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Forum Post: "The Life of Julia" Obama's Socialism

Posted 2 years ago on May 5, 2012, 2:23 p.m. EST by Krowell (-69)
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President Obama’s campaign re-election website has put up a public relations initiative called “The Life of Julia.” The goal of this initiative: to compare “how President Obama’s policies would help one woman over her lifetime – and how Mitt Romney would change her story.” It’s propaganda of the worst order. It’s a typical Obama scare tactic. And worst of all, it assumes that Julia will remain dependent on the government her entire life. Julia’s story begins when she’s 3. Thanks to President Obama, the website says: 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. Well, no. Head Start has been one of the worst failures of the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services itself found that the government has invested $150 billion in Head Start since 1965 … and that has yielded precisely zero impact for the kids involved. But according to Obama, that dastardly Romney fellow would cut Head Start by 20%. The horror, the horror! Apparently, nothing happens in Julia’s life until she’s 17. There’s a reason for that – America’s public school system is an utter failure, and Obama knows it. But Obama says that Julia at age 17 is flourishing (presumably she isn’t one of the approximately 25 percent of all students who drop out of school, or one of the 40 percent of black or Hispanic students who do so). Here’s Julia’s life under Obama at 17: 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. Julia must be one of the lucky ones to get into a charter school. If she goes to one of America’s normal public schools, this is a pipe dream. But according to Obama, nasty Romney would cut funding for public education “to pay for tax cuts to millionaires.” Because what we need is more education spending, not less – even while districts like the Los Angeles Unified School District expend about $30,000 per year per student to achieve the worst results in the nation. By age 18, Julia’s taking out college loans – with the help of the taxpayer: 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. So Julia majors in lesbian dance at one of our nation’s colleges. Who pays? Obama doesn’t say. At age 22, 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.
Because God knows that this independent young woman can’t buy her own health care, obtain it through her college, or find another way to pay for her surgery. Also, what kind of surgery is this? Is it elective? Is it required? Who knows? And let’s not mention that the average 22-year-old isn’t receiving surgery. Obamacare hurts Julia because she’s subsidizing her parents, since she has to pay higher costs once she obtains her own insurance. At 23, Julia “starts her career as a web designer.” This assumes she will have a job in the private sector under Obama. Or, that she’s going to be hired to design programs like “The Life of Julia.” 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 can sue people. Julia’s friends, the trial lawyers, are overjoyed! At 25, Julia graduates. And her loans are cheap, thanks to the Obama administration: 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. Gotta love the assumption that she repays her student loans rather than defaulting on them. The rate of student loan default is rising dramatically thanks to more and more students entering the system, taking on useless majors, and then finding themselves living in a tent in Zuccotti Park complaining about their lives. Now Julia’s 27. And her name is Sandra Fluke. Seriously: 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. So now Julia’s been in the work force for four years as a web designer, supposedly – and yet she wants everyone else to pay for her pill. And her abortions. Or whatever. Romney, however, wants to repeal Obamacare so “insurance companies could go back to charging women 50% more than men.” For things like, you know, pregnancy. Because women are different than men biologically, and legislation won’t change that. But never mind – somebody will probably pay the bill. But not Julia, because she’s got some sort of magical national debt waiver from the administration. Finally, at age 31, Julia “decides to have a child.” Where’s the father? Nobody knows. Was this a good decision? Nobody knows. So let’s all pay for it! Throughout her pregnancy, she benefits from maternal checkups, prenatal care, and free screenings under health care reform. Wrong. She’s past age 26, so she’s covered by the individual mandate. Which means she’s paying for all of it. Now Julia’s 37, and she has a son, Zachary. Little Zach is getting ready to enter the feeder system of ignorance that is our public school system. But not according to Obama: 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. Laughable. The teachers unions have probably run Zach’s school into the ground, the facilities are crumbling. Little Zach’s father? Nowhere to be found. But somehow, Julia’s doing just fine, and so is Zach. By the time Julia’s 42, she’s ready to start her own business. What took her so long? Why has she been working as a web designer for the last 19 years without building up some savings? Because Obama’s taxing the bejeezus out of her, undoubtedly. And since the banks are hard-up for start-up cash under Obama’s banking regulations, she can only get a loan from the Small Business Administration: 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. Once again, Obama leaves out a crucial factor here: does she have a market? According to the SBA itself, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years. As of 2009, the default rate on SBA loans was 12%. In 2004, the SBA loan failure rate was 2.4%. Thanks, Obama! We skip forward in Julia’s life. We learn nothing about her work experience or her family life, what it’s like for her to pay massive taxes for which she receives few benefits. But at age 65, Julia enrolls in Medicare, “helping her to afford preventive care and the prescription drugs she needs.” Oops. Under President Obama’s plan, Medicare will be cut by $320 billion over 10 years. And it will still be fiscally unsustainable. Apparently, Julia had just one kid. If that’s the case, the entire pyramid scheme is upside down, and Medicare will certainly be bankrupt by the time Julia hits 65. Actually, estimates say that Medicare will be bankrupt by the time Julia is 12, if she’s born this year. Finally, at age 67, 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. Because, as we know, our life’s goal is to retire and work at a community garden. Presumably with Michelle Obama, growing organic vegetables. By the way, this entire scenario is pure fiction. Social Security will be out of money by the time Julia’s in her early 20s. Barring catastrophic tax increases or a massive baby boom, Julia will never see her Social Security checks. And, according to Obama, that’s the end of Julia’s life. She’s been taken care of, cradle to retirement, by the feds. What happens to the rest of her life? The last 25 years or so, where she lives off non-existent Social Security and sucks up medical costs on the dime of others under Obamacare? Obama doesn’t say. But the prospect of a death panel is far more realistic than any of the other financial expectations in this fictional Life of Julia.

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5 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 2 years ago

http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/22/opinion/op-mills22

Don't Mess With Head Start's Success EDUCATION The program isn't broken, so Republicans shouldn't "fix" it with misguided changes.

http://www.plan4preschool.org/documents/battle-over-hs.pdf

One of the most insidious propaganda campaigns the right is engaged in is the one meant to convince the young that Social Security is "going broke."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/opinion/20geoghegan.html

Get Radical: Raise Social Security By THOMAS GEOGHEGAN Published: June 19, 2011 RECOMMEND TWITTER LINKEDIN COMMENTS (355) SIGN IN TO E-MAIL PRINT REPRINTS SHARE

Chicago Related Times Topic: Social Security (US) Readers’ Comments Readers shared their thoughts on this article. Read All Comments (355) » AS a labor lawyer I cringe when Democrats talk of “saving” Social Security. We should not “save” it but raise it. Right now Social Security pays out 39 percent of the average worker’s preretirement earnings. While jaws may drop inside the Beltway, we could raise that to 50 percent. We’d still be near the bottom of the league of the world’s richest countries — but at least it would be a basement with some food and air. We have elderly people living on less than $10,000 a year. Is that what Democrats want to “save”?

“But we can’t afford it!” Oh, come on: We have a federal tax rate equal to nearly 15 percent of our G.D.P. — far below the take in most wealthy countries. Let’s wake up: the biggest crisis we face is that most of us have nothing meaningful saved for retirement. I know. I started my career wanting to be a pension lawyer. In the 1970s, lawyers like me expected there to be big pots of private pensions for hourly workers. By the 1980s, as factories closed, I was filing hopeless lawsuits to claw back bits and pieces of benefits. Now there are even fewer bits and pieces to get.

A recent Harris poll found that 34 percent of Americans have nothing saved for retirement — not even a hundred bucks. In this lost decade, that percentage is sure to go up. At retirement the lucky few with a 401(k) typically have $98,000. As an annuity that’s about $600 a month — not exactly an upper-middle-class lifestyle. It’s too late for Congress to come up with some new savings plan — a new I.R.A. that grows hair, or something. There’s no time. We have to improve the one public pension program in place. Should we means-test it? No. I don’t care if they go out and buy bottles of Jim Beam: let our elderly have an occasional night out at a restaurant.

The most paralyzing half-truth in this country is that people hate taxes. People are willing to pay taxes that they spend on themselves. Two-thirds of those surveyed in a CBS/New York Times poll in January were willing to pay more taxes to save Social Security at its modest level. To “save” it, most of us don’t need to pay. We could lift the cap on high earners, the 6 percent of workers who make over $106,800 a year. If earnings above the cap were subject to the payroll tax with no increase in benefits to high earners, there would be no deficit in the Social Security trust fund in 2037, as projected.

If people are willing to pay more just to “save” Social Security, they should be glad to pay more to raise it.

What does it take to get Social Security up to half the average worker’s earnings? According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, to close the deficit and raise benefits to nearly half of average worker earnings, we would need to find an additional 5 percent of taxable payroll, or find the money elsewhere. If we lift the cap on the payroll tax without paying more benefits to those above it, that gets us 2.32 percent (or a bit less if we slightly increase benefits to the rich). Dedicating revenues from the estate tax at its 2009 levels to Social Security gets another half percent. A few other tweaks, like covering new public employees, add another 0.42 percent. The remainder can be found by raising the payroll tax by roughly 1 percentage point for both employees and employers.

I can hear the argument: It will discourage jobs, blah, blah. While I sympathize with the health costs employers pay (I am an employer, at our tiny law firm), they have had a windfall on pensions. In 1975, when I left law school, around two-fifths of American workers were in defined-benefit plans. Now it’s just a fifth, and dropping. For employers, that’s not the real bonanza.

Retirees today are shortchanged on Social Security because they have been shortchanged on wages for their entire working lives. The labor economist Richard B. Freeman points out that the hourly earnings of workers dropped by 8 percent from 1973 to 2005 while productivity shot up 55 percent or more. The United States is one of the few developed countries where workers are routinely cheated of a share in higher productivity.

And where has the money from the extra productivity gone? It’s gone right to the top, to the top few percent. If wages had been paid fairly based on productivity, there would have been enough money subject to the payroll tax to avoid even a modest shortfall.

As I write, the Democrats are proposing to cut payroll taxes — supposedly to create jobs. But the last cut in the payroll tax, a few months back, led to little or no hiring. And did I mention the Paul Ryan plan? Just wait until the Democrats accept some “reasonable” version of this Republican document.

A bigger pension — a raise in Social Security benefits — is the stimulus this demoralized country needs. Come on, Democrats: think of F.D.R., Robert Wagner, or heck, even Lyndon B. Johnson. Let’s ask ourselves: Who are we for?

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Paragraphs! WTF mate... who wants to read all of that when it isn't broken up?

Also, prove that "Death Panels" are in any part or Obama's policy. I'm not strictly pro-Dem, but that specific idea is a crock of bullshit.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Is there a specific site or place that right-wing trolls collect so much misinformation?

I think not; I believe their lack of schooling has made them dependent on right-wing propaganda machines for misinformation. Instead of trying to tear down public assistance to the disadvantaged, Krowell, you should encourage it. You may qualify for educational assistance, just like Julia.

[-] -1 points by Krowell (-69) 2 years ago

Allright, I will bite, do you want to compare schooling, or experience?

[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

There isn't much that government does for Julia that couldn't have been done better by individuals taking the initiative.

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