Do welfare moms work as hard as Ann Romney?

Posted April 21, 2012, at 6:58 a.m.
Last modified April 21, 2012, at 11:04 a.m.

Just when you thought the dust was settling from the recent taking-of-umbrage inspired by Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen’s “Ann Romney hasn’t worked a day in her life” comment, House Democrats have made a wry political move that is likely to stir things right back up.

A group of politicians led by Rep. Pete Stark of California are taking Mitt Romney at his word — that “all moms are working moms” — and plan to introduce an act that would allow mothers receiving welfare support to count their childrearing duties as the required “work activity” until the child turns 4. Stark told Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post that the Women’s Option to Raise Kids Act (WORK) arises naturally from the Republican presidential candidate’s stated positions:

“Mitt Romney was for forcing mothers into the workforce before he decided that ‘all moms are working moms,’ ” Stark told The Huffington Post. “I think we should take Mr. Romney at his most recent word and change our federal laws to recognize the importance and legitimacy of raising young children. That’s why I’m introducing the WORK Act to provide low-income parents the option of staying home to raise young children without fear of being pushed into poverty.”

Given that so-called “welfare queens” remain one of the right’s favorite obsessions, it will be fascinating to see how Romney reconciles his support of some mothers with his party’s distaste for others.

J. Bryan Lowder is journalist and critic in New York.

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