Michelle Obama: Americans Spending $600 Stimulus Checks on Earrings

Amanda Carpenter notes:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, complained the government’s $600 economic stimulus check was only enough to buy “a pair of earrings” while stumping for her husband.
“You’re getting $600 – what can you do with that?” Mrs. Obama said in Pontiac, Michigan last week. “Not to be ungrateful or anything, but maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn’t pay down every bill every month. The short-term quick fix kinda stuff sounds good, and it may even feel good that first month when you get that check, and then you go out and you buy a pair of earrings.”
She made these remarks at a “working women’s roundtable discussion.”

Well, it’s not like Michelle Obama makes comments like this all the time.

not everyone can afford to keep it all together, especially here in Muskingum County, where, according to the census, the median household income in 2004 was $37,192, below both the Ohio and national average. Out of that, there’s the mortgage. And child care. Health care. Education. Lessons. “I know we’re spending — I added it up for the first time — we spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth,” Mrs. Obama tells the women. “And summer programs. That’s the other huge cost. Barack is saying, ‘Whyyyyyy are we spending that?’ And I’m saying, ‘Do you know what summer camp costs?’”

One wonders whether that $600 budgeted for earrings could be spent on, say, fruit:

“Now we’re keeping, like, a bowl of fresh fruit in the house. But you have to go to the fruit stand a couple of times a week to keep that fruit fresh enough that a six-year-old—she’s not gonna eat the pruney grape, you know. At that point it’s, like, ‘Eww!’ She’s not gonna eat the brown banana or the shrivelledy-up things. It’s got to be fresh for them to want it. Who’s got time to go to the fruit stand? Who can afford it, first of all?”

Eh, nevermind the fruit. It’s probably not worth it, what with all the nefarious labeling of products:

“And the notion of trying to think about a lunch every day! . . . So you grab the Lunchables, right? And the fruit-juice-box thing, and we think—we think—that’s juice. And you start reading the labels and you realize there’s high-fructose corn syrup in everything we’re eating. Every jelly, every juice. Everything that’s in a bottle or a package is like poison in a way that most people don’t even know. . ”

What with the $600 earrings, the $10,000 summer camps, unaffordable fruit and hidden poisons on the store shelves, daily life in America seems particularly tough on women:

“I wake up every morning wondering how on earth I am going to pull off that next minor miracle to get through the day. I know that everybody in this room is going through this. That is the dilemma women face today. Every woman that I know, regardless of race, education, income, background, political affiliation, is struggling to keep her head above water.” (This presumably includes her friend Oprah.)

(COUGHoprahCOUGH) So who’s to blame?

“What I notice about men, all men, is that their order is me, my family, God is in there somewhere, but me is first.”

Dear Obama campaign, please make sure this is the theme of her prime-time address at the convention.

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