Romney’s Smooth Talk

By Allison MacDonald

He may look smooth, but what about the talk?

After defeating the other Republican presidential contenders in Florida on Tuesday (he beat Gingrich by 15 points and won the majority of the female vote) – it looked as if Romney was finally gaining momentum. That is, until he told CNN's Soledad O'Brien that he is "not concerned about the very poor." The safety net already provides for them, remember?

To Romney's credit, he was just trying to frame himself as a pioneer for the middle class; he also said he wasn't worried about the very rich. Unfortunately for Romney, those who looked into his tax policy found it inconsistent with his statements on CNN. Regardless of whether or not his statement was taken out of context, his policies tell us how Romney really feels about the poor. And more importantly, how he feels about the rich.

According to the Tax Policy Center, under Romney's tax plan, the average tax cut for an individual in the bottom 20% would be $69. Compare that with the average tax cut for an individual in the top one percent: $164,000. It looks like the first part of Romney's statement was true: he doesn't care about the very poor, but unfortunately he does seem to care about the very rich. It's more than just the tax policy, though. Slate's Matthew Yglesias points to elements of Romney's social agenda which essentially cut that safety net.

• Immediately cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent.
• Reform and restructure Medicaid as block grant to states.
• Align wages and benefits of government workers with market rates.
• Reduce federal workforce by 10 percent via attrition.
• Undertake fundamental restructuring of government programs and services.

With the official number of Americans in poverty at 46.2 million – Romney's lucky that corporations can now buy elections, right?