Quotes of the day

“Back in his Wisconsin district today to hold a series of listening sessions, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan commented on President Obama’s latest campaign mascot, a hypothetical woman whom the campaign calls ‘Julia.’ Ryan called the imaginary character ‘creepy,’ and called the idea of creating a fictional woman dependent on the government ‘demeaning.’

“‘It suggests that this woman can’t go anywhere in life without Barack Obama’s government-centered society. It’s kind of demeaning to her,’ Ryan said. ‘She must have him and his big government to depend on to go anywhere in life. It doesn’t say much about his faith in Julia.’…

“‘It really shows the philosophical premise they operate from, which is — I think Romney coined it well — it’s a ‘government-centered society.’ You have to have government at every stage of your life to be there for you, otherwise, you’re going to fail. It’s promoting a cradle-to-grave welfare society,’ said Ryan.”


“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 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. This view’s infantilizing tendency is captured by Obamacare’s insistence that, for purposes of health insurance, young adults are children who belong on their parents’ policies until the age of 26. It devalues self-reliance and looks at us less as independent citizens than as drab Julias, bereft without the succor of our life partner and minder, the state.”


“My story? I’ve founded three web ventures over the past eight years without a penny of taxpayer money or government venture socialism. We free-market-centered small-business women can ‘grow the local economy’ and raise our children and improve our schools just fine without the meddling, patriarchal hand of President Obama taking credit for our every last success.

“After hyperventilating for months about the Republican ‘war on women,’ Democratic new-media gurus inadvertently have exposed the real Barack Obama: a chauvinistic control freak who would tether every last woman and child to his ever-expanding, budget-busting Nanny State.

“Mamas, for the sake of your family’s freedom and our republic’s survival, don’t let your babies grow up to be ‘Julia.'”


“The most shocking bit of the Obama story is that Julia apparently never marries. She simply “decides” to have a baby, and Obama uses other people’s money to help her take care of it. Julia doesn’t appear to be poor; at various points the story refers to her glamorous career as a Web designer, and it makes no mention of her benefiting from poverty programs like Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

“In 1999 Lionel Tiger coined the word ‘bureaugamy’ to refer to the relationship between officially impoverished mothers of illegitimate children and the government. ‘The Life of Julia’ is an insidious attack on the institution of the family, an endorsement of bureaugamy even for middle-class women.”


“How might Julia’s son, whom she names Zachary, fare in a post-Obama world? Herewith ‘The Life of Zachary.’

“Age 5: Zachary starts kindergarten. Julia drops Zachary off at his first day of public kindergarten. She is surprised and perplexed to find that despite the hefty local property taxes she pays, the class is large. While Zachary is at school, Julia does some Googling and finds that more and more of her taxes pay for pension and health benefits for retired teachers, not for salaries for current teachers. She wonders vaguely whether all that money from the federal government will really help Zachary…

“Age 25: Zachary meets a nice girl. Zachary meets a woman at work (his employer has taken a legal chance on this hardworking young lady). But in getting to know her, Zachary learns that she has $70,000 in student loans, plus $10,000 in credit-card debt. She makes about the same salary that Zachary does. Zachary likes her, but he can’t help but worry that if he got serious with her, he would be taking on a tremendous debt burden. Zachary often thinks long-term; he realizes that if he married her in a few years, both of them would have to work full-time, even if they had children, in order to stay current on the debt. They remain friends.”

“Age 42: Zachary’s mom calls him, crying. Julia is 73 now. She likes working, so she wasn’t too upset when the government abruptly pushed the Social Security retirement age for full benefits back five years, to 72. But now that she’s been collecting benefits for a year, she realizes that what she collects isn’t enough to live on. She’s more upset, though, at the reforms to Medicare that have just been enacted. Though generations of politicians promised never to touch benefits for people close to retirement age, in the end, they had no choice: younger voters demanded it. The basic Medicare package now will cover only big-ticket items. All but the poorest are on their own when it comes to doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and tests.”


“‘I would love to see the DNC or somebody follow up with a ‘Here’s what life under the Romney-[Paul] Ryan plan would be like for Julia,” said Finney. ‘She’d be in the grave by her mid-30s I can almost assure you.'”


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