Mitt Romney wants to help poor people, but just a few years ago, was “not concerned” with them.  By the way, his proposed solution to poverty (no pun intended) has nothing to do with living wages, affordable housing, student loans, but instead, marriage.  

“The reason I’m a Republican is because I want to help the poor, the middle class,” said Mitt Romney, who’s gearing up for what may be his third potential Presidential run.  “The rich in America, by the way, are fine.”

Romney claims that he wants to make “fighting poverty” one of the key pillars of his campaign.  However, his proposed solutions (no pun intended) to “fight poverty” are, as the Washington Post reported, “few” and “broad.”  One of them includes marriage–or in Romney’s words, “the permanent commitment of marriage.”

He then referenced a Brooking Institution paper that showed single parents are more likely to fall into poverty.

The research cited in the paper shows that adolescents raised by two parents–not necessarily married parents, but two parents–are more likely to graduate high school with a good GPA, avoid a criminal record, and have a lower risk of teen pregnancy than their peers raised by single parents.

But guess what?  The same paper that Romney referenced, however, ended with the conclusion that it isn’t marriage that makes the difference, per se, but parenting, with the paper concluding “Promote Parenting, Not Marriage.”

When you compare the United States with other countries, one thing becomes abundantly clear:  It isn’t family composition that causes such drastic income inequality; it’s our tax system and social safety net.  Or perhaps it’s the glaringly obvious fact that many people aren’t paid a living wage, are struggling to pay student loans they incurred in pursuit of the skills they needed to earn a living wage, and meanwhile, the cost of living continues to skyrocket, and the term “affordable housing,” in many cities, is an oxymoron.

Back in 2012, Mitt Romney sang a very different tune.  During a February 2012 appearance, he told then CNN host Soledad O’Brien, ““I’m not concerned about the very poor.”

He continued on his anti-poor platform in September 2012, lambasting the 47% of voters he claimed didn’t pay taxes and were “dependent on the government,” saying “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Romney’s 2012 tax plan–a 20 percent reduction to all marginal income tax rates–would’ve given the richest five percent of Americans half of the benefits.  More than 25 percent of the benefit would have gone to the richest 1 percent.

Friends of Romney have purported that the Presidential hopeful is determined to run as a more authentic candidate in 2016 than he did in his disastrous 2012 campaign, which came across as crass and scripted.

At his Mississippi State University speech Wednesday night, Romney assured the audience that he would “get people out of poverty forever,” while later jokingly promising that his bid for the Presidency had nothing to do with the speaking fees he could earn after leaving office, remarking, “As you’ve no doubt heard, I’m already rich.”

By 2016, the Richest 1% Will Own More Than Half of the World’s Wealth