The infamous 47 percent didn’t come up in last night’s foreign policy debate, but Mitt Romney nevertheless addressed it in a way that is potentially devastating to President Obama.

Romney looked into the camera and said that he doesn’t want to cut public assistance programs. (Whaaat?) Instead, Romney said he wants to help people overcome dependence on government.

Of course, I would like to see huge cuts immediately. The taxpayer's largess in many cases attracts people to public assistance who might otherwise opt to make a living by—you know—getting a job.

Still, Romney knows that the only long-term solution to government dependence is to reduce the size of the underclass. Upward mobility is the cure for a lot of what ails us right now.

Upward mobility would have enormous political ramifications: with fewer people dependent on government, the Democrats would lose a valuable constituency.

So Romney made precisely the right argument with regard to entitlements. Sure, there are bums (is this word still permitted) out there who’ll choose to live on the public dime no matter what. But most people really would prefer to lead meaningful lives built on their own work and achievement.  

I’ll bet that even the Obamaphone woman wishes deep down that she had a job and the ability to pay for her own phone.