David Brooks notes,
Poorer Republicans support government programs that offer security, so long as they don't undermine the work ethic. Eighty percent believe government should do more to help the needy, even if it means going deeper into debt. Only 19 percent of affluent Republicans believe that.I think that the political left should take note of that observation which, although not entirely true, does hold true for a significant block of potential swing voters. A Democratic strategy to make the "Horatio Alger" story at least slightly less a myth, while focusing social assistance efforts on programs which help people rise out of poverty, may well win over some swing voters. But as long as the working poor see welfare benefits as primarily benefiting the indolent poor, and run into perplexing situations where it appears that they would be "better off" by not getting married - because their combined household income disqualifies them for social assistance programs that would be available were they single - that particular block of Republican-leaning voters will likely remain allied with the Republican Party. Even if you don't agree with the perception, it should be understandable why the working poor resent seeing their incomes taxed such that others can receive health care, food and housing subsidies.