Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits

Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits.

I’m going to spend five minutes with this.

I try really hard not to spend time reading into every story that headlines bait for me, especially if the story is some he-said she-said silliness.  So, I don’t know the context of Hilary Rosen’s comments.

1.Working moms versus stay-at-home moms?  No opinion.  Whatever works best for you.  Debate over who works hard and who doesn’t always struck me as pretty inane.

2. What Rosen said about Ann Romney not working a day in her life would have made more sense, however, if it were a response to Mitt’s shtick about women being made to work to receive welfare benefits, even if they are single and their children very young.   This “dignity of work” thing seems to directly contradict the notion that raising children is work.  In that case, it would have been using Mitt’s definition of “work” against him, which is a statement about hypocrisy, not staying at home.

3. I am pretty sure that everyone on the GOP ticket is straight-up evil, the kind of evil that is embedded and un-self-aware.  I think they all need a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future, however:

4. I do not think that what Mitt is saying about receiving welfare and childcare assistance to work is particularly evil.  Being forced to work with small children at home is possibly evil, but the truth is that a lot of people start losing welfare benefits when they start working.  By the way, when they start working, their jobs pay less than living wage, at the same time that they lose benefits and have to start paying for childcare.  That means that having a job is cost prohibitive.  That means that you are perennially stuck in the welfare cycle whether you like it or not.  Which means that his idea about paying for childcare assistance while the mother works, yes, that is rooted in a real solution.

5. Mitt’s language about the dignity of work is one echoed by most of the contenders, notably Newt Gingrich.  It strikes me as bullshitty, because it implies that unemployed people have no dignity.  If they adjusted their tack ever so slightly, if they insinuated with the tiniest glimmer, the faintest coffee stain, the nearly ethereal lingering trace of cigarette smoke’s-worth of understanding of what it actually means to be poor, they would say something more like,

6. “Look, nobody wants to be living in the welfare cycle, especially not forever.  It’s not a comfortable way to live, it’s soul-crushing, slummy, and people are always treating you like a criminal and sniffing your piss.  No one in their right mind enjoys that.  We want to open the doors and give people more opportunity to work, and we want that work to pay decently enough that they aren’t trapped in the exact same shit-hole as before.  We believe that if real opportunity existed, people would take it, and we wouldn’t have to make laws ‘forcing’ them to take it, because we don’t think people need cattle prods to better their own lives.  But the ultimate end to this would be to get as many people as possible off government dependence, because it’s costing us a lot, and because there is something wrong with our society if so many people need it.”

7. Republican candidates, if you want to accomplish the same thing without being assholes, that’s how you do it.  Oh but also, you would have to believe in things like free job training and a living wage.  Sorries!  Can’t have your baby and eat it too.

3 thoughts on “Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits

  1. Pingback: Chris Hayes Reveals Romney’s Actual Record on Working Moms « polentical

  2. Very well written. I have yet to find reason to vote for any Republican candidate, but if he/she said something even remotely similar to the example speech you provided, I would be pretty inclined to do so. But the pompousness of their language, and the clear loathing these candidates have for the poor and lower-middle class betrays their rhetoric about family values, job growth, American idealism and whatever else they say. Their idea of “small business” is Walmart, after all. Ugh.

    • You know, Australia provides unemployment benefits for an unlimited amount of time, supplemented by employment training programs. They also do this hilarious thing where they give unemployment benefits to full time students! It’s so whacky! And the country’s unemployment rate is 4.9%.

      I mean… I mean… just to reiterate. Robust social safety net. One of the lowest unemployment rates in the Western world. What does that say about this odd theory that our nation is being dragged down by all the lazies? I propose instead the theory that most people will seek out meaningful lives if given half a chance.

      If I can make it happen, my kids are growing up Australian. Australia will get my taxes and the United States can have my charity.

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