Mitt Romney has been taking a beating for his remarks, taped at a May fundraiser, that 47% of Americans would automatically vote for President Obama because they are “dependent” on government. We could pile on, but instead we can report that we’ve been leaked pages of draft remarks that Mr. Romney might have delivered on the same subject but curiously didn’t.
“One tragedy of the Obama Presidency is how many more Americans have become dependent on the government. I know it’s not their fault. Most want to be self-sufficient, to provide for their families, but they can’t because there aren’t enough jobs.
“That’s why 46 million Americans are on food stamps now, compared to 30 million in 2008. That’s why 10.6 million were on Social Security disability in 2011 compared to 9.3 million three years earlier. That’s why 40% of the unemployed have been out of work for six months or more, and the smallest share of the U.S. population is looking for work than at any time since 1981.
“This is a national scandal. Not because those fellow Americans are free-loaders, but because they aren’t able to get a good job that pays enough to be self-sufficient and lets them fulfill their human potential.
“I want Americans to be less dependent on government not because it costs too much. We will always help Americans who need our help. I want Americans to be independent so they can realize the pride of accomplishment and the dignity of work and contribute their God-given talents to build a better country.
“I think the success of a Presidency should be measured by how many fewer people need food stamps, how many fewer need disability, not how many more people are added to the rolls. I don’t want to take food stamps away from Americans in need. I want fewer Americans to need food stamps.
“Sometimes I wonder if President Obama shares that view. He and his economists keep saying that food stamps and unemployment benefits are a form of ‘stimulus.’ Well, we’ve sure had a lot of that kind of stimulus, and all we have to show for it are more people on food stamps and more people on welfare and more people looking for work. I think a real stimulus is a job, and I intend to help Americans create more of them.