Julia: Leech Or Victim?

President Obama’s recent campaign tool is “Julia“, a fictional hypothetical woman followed from age 3 to retirement.  The point is to show how Julia benefitted from Obama’s policies and how she would fare under his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.  I thought it was particularly gutsy of Obama to essentially brag about how this Julia has made a virtual career out of utilizing taxpayer monies for stages in life that many Americans pay for themselves.

Age 3

Under President Obama: Julia is enrolled in a Head Start program to help get her ready for school. Because of steps President Obama has taken to improve programs like this one, Julia joins thousands of students across the country who will start kindergarten ready to learn and succeed.

Under Mitt Romney: The Romney/Ryan budget could cut programs like Head Start by 20%, meaning the program would offer 200,000 fewer slots per year.

I know many people use the Head Start program to prepare their children for kindergarten.  But it really is unnecessary.  The curricula taught really should be done by the parents.  It teaches colors, numbers, letters, rudimentary reading, etc.  All things parents could teach their own children.  My wife and I taught our two daughters virtually the same things they would be learning in the Head Start program and then some.

Moreover, by the time children reach 5th grade, they are all basically on par with each other.  The Head Start children and those who did not go through the program are all at the same level by the age of 10, if not sooner.  It is little more than a daycare system.

Age 17

Under President Obama: Julia takes the SAT and is on track to start her college applications. Her high school is part of the Race to the Top program, implemented by President Obama.  Their new college- and career-ready standards mean Julia can take the classes she needs to do well.

Under Mitt Romney: The Romney/Ryan budget would cut funding for public education to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.

How did high school graduates get into college before the Obama’s Race to the Top Program?  Studying hard and buckling down, that’s how.  It’s sad that the president thinks Julia is incapable to make it to college without government intervention.  He mustn’t think very highly of Julia.  Getting into “classes she needs to do well” completely overlooks Julia’s required effort.  Merely attending classes does nothing.  One must participate and apply themselves.

Age 18

Under President Obama: As she prepares for her first semester of college, Julia and her family qualify for President Obama’s American Opportunity Tax Credit—worth up to $10,000 over four years. Julia is also one of millions of students who receive a Pell Grant to help put a college education within reach.

Under Mitt Romney: The American Opportunity Tax Credit would be allowed to expire, and Pell Grant funding would be slashed for 10 million students.

Now the taxpayer money really starts to flow.  By way of grants and tax credits.  Why is it when a producer in society uses tax credits they are evil fat cats, but Julia is somehow entitled?  Sounds like the “class warfare” I’ve been hearing so much about.  Higher education costs so much because of government intervention, not in spite of it.

Age 22

Under President Obama: During college, Julia undergoes surgery. It is thankfully covered by her insurance due to a provision in health care reform that lets her stay on her parents’ coverage until she turns 26.

Under Mitt Romney: Health care reform would be repealed—Romney says he’d “kill it dead.”

I don’t know how many college kids who have surgeries, but I’m sure it’s a rather large exception.  However, I’m not as vociferously opposed to allowing kids to stay on their parents health insurance for a set amount of time if they are in college.  I think until the age of 26 is a bit long, 22 sounds more reasonable, as long as they are in school.  If you don’t go to college, I think getting your own job and paying for your own health insurance (instead of $500 iPhones and iPads) is the way to go.

Age 23

Under President Obama: Because of steps like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Julia is one of millions of women across the country who knows she’ll always be able to stand up for her right to equal pay. She starts her career as a web designer.

Under Mitt Romney: He has refused to say whether he would have vetoed or signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

The gender gap in pay is grossly exaggerated.  When men and women are compared apples to apples i.e., same age, same degree, same job with the same seniority on the job, same familial status [married or single, and number of children, men and women earn the same amount.  Merely looking at the bottom line on the W2 is highly misleading.  Men often work longer hours than women which affects the bottom line.  When men and women work in similar fields (doctors, lawyers) men tend to specialize and women tend to generalize.  For example, women who become doctors trend toward general practitioners or pediatricians.  While men trend toward surgeons or some other specialty which pays significantly more than general practice.

This equal pay act is pure politics.  It preys on people who will not research the “whys” and simply assume women are being cheated.  But if Obama truly thought this was a concern, perhaps he would start in his own back yard, he pays women on his staff on average about 18% less than men.

Age 25

Under President Obama: After graduation, Julia’s federal student loans are more manageable since President Obama capped income-based federal student loan payments and kept interest rates low. She makes her payments on time every month, keeping her on track to repay her student loans.

Under Mitt Romney: Under the Romney/Ryan budget, interest rates on federal student loans would be allowed to double, affecting Julia and 7.4 million other students.

This again is a problem created by the government and now trying to be fixed by the government.  Tuition costs are what they are due to government backed loans.  In a free market where a person must pay for college upfront, or if they are to get loans, must do so according to their credit, tuition costs would fall necessarily.  If fewer students were able to pay the bank-breaking costs, or weren’t able to qualify for loans, the tuition would have to fall in order to meet the affordability level of the prospective enrollees.

Age 27

Under President Obama: For the past four years, Julia has worked full-time as a web designer. Thanks to Obamacare, her health insurance is required to cover birth control and preventive care, letting Julia focus on her work rather than worry about her health.

Under Mitt Romney: Romney supports the Blunt Amendment—which would place Julia’s health care decisions in the hands of her employer—and repealing health care reform so insurance companies could go back to charging women 50% more than men.

I have a problem with equating birth control with health.  Mostly because there are very few women who use birth control pills for a reason other than preventing pregnancy, and preventing pregnancy is not the same as preventing a disease even though it is insinuated as such.  But even still, birth control is not as expensive as Sandra Fluke tried to make us believe.  Birth control pills can be acquired for about $9 a month, or 3 coffees from Starbucks.  By preventive care, I assume he means abortion.  Since we are taking in the context of birth control, and he already mentioned birth control, what is Julia preventing if not abortion?

What’s worse is when Obama says “Obamacare”, what he means is the taxpayer.  The government gets its revenue from taxes collected…from taxpayers.  So funded by Obamacare = funded by you and I (unless you are one of the 47%ers who don’t pay federal income tax).  You and I are buying Julia’s birth control pills and subsidizing her abortions (the fungibility of money) through government funding to abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood.

Age 31

Under President Obama: Julia decides to have a child. Throughout her pregnancy, she benefits from maternal checkups, prenatal care, and free screenings under health care reform.

Under Mitt Romney: Health care reform would be repealed.

I actually support funding for women with no health insurance to receive prenatal care.  However, women have been receiving prenatal care for decades without Obamacare.  Notice there’s no mention of a husband.

Age 37

Under President Obama: Julia’s son Zachary starts kindergarten. The public schools in their neighborhood have better facilities and great teachers because of President Obama’s investments in education and programs like Race to the Top.

Under Mitt Romney: The Romney/Ryan budget could force steep cuts in federal funding for schools in all 50 states.

Great teachers indeed.  Teachers’ unions have ruined the educations system.  It is unfortunate, but teachers are willing to strike over the most trivial of reforms.  If their tenure is jeopardized, they threaten strikes.  If they are asked to pay towards their own retirement they threaten strike.  If they are asked to contribute towards their health insurance…you guessed it.  Yes, the kids and their education is so important they ar willing to not teach your kids in order to keep their golden parachutes in place, at the taxpayer expense no less.

Age 42

Under President Obama: Julia starts her own web business. She qualifies for a Small Business Administration loan, giving her the money she needs to invest in her business. President Obama’s tax cuts for small businesses like Julia’s help her to get started. She’s able to hire employees, creating new jobs in her town and helping to grow the local economy.

Under Mitt Romney: The Romney/Ryan budget could cut programs like the Small Business Administration by 20%.

This also is misleading.  Many, if not most small business owners just like Julia file their taxes as an individual, not as a corporation.  Unfortunately, many small businesses make more than $250,000 which would inevitably subject Julia to the Obama tax hikes on individuals making more than that.  While corporate taxes might be lowered under an Obama plan, it is more likely that Julia, as a web business, would wind up seeing her taxes increase when the Bush tax cuts expire.

Age 65

Under President Obama: Julia enrolls in Medicare, helping her to afford preventive care and the prescription drugs she needs.

Under Mitt Romney: Medicare could end as we know it, leaving Julia with nothing but a voucher to buy insurance coverage, which means $6,350 extra per year for a similar plan.

Obama must not have much confidence in Julia’s ability to grow a successful business if she is going to have to rely on Medicare.  Where is her savings? Why doesn’t she have an individual health insurance plan?  Perhaps she curbed her success to avoid paying the penalizingly high taxes for daring to make too much money.  Medicare ought to be means tested, like Social Security.  For example, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will be enrolled into Medicare and receive Social Security payments when they come of age despite their being evil fat cats.  But perhaps Julia is being a bit selfish by seeking preventive care.  She should take the president’s advice and just take a pain-killer instead of the expensive medical care she think she “needs”.

Age 67

Under President Obama: Julia retires. After years of contributing to Social Security, she receives monthly benefits that help her retire comfortably, without worrying that she’ll run out of savings. This allows her to volunteer at a community garden.

Under Mitt Romney: Julia’s benefits could be cut by 40%.

If Julia is retiring on Social Security comfortably, then either she failed as a business owner, or Obama’s tax and business policies are abysmal.  The maximum payout for a Social Security retirement (which was never supposed to be a retirement) is only $2,513.  Successful business owners who retire don’t usually have to worry about running out of money to retire.  Most people I know wouldn’t stop working if they were worried about running out of money either.

Notice the use of the word “could” referencing Mitt Romney’s phantom plan.  Of course Julia’s benefits could be cut by 40%.  They could be cut by 85%, or 5%.  That’s the beauty of the word “could” — it could be anything.

Even though Obama is touting Julia’s dependence on government (taxpayer) funding of her life, she doesn’t seem all too successful.  The government paid for her education, and to get her business up and started.  And for all that she was barely able to retire without her Social Security payments.

Moreover, one of the foremost causes of poverty is single parenthood which seems to be practically promoted here.  Throughout the life of Julia there is never a mention of having her child in the context of marriage, no mention of a family.  There is no husband to help raise the child or provide for his family.  No, the sacred single-mother is put on a pedestal to have and raise children without the help of a man.  And we wonder why the breakdown of the family is happening at such a rapid pace.  Even the government is promoting broken families.

It’s worth noting that even Obama is unwittingly admitting that his plans do not spur prosperity to Julia, but rather cause her just barely make it by without too much wealth (more than she needs [second paragraph under section titled “Shared Sacrifice”]).  That’s the problem with socialist ideals, they don’t spread wealth, they spread poverty.  But that has been the plan all along.  To even everything out.  Not by bringing people up, but by bringing others down.  Poor Julia.

____________________________

Not to mention various political watchdog groups pointing the several factual inaccuracies with the president’s claims (FactCheck.org, The Washington Post, PolitiFact).

Comments

  1. Excellent analysis, John!

  2. Bill Dalasio says:

    No, the sacred single-mother is put on a pedestal to have and raise children without the help of a man.

    But, that’s not really true, though, is it? It seems to me that Julia is relying on the help of a lot of men. And women. Any claim that Julia is somehow or another “independent” is pure bunkum. She isn’t. She’s a kept woman. The only distinction is that she’s able to use the power of the state to have herself kept, rather than the goodwill of her benefactor.

    • Bill

      You have a point there. many people have realized that people who are dependant — either on a system, or an individual — is essentially at that benefactor’s mercy.

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