Soft tyranny is an art form to behold.
President Obama recently asked a gathering of business leaders “what can you do for your country”? That is to say, other than work, employ, produce, innovate, and provide tax relief for a large portion of the country. The Founding Fathers very thoughtfully sought to ward off this kind of tyranny against the most productive among us by limiting the powers of the federal government. For all their tyranny prevention, the Nation’s Framers could never have imagined a President’s spouse one day lecturing her citizenry on boobs; especially the ones outside Washington D.C.
In that spirit, it’s time to take one for the team, ladies – and LACTATE!
Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative marked its one-year birthday last week, and talk about a baby born with a silver spoon. The 2011 budget for Let’s Move includes $400 million in proposals, falling under the auspices of the USDA, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury Department: including funds for the elimination of ‘food deserts’ in underserved communities over the next seven years, affordable loans to small businesses and nonprofit developers in communities that lack access to affordable credit, as well as HHS’s “rubric of program components” aimed at the Healthy Foods Financing Initiatives.
No one would dream of denying a child – any child -- access to healthy food, nor dispute the benefits of those foods, both physically, and in most cases, academically. It always seems a bit of a contradiction when anyone addresses obesity with food, but particularly in the case of the federal government, which has added billions of dollars in government programs to feed ‘starving’ children over the last century. The teat of government largesse – literally.
Which leads us to mammaries, and Michelle Obama telling wise and nurturing women what they have innately known since the beginning of time -- that breast milk really is nature’s perfect formula. How did so many of us manage to give birth and best decide how to care for our newborns without the input of government? I may have to rethink the lovely mercury-oozing light bulb after all.
In the name of childhood obesity – breast pumps and other supplies for lactation are now deductible medical expense – which seems altruistic enough in a give-the-people-their-own-money-back tyrannical sort of way. If wealth redistribution is your goal, funneling millions to minorities and at-risk children in the name of Fluffernutter, is nothing short of genius. Breast pumps seem a bargain in the process.
Low-income areas that lack access to more nutritional foods, known as ‘food deserts,’ are equally opportune. We can debate whether or not that’s government’s role – it’s not. But no one refutes the need for nutrition, which would be a worthy private cause if food deserts weren’t defined as neighborhoods that are “more than a mile from a supermarket,” according to the First Lady’s Let’s Move website.
And the campaign doesn’t stop there.
According to Mrs. Obama, “We also want to focus on the important touch points in a child’s life. And what we’re learning now is that early intervention is key. Kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese … We want to get into child-care centers, day-care centers, and start talking about how – what kind of snacks they’re getting there. We want to have those conversations at an earlier level.”
Learning now about early intervention? Just now? I guess the billions we’ve spent since the inception of Head Start in 1965, a program that specifically targets early intervention from birth to three years, was just for kicks and giggles, and spreading contraband, such as animal crackers. Head Start’s budget for 2011 is a mere $8.2 billion. The proposed 2012 budget not only keeps Head Start and all federal nutrition programs at their current funding levels, it adds another $8 billion in “discretionary nutrition programs.”
Healthy snacks used to fall to mothers. For most of us, they still do, thankfully. But it seems ironic the same people who push to see government play parent are pining for the days of old they once so abhorred. In the words of the First Lady, “Recalling a time when outdoor play time lasted hours, families almost always ate together at meals and fast food was thought a rare treat, she urged parents to find ways to recapture some of those values.” The same values systematically destroyed by a feminist movement that sought to devalue them?
Here’s a thought. If you really want kids to move more, take a half hour out of the school day from any of the social justice indoctrination, lessons in fairness, revisionist history, sex education, and multiculturalism, and let the kids run about the playground. It’s worked for kids of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds for generations.
Former White House Press Secretary to Bill Clinton, Dee Dee Myers, managed to address obesity and bipartisanship, not to mention civility, in her book, Why Women Should Rule the World.
Myers believes that the relatively new phenomenon of lactation suites [in the workplace] could help women move the American political agenda forward in a whole new way … The lactation rooms will almost certainly lead to relationships that might help transcend the bitter bipartisanship that now pervades the Capitol …Women who have bonded in a ‘boob cube’ will find it very hard to reduce one another to petty caricatures on the floor or in the media. It’s more likely that they’ll spend time finding out what they have in common and coming up with creative solutions to ongoing problems that women (and men) from both sides of the aisle can support.
Boobs the simple path to bipartisanship? You don’t say. It seems there would be a real rush to reach across that aisle; an initiative Bill Clinton, for one, could really get behind.
According to the Heritage Foundation, Medicaid spending is expected to reach $953 billion in 2011. One out of every four children in the US is born under the umbrella of some Medicaid service. The Women, Infants, and Children’s program, as one example, has an annual budget of $5 billion. WIC, ironically, provides more than half the infant formula used in the United States to mothers free of charge, AND free breast pumps.
There are approximately 4 million children born each year in the US. Taking WIC’s $5 billion budget alone, which only represents the slightest fraction of what we spend on entitlements for children, we could pay every mother of every child born in the US $1250 to purchase a breast pump – or ten -- or do what is essentially free – breastfeed. And it would be an added boon to the jobs’ numbers to actually employ mothers as their own wet nurses, let alone the employment surge in shovel-ready ‘boob cubes’ all over the country.
It’s obvious not every woman has the luxury of being at home, a flexible job or boss, family support, even being physically able, when it comes to breastfeeding. Nor, is her decision to breast or bottle-feed anyone’s business. No matter how much money the government wastes enabling breastfeeding, a woman’s desire to care for her own child as she sees fit will never change.
At one time femi-leftists damned us for not pulling the very newborns oppressing us off the breast, and damned us if we stayed home to nest. Breastfeeding was one of the joys of mothering my own children. I deserve no reward for it, and the mother who chooses not to breastfeed deserves no judgment. Truly enabling any woman who chooses to breastfeed is noble, but it never required government intervention until progressives reordered natural order, or discovered it could benefit the narrative.
The projected billions in healthcare ‘savings’ relative to breastfeeding, or the ‘green’ing’ of kid’s lunch plates, should they even manifest any benefit, still pale to the entitlement burden and debt crippling this nation; sure to increase all the more as we speed toward a socialized system that inevitably swells the ranks, and rations behavior and medical care. In the simplest terms, it’s one thing to encourage ‘folks’ to breastfeed and eat healthy foods, and quite another to spend billions doing so; especially as you quietly welcome more and more to the government teat.
The federal government intervening in breastfeeding is another illustration of the architects of our destruction appointing themselves to remedy that which they have wrought. Advice on family and the nurturing of newborns from the most radically pro-abortion President, and first spouse, in history, is especially rich.
When government has to endorse common sense, the fallout of the Left’s radical, entitlement-driven, anti-family agenda is on full display -- and there’s no lipstick to disguise that pig.