GOP Needs to Get Real About Caring for Poor

Arthur Brooks: Time for conservatives to focus on the needy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2013 1:05 PM CST
GOP Needs to Get Real About Caring for Poor
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, accompanied by fellow GOP leaders, arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Republican Party has a serious image problem: Too many Americans think the GOP cares "only about the rich and powerful," writes Arthur Brooks at the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, Mitt Romney's 2012 loss can be linked to a single figure: The fact that as of April, just 33% of Americans thought he cared "about people like me." Focusing on growing the economy and "traditional values" isn't enough to get the GOP on the right track. Republicans, Brooks argues, "hand an argument with virtually 100% public support—care for the vulnerable—to progressives."

But progressive policies are "disastrous" for the poor, Brooks asserts, leading to everything "from welfare-induced dependency to failing schools that continue to trap millions of children." Free enterprise is the path out of poverty, and it's time for the GOP "to make improving the lives of vulnerable people the primary focus of authentically conservative policies. Entrepreneurship should be about celebrating regular people, not getting rich; conservatives should embrace immigrants looking to achieve success; corporate cronyism should be opposed. Such an approach is politically winning—and "the right thing to do." Click through for Brooks' full column. (Read more Republican Party stories.)

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