A few weeks ago Hilary Rosen created a kerfuffle by noting that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life. Immediately Fox News and other Romney minions jumped on the comment, pointing out that Ann Romney had raised five boys, and that was work.
Evidently the definition of raising children as work depends on the amount of money you have. If you are rich, like Ann Romney, it counts as work. If you are receiving welfare, it does not count as work and you had better get a “real” job.
Here is what Mitt Romney said on MSNBC in January. “While I was governor, 85 percent of the people on a form of welfare assistance in my state had no work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless,’ and I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’”
Do you understand. When Ann Romney raises her boys, that’s “work.” When a woman on public assistance raises a child, she needs to get a “real” job. She needs to learn the dignity of “work.”
The rich really are different from you and me.
My thanks to Katha Pollitt for the quote. Her column, entitled “Ann Romney, Working Woman?” appeared in the May 7, 2012, issue of The Nation.