On the same day that VP candidate Paul Ryan plans to attack President Obama for taking the work requirement out of welfare, the editorial board of the Des Moines Register, the state's largest paper, called the welfare attacks false.
"Everyone agrees Americans collecting 'cash welfare' should meet work requirements. And they do," the editors write. "A recent policy tweak to the program by President Barack Obama’s administration does not undermine that. Yet Mitt Romney can’t pass up this one."
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee wants voters to conjure images in their minds of freeloading moms sitting on couches watching big screen televisions. And he wants voters to think the president is helping them do just that.
Then there is reality.
Only about 15,000 Iowans actually receive a meager monthly check from Uncle Sam. Collecting an average of $334 a month for less than two years probably is not covering utilities and school clothes, let alone putting anyone on Easy Street. Requirements are so stringent, the program that once served more than 14 million Americans now helps only about 4 million.
But the idea of anyone “sponging off the system” is apparently something Romney believes voters will rally behind him to oppose. He may be right.