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Politics, culture, and American life — from the family perspective.

Should I Get Paid to Feed My Kids?



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I love Kristin Wartman, the New York Times writer who thinks that the government should pay me to feed my children.

Heck, yeah! That’s my reaction to that idea. I mean, who knows where the money’s going to come from. That’s not my concern. I’m way too busy feeding little Timmy and Susie to worry about such super complicated things as the nation’s already ballooning debt, high corporate taxes, sustained unemployment, consumer insecurity, struggling small businesses, and the market’s uncertainty due to fears of Obamacare and other regulatory burdens. What’s another government program?

Wartman suggests we pay for this new program by “taxing harmful foods, like sugary beverages, highly caloric, processed snack foods and nutritionally poor options at fast food and other restaurants.”

Yeah, let’s do that. I mean, I thought taxes on “harmful food” were supposed to pay for all those “anti-obesity” programs. At least that’s what the politicians say when they start talking about taxing sodas, snack foods, and other things that taste really good. Another potential kink in Wartman’s idea to pay people to feed their own children is that her “tax this to pay for that” scheme relies on people actually eating the food she thinks is bad. If they don’t buy this unhealthy stuff, where’s the money for my kids’ food?

Oh, no bother. I’m sure they’ll just print more money. So, where do I sign up to get my due compensation for my hellish existence making grilled cheese sandwiches, pouring applesauce into small bowls, filling sippy cup after sippy cup, boiling noodles, unwrapping cheese sticks, handing out gold fish, making jello, slicing apples, unsheathing popsicles, and opening cans of beans and soup?

Wartman explains in her piece that it’s nearly impossible for working parents to cook every meal from scratch and to plan things ahead of time. Boy, is she right about that! The headache I get when I finally decide to boil some rice and fry a chicken breast is so terrible; I sometimes have to lie down for a bit.

Wartman’s really worried about poor people — especially the domestic helpers of rich ladies. She explains that the rich working lady demographic generally employs housekeepers to help make sandwiches and clean up after the kids. Her concern is that “if we put this work on women of lower socioeconomic status (as is almost always the case), what about their children? Who cooks and cleans up for them?”

I’m sure Wartman is just as confused as I am that a recent poll shows low-income Americans do manage to cook at home quite regularly, that they don’t eat out that much, and don’t rely on processed food. Huh . . . wonder why I can’t do that?

You know what? That’s too complicated a subject for a mom like me. I’m going to wait for Wartman to explain it all to me. In the meantime, I’ll keep checking my mailbox for my government paycheck. 

— Julie Gunlock writes for the Independent Women’s Forum.



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