Dave Bilthuis: ‘If that fictional lady wants to go have 6 kids even though she doesn’t have any readily apparent means to support them, that is her right, she doesn’t have to go through any ‘means testing’ as Larry suggests. Mike’s point is that just because she chose to have those 6 kids, doesn’t mean that it is now society’s responsibility to help her raise (pay for) them. Yes, that is very unfortunate for those kids to now have to live in the conditions a $65/day domestic worker paycheck can provide; that’s life unfortunately. No, it is not the kids’ fault for choosing irresponsible parents, as you point out. But it is also not society’s fault that she had 6 kids that she could not support. I have two children and when they were brought into this world, I accepted 100% responsibility for raising them. I do not expect anyone else to do so, why should she? People should be held responsible for their actions and decisions no matter how ‘unfair’ you all seem to think that is. What a ridiculous and illogical argument you and Larry are making in defense of this scenario.’

☞ Well, it’s probably worth pointing out that I said (as Mike noted) that my fictional lady GETS UP at 6 and feeds the kids – not that she HAS 6 kids. It’s actually tough to get by on $65/day with even just one or two kids. Indeed, I venture to say I’d have trouble living comfortably on $65 a day even if I had NO kids. But your point, and Mike’s, is that even if she does have just one, that’s one she shouldn’t have had if she can’t afford to care for him/her. And while I might agree with you . . . or at least take your point . . . (she should have known her man would walk out on her or lose his job!) . . . let us assume we are now stuck with the fact that she has a child. You say that’s her tough luck – and the child’s tough luck. Welcome to the Republican Party. Tax cuts for the wealthy come ahead of health insurance for poor kids or raising the earned income tax credit. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. But please note that, apart from issues of basic human decency, there’s the issue of our own self-interest: Helping a child grow up to be a productive member of society instead of, say, a prisoner, offers us taxpayers a phenomenal return on investment.


Don’t miss Molly Ivins‘ February 10 column. It’s worth being 5 minutes’ late to work. Click, read, and seethe.


There WILL Be a column Monday. Maybe even tomorrow. Converting pounds to dollars, betting on Bush, marriage . . . so many topics, so little time. Don’t walk under any ladders today.


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