While I find Romney to be a poor Republican candidate, and not really a conservative at all, I find agreement with him on some issues and this one I do.
Yesterday Obama released the creepy slideshow “The Life of Julia” in which they depict how a female is taken care of from cradle to grave by the taxpayer. It’s a perfect example of the welfare state that is bankrupting this country. In the utopian world of Julia she gets money for college, for her medical bills, she gets to sue her employer for more money, she gets free contraception, loans for a business, and then some retirement money until she dies. Somehow Obama believes we will have the money for all that for the next 80 years.
It’s a tall tale for sure.
Julia’s central relationship is to the state. It is her educator, banker, health-care provider, venture capitalist, and retirement fund. And she is, fundamentally, a taker. Every benefit she gets is cut-rate or free. She apparently doesn’t worry about paying taxes. It doesn’t enter her mind that the programs supporting her might add to the debt or might have unintended consequences. She has no moral qualms about forcing others to pay for her contraception, and her sense of patriotic duty is limited to getting as much government help as she can.
The alleged benefits to Julia are exaggerated or nonexistent. Pity the poor thing if she depends on Head Start for her launch into the world. A study by the Department of Health and Human Services last year found that positive educational effects tend to wear off by the first grade. The government assistance she gets for financing college feeds into the maw of inexorable tuition increases. The chances that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is going to boost her pay, as a web designer, are essentially nil. Julia is getting punked.
Her life is framed to show that she gets more from President Barack Obama than from Republicans. The same contrast could be achieved differently. She could lose her web-design job and go on unemployment, which President Obama always wants to extend despite Republican objections. With her family’s income dropping, she could resort to the food-stamp program, which has expanded massively under President Obama despite Republicans’ inveighing against the trend. These examples don’t suit the campaign’s purposes, though. They show government to be a poor substitute for the robust recovery that President Obama hasn’t delivered even as he has endeavored to make Julia’s birth-control pills free.
The point of view of “The Life of Julia” is profoundly condescending. It assumes that giving people things will distract them from larger considerations of the public weal — the economy, debt, the health of the culture.
Now where do I find agreement with Romney? Here he answers a question from a real version of Julia:
I agree with him, but does he really mean it? Romneycare may suggest otherwise.