• By Bill O'Reilly

    As we predicted last night, the fact that Mitt Romney addressed poor people in a rather business-like way is now a national issue.

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    MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich they are doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who are right now are struggling.

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    O'REILLY: Well obviously the governor used a poor choice of words with the very poor and left is running wild with it. But so are some on the right.

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    GINGRICH: Well Governor Romney and President Obama seem to believe that a, quote, "Safety net is all the poor needs". I don't believe that. What the poor need is a trampoline so they can spring up and quit being poor.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    O'REILLY: All right, let's take a look at poverty in America. Right now there are close to 50 million poor people in the U.S.A. Back in 1964 the poverty rate stood at 19 percent of the population. And so the great society programs were launched by President Lyndon Johnson. Since that time more than $16 trillion have been spent on welfare payments to the poor. And the Heritage Foundation estimates that over the next ten years, an additional $10 trillion will be spent.

    Yet the poverty rate is only down four points. So do the math; $16 trillion, four percentage point decline. Obviously welfare is not the trampoline Newt Gingrich is talking about.

    The dilemma for Governor Romney is this, he's a rich guy; he doesn't hang around with the folks. Contrast that image to President Obama who portrays himself as a community organizer, in tune with the street. Mr. Obama wants a massive federal intervention to redistribute income to the poor. That's what Obamacare is all about. That's what tax the rich is all about. Romney says, no, he wants the private sector to create jobs saying that will lead more people out of poverty.

    In the meantime, Romney says he'll keep the welfare safety net in place. The mistake the Governor is making is he's not dealing with the true causes of poverty thereby showing real concern for the impoverished. That's what all politicians should do and the causes are these: poor education, addiction, irresponsible behavior and laziness. That's right far-left people. Some folks are lazy.

    On the education front, America spends the highest amount per student in the world with the exception of Switzerland. So if the kids aren't learning it's likely because of terrible family situations or awful teachers, not money.

    Addiction, an estimated 10 percent of the American population is involved with substance abuse.

    And finally, irresponsible behavior; if you are a criminal and go to prison, you are going to have a hard time getting a good job. If you have a giant tattoo of a scorpion on your neck, IBM will not hire you. Personal choices can lead to prosperity or dereliction.

    There is usually a reason people are poor in a country that has more opportunity than any other place on earth. It almost always comes back to personal circumstances. And all the government in the world is not going to change that. And that's what Governor Romney should be talking about and that's what Barack Obama should be talking about and Newt Gingrich as well and everybody else.

    And that's "The Memo."

    Pinheads & Patriots.

    Six-year-old Bailey Page was in her kindergarten class in Salt Lake City on Monday doing some show and tell with pictures. Then this happened.

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    TEACHER: And who is this, Bailey?

    BAILEY PAGE, DAUGHTER: That's Daddy.

    TEACHER: And do you love your daddy? Guess what, Bailey? Turn around.

    PAGE: Dad! How did you make it? How did you make it? I'm happy!

    SERGEANT PAGE: Happy birthday.

    PAGE: Oh, that's my only birthday present that I wanted, is you.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    O'REILLY: Of course, Sergeant Page and Bailey are Patriots and so are all the folks at the Woodere (ph) Elementary School in Salt Lake.

    - You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com.