Welfare, according to Wikipedia, is the provision of a minimal level of well being and social support for all citizens.
We all want that safety net from our Government.
No matter how Republican or Independent you may claim to be, way back there in the back of your mind is that nagging uncertainty about your future. You want the comfort that comes from knowing, or at least thinking, the government is there for you.
You want it for your parents, for yourself and for your children. Very few of us want to bet that seemingly endless resource on the stock market, a voucher system or any change that adds market risk to the Social Security or Medicare system.
In the quietness of a private moment, we think about our parents and how important these programs are to the elderly.
We think about the possibility of a collapse in our own personal situation resulting in a need these programs can meet.
We think about the uncertain future our parents, children or grandchildren face.
Those who rail the most about a welfare state are those of us who really don't need it at the moment.
We complain about the abusers of the system, those who won't work, and the fraud. For everyone who takes advantage or even defrauds the system, there are hundreds whose very existence depends on it.
Can you really vote for leadership that proposes to turn the system upside down?
Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as Vice President puts that question squarely front and center.
Oh sure, electing Romney-Ryan will not instantly change the status of our social welfare programs. But it will start the process.
Washington moves slowly but steadily. Sending the message at the top that the country is ready for massive social welfare reform will work its way all the way down the political food chain.
If that's what the people want, that's what political candidates will offer them.
The pitch is these changes won't affect you, if you are retired or near retirement. Maybe that's true, maybe not.
But they will surely affect those of you not in these categories and definitely affect your children.
Mitt Romney will be remembered as the first presidential candidate to truly frame the welfare-entitlement reform question and make it a deciding factor in an election.
What Romney may not be remembered for is being the 45th president of the United States.
That honor may well go to Barack Obama.
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