“This weekend, Americans will honor their mothers. There will be candy, flowers, cards and special visits. Sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will show their appreciation for everything mothers do the other 364 days of the year. But what will mothers get from their leaders and their government this year?”

That’s Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) speaking at a press conference and she’s engaging in a devious, new political tradition — seizing upon Mother’s Day to demand expensive government programs, all in the name of America’s mothers.

But there’s just one problem: When Uncle Sam sends you Mother’s Day candy or flowers, one way or another, you’re going to end up picking up the tab for the “gift.”

Like a mother who demands a new car from her young children, you are going to be footing the bill when it comes due.

In honor of Mother’s Day, the IWF provides a helpful “do not buy” list:

  • Universal preschool: Let’s face it, the public schools are having a hard enough time educating 50 million currently attending public elementary and secondary school. Expanding public education’s reach to three and four year olds is a step in the wrong direction. Why extend a public school system that already needs remedial courses just to keep going?

  • Pay equity laws: Feminists constantly urge government to take action to reduce the “wage gap” or the discrepancy in average pay for working men and women. They trumpet statistics that fail to account for women taking time out of the workplace and refuse to consider how many women willingly trade compensation for greater flexibility. Laws designed to root out difference in pay between men and women — like the Fair Pay Act of 2001, which would have required businesses to report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on how they set wages — would actually root out job opportunities and the flexibility that is so critical to many working women.

  • More mandates on business: It’s fun for politicians to generously describe how they are going to give women paid maternity leave or make paid leave available for school meetings, field trips, etc. But just because it doesn’t require direct government spending doesn’t mean there aren’t real costs. Businesses faced with costly mandates have to compensate. They may lay off workers, cut pay or raise prices — in any case, women will find that the final package they must open is an economy with few job opportunities and higher prices in their stores.

  • Unnecessary programs that require more taxpayer dollars: Feminists seem to confuse Uncle Sam with Santa Claus, and the solution to every problem is just asking Santa to put something else in the stocking. But, in fact, when the federal government offers to pay for something, it is really offering to force you to pay for it. Federal funding for childcare or after-school programs mean families will have less money of their own to spend on these items. The higher taxes required to fund such programs means that more moms who current provide their own childcare may have to enter the workplace to pay the bills. Additionally, as the federal government provides money for some favored childcare arrangements, it crowds out the private providers that already exist. If government wants to make it easier for women to afford childcare, start by cutting taxes so women have more money to purchase childcare on their own.

And did we mention that we don’t like being treated in a condescending fashion?

Can you imagine politicians using Father’s Day as an excuse for politicians to describe how they will take care of poor, helpless Dad? Women deserve the same respect. Instead of caricaturing us as wards of the state, politicians should focus on getting government out of our lives. They should embrace policies that return control of resources to individuals, such as reducing tax rates, implementing school choice programs, and incorporating personal retirement accounts into Social Security. These gifts of greater freedom and flexibility would bloom all year long.