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.
Planned Parenthood, which rakes in hundreds of millions in the abortion business, actively discourages women from going to crisis pregnancy centers. (comments)
The irony does not drip but pours forth like a tsunami when liberals start talking about morality and ethics. (comments)
Black Americans are bearing the brunt of the cost of a nation that has lost its moral rudder as a result of wantonly legal and available abortion. (comments)
As our reverence for life has diminished, so has our reverence for the institutions that surround and support it. (comments)
National pro-life leaders were demonstrating outside Kermit Gosnell's abortion center as early as February 2011. (comments)
Carson, through diligence and traditional values, achieved on his own what trillions of dollars of government programs were supposed to deliver. (comments)
Employment set-asides designated for unskilled foreign workers, with wage levels determined by the government, are nothing but a stick in the eye to competing low-wage workers in the American market. (comments)
The purge of religion and traditional values from our public schools has produced a new generation of with values different from those of their parents and grandparents. (comments)
If we are going to save our cities, we need to get back to what built them in the first place: Freedom, enterprise and entrepreneurship. (comments)
I saw a once-barren land -- a land once described by Mark Twain as "a desolate country ... a silent and mournful expanse" -- now fruitful and ripe. (comments)
No gun-sale background check could have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy. (comments)
Medicaid is a pure welfare program. (comments)
Gun control initiatives mask the issues that really need attention. (comments)
At the National Prayer Breakfast, Ben Carson reminds us that religious ritual devoid of content is pointless and destructive. (comments)
No matter how hard you squint and try to discern the values of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass in those now wielding the money and power at the top of the party, they've disappeared. (comments)
Why are the president and Feinstein so ready to compromise basic American freedoms with gun control measures to solve a problem that Obama acknowledges we don't understand? (comments)
It is no accident that as the American welfare state grew, the American family collapsed. (comments)
What was once understood as religion and tradition is now called bigotry and pushed off the stage. (comments)
An ultrasound picture, showing the growing and moving fetus, has raised awareness that this unborn child is alive and that abortion is murder. (comments)
Economic growth happens when success and risk taking is rewarded and sloth and failure is not. (comments)