The smear department at the Mitt Romney campaign is at it again, telling the same lies that have been repeatedly debunked. If Romney were selling food or medicine his ads would be the subject of legal action for making false and misleading claims, but since he is only trying to subvert the democratic process of our nation he is free to lie with impunity. The lies themselves are bad enough: fabrications about fictional Obama policies, lies about his financial dealings, lies about his non-compliance with election laws, and his phony reasons for refusing to let each American Voter decide if his tax machinations should disqualify him from getting their vote. In the case of the welfare lie, the truth is that both Republican Governors (including Mitt Romney) and Democratic Governors had asked for waivers of certain requirements of the welfare reform law to allow them to try new pilot programs to get people back to work and school and off of the welfare rolls. Obama agreed that waivers COULD be given for programs that had real promise to help American families while reducing welfare costs. As of this writing, no waivers have been issued, and any future waivers would only allow a given state to be creative in HOW they help people work or get education or training... not allow individuals to get "free welfare" as the ads claim. This was, in essence, another case of Obama trying to cooperate by giving states more opportunity to try their own ideas, only to be attacked by the right wing that supposedly supports States' Rights... Unless Obama says yes to the States, then they do a 180 on the issue.
Not only are the three Romney ads untrue (not to mention the countless soundbites from the Romney-Bot himself and his minion the sleazy tabloid hack turned political fixer Eric Fehrnstrom), but this attack is a clear effort to inflame racist feelings that still linger beneath the surface for a portion of the electorate. It is nothing more than a cynical and sickening return of the divide and conquer politics that the GOP raised to an art form. Their message to the working class is that Obama wants to give their money to lazy non-workers. For a subset of that group, the coded message is far more insidious: that the minorities are taking their money, and Obama is only helping minorities (even if far more welfare aid goes to whites).
While Americans of all races and creeds are suffering from the economic vacuum created when more and more of the money is in the largely-idle hands of an unproductive 1% class of speculators, the fears and anger of one group of victims is manipulated against another group of victims. With the 99% often working more hours, at a more productive rate, there is understandable anger among the working poor and those struggling to keep from dropping out of the middle class.
Working more and better should bring more rewards, not less, so clearly SOMEBODY is to blame. That somebody is the small class of wealthy "Americans" who hold more and more of the fruits of the labor of an entire nation of workers. This class evades taxes through means technically legal and illegal alike. They reap outsized profits from speculative trading, rather than true investment in growing jobs and creating lasting value. When the speculative bubble bursts, it is the 99% who bail out the 1%, while being lectured by the Republicans about having to sacrifice yet again to pay for the mess that billionaires and millionaires created. The dishonesty is despicable, but what is beyond dishonest, and far more disgusting is the Romney tactic of trying to paint Obama as someone undermining the 1996 Welfare Reform legislation to favor lazy people. This is a conscious effort to use untrue racial stereotypes to divide the majority that has been hurt by Republican policies. There should be a special circle of hell for those who use lies to demonize one group to deflect attention from their own misdeeds (I'm looking at YOU, Mitt Romney and Eric Fehrnstrom).
To use a false claim about Obama supposedly letting welfare recipients have a free ride is intended to pervert the legitimate anger of struggling people by blaming it on other struggling people... while Romney's fellow plutocrats continue to empty the public treasury of tax revenues, hollow out the middle of the economy, and use just a small crumb of their wealth to buy our democracy. To call it what it is, this is racist demagoguery from the Romney campaign. It has no place in our democracy. It has no place on the public airwaves. It should not be allowed to continue by a news media that has been reluctant to tell it like it is. It is not enough for a journalist to say that the claim is misleading, and then drop the story as the offending ads run again and agian on the same network. A network may be required to run the ads, but their news departments should not allow the claims to unchallenged. I expect dishonest and hateful tactics from the likes of Mitt Romney and Eric Fehrnstrom, and I must live with that during the commercial breaks until election day. I expect much more than mealy-mouthed fact checking from the news mainstream media in what is supposed to be a functioning democratic republic. I expect those with the responsibility of informing the public to call this trash what it is: racist lies designed to con working Americans out of their votes, their money, and their futures... But I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.