Let's give Mitt Romney a generous analysis of his recent claim that he doesn't care about very poor people (5-10% of the US population) because he thinks that the social safety net takes care of their needs, or at least he would fix it otherwise.
Please ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN I am counting on your access to this candidate for president of the United States and your role as professional reporters to find out what he really thinks about the welfare system in this country and if/how he would propose to fix it.
Finding out where Gingrich, Santorum, Paul, and Obama stand on this issue would also be very helpful.
According to the 2009 census 5.2% of families earned less than $10,000 that year and 8.7% of families earned less than $15,000. I assume that these are the people Mr. Romney was referring to as the very poor.
Furthermore, 15 million children or roughly 5% of the US population live in poverty.
Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice [the poverty level] to cover basic expenses.
This means that 10% of the US population alone are children who live in low income families.
Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/or experience deep and persistent poverty.
Research is clear that poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being. But effective public policies – to make work pay for low-income parents and to provide high-quality early care and learning experiences for their children – can make a difference. Investments in the most vulnerable children are also critical.
Mr. Gingrich has proposed to offer poor children jobs working in their school.
Mr. Santorum has stressed the importance of graduating high school and getting married to fight poverty.
What does Mr. Romney want to do about the very poor, if anything?
Furthermore, the unemployment rate is officially 8.5%, not including the discouraged population who has quit looking for work and the underemployed. Please help us understand what Mr. Romney thinks of unemployment insurance and how, exactly he would help people find work.
Not to mention, 50 million Americans don't have health insurance (+15%). I can't say I quite understand how he plans to help people with that.
PS Speaking of the 90% of Americans - or households, (the ones who earn between the bottom 5% - 95% top) the annual incomes range from $10,000 to $200,000. I find it curious that Mr. Romney lumps us all together, as if those making $15,000 or $20,000 or $25,000 are just as "middle-class" as people making six figures.
You might want to address that framing as well.