortion factories where live children are being killed. (comments)
As the new American oil boom attests, it is freedom and capitalism that releases the human spirit, taps human creativity and produces prosperity that could never come from any government planner. (comments)