September 25 2012
The Truth about Julia...
Was Julia—the Obama woman—really a piker when it came to getting free stuff from the government?
Mickey Kaus, a man the left who often wanders off the reservation and says something really, really interesting, took a fresh look at Julia, the fictional woman in the Obama campaign infomercial, who is supposed to show in her life all the wonderful benefits women stand to get if the president is re-elected.
Kaus finds that Julia was--indeed--a piker:
Julia gets Head Start, goes to school, can stay on Mom + Dad’s health plan until age 26. She gets a slightly lower student loan rate. Her insurance covers preventive care and free prenatal screenings. And an SBA loan. That’s about it–a relative few discrete interventions of limited benefit.
For a vast swath of her life–from 42-65–the Obamans can’t think of a thing the government does for her. She’s on her own! As cradle to grave government nannying goes, this isn’t oppressive. It’s pathetic. We’re going broke so a few kids can get cheaper loans and birth control?
First of all, Head Start, far from being the model program, is actually an underperforming money gobbler.
But, be that as it may, the real Julias, as shown by Kaus, have access to far more dependency-fostering programs that the fictional Julia uses. Kaus suggests that Obama campaign just didn’t want to mention the more controversial programs, such as food stamps, now used by around 46 million Americans.
In other words, the infomercial didn't have the guts to tell the truth about the potential dependency. Kaus writes:
Julia is far more revealing for what the Obama campaigners left out: Julia never gets food stamps, for instance, even though–thanks to an Obama-prodded expansion–46 million Americans do, at a cost of $78 billion annually. (SBA loans, in contrast, cost only about $1 billion). Food stamps are too controversial, I guess–they’re typically available without much in the way of a work requirement. Julia doesn’t even get the Earned Income Tax Credit (which is far less controversial, because it only goes to earners, though it costs almost as much as food stamps). The idea that Julia might be poor must not have tested well.
Most strikingly, Julia doesn’t get subsidized health care coverage (thanks to the Affordable Care Act) as she switches from job to job. The core benefit of Obamacare was also too unpopular to boast about, apparently.
In short, a) Julia is relatively (and perhaps falsely) reassuring, suggesting that her fate is still almost entirely in her own hands with relatively minimal government support and b) Democrats aren’t confident enough to sell the actual welfare state programs they are asking us to pay for. The whole thing seems like a campaign outtake–an off-key, half-baked, third-order effort they let out the door mostly to placate the people who put it together. Sort of like Mitt Romney’s TV ads. …
So the reality is that the real Julia is far more dependent on the American taxpayer that infomercial Julia. Sobering.
Hat tip: Hot Air