President Obama's Problems with Women
While President Clinton had one kind of problem with women, President Obama has another -- a problem the Democrats are trying to hide by going on offense and creating a faux "War on Women."
Much of the GOP convention is designed to counter the Democrats' accusation of a "War on Women." The Romney forces are playing hardball by highlighting the facts about the distressing deficit of women's well-being under the Obama administration. In fact, the demographic most hurt by the current administration is women -- young women fresh out of college who cannot find jobs, young mothers who have to work when they prefer to stay home with their children, and empty-nesters whose retirement funds have been dangerously depleted by the failed policies of the Obama administration.
During the current administration, the Democrats unleashed a bevy of unpalatable surprises for women, including massive up-front government expansions and enormous deficits that ultimately heap unsustainable burdens on American children and women. It was clear from the outset that President Obama's slanted economic policies were designed to reward, among others, the 70 percent of unmarried women who voted for him in 2008. His policies discourage married women from working because of high tax rates. Young married couples -- those young women who want to stay home to nurture their children until they are of school age and perhaps to home-school them then -- and empty-nesters -- couples who have worked hard to get their children raised, through college, and out on their own as productive citizens -- have been hit especially hard by the economic policies of this administration.
Let's not forget, as Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) noted, that "[t]he government now owns 51 percent of [what was] the private sector." The Obama administration has produced extraordinary "change"; indeed, those changes constitute a huge "transformation" of America. The majority of citizens not only disapprove of these "changes" and "transformations," but actively oppose them. Citizens have picketed, protested, held town halls to express their opposition, and responded to poll after poll indicating their overwhelming opposition to the actions of the Democrat majority and the socialist agenda of the president.
Let's review the low points. Yuval Levin called ObamaCare a "ghastly mess" and traced its development; it "began as a badly misguided technocratic pipe dream and was then degraded into ruinous incoherence by the madcap process of its enactment."
Controversy and secrecy surrounded the passage of ObamaCare, but the incident with Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber in Holland, Ohio, kept echoing in reports and analyses of the bill. Obama, the candidate, said, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." That off-the-cuff remark stayed in critics' minds, even when the president and the Democrat-controlled Congress suppressed open debate and the media focused on other aspects of the bill rather than an honest accounting of the massive hidden increases in the cost of health care that it will cause, the $800-billion raid on Medicare it entails to fund ObamaCare, and the spiraling deficits as far as the eye can see that it generates. Once the bill was rammed through and the president signed it, Democrat politicians, from Senator Max Baucus to Vice President Joe Biden, were remarkably open -- astoundingly so -- about the real purpose of the bill: they seemed glad to admit that ObamaCare was designed to spread the wealth around.
Trouble is, it is not young women with their push for free contraceptives and abortion services that will get hit, but mature women and mothers of children who are the largest users of health care services who bear the brunt of Obamanomics' income redistribution.
Now that the bill has been passed "so that we have a chance to see what is in it," the specifics of the legislation are known, and it is clear that women and families are bearing the brunt of the new taxation and rationing hidden in ObamaCare. Supporters didn't talk about the bill's marriage penalty -- the fact that it will redistribute wealth from married couples to cohabiting couples. They also didn't mention the fact that "people on Medicare and Medicaid, disproportionately women, would receive less care and possibly worse care." Plus, nobody talked about the fact that the bill penalizes those employers who hire low-income workers, and primarily single mothers and housewives needing a second income. So instead of encouraging single mothers to marry the fathers of their children and to become financially independent by facilitating job growth, ObamaCare creates another avenue of dependency through health insurance subsidies.
Do you remember that, among all the broken promises, President Obama pledged to "make it easier, quicker, and less expensive for you to file a return, so that April 15th is not a day that is approached with dread every year"? Carrie L. Lukas, in her article "The Tax Man Cometh," reports that in addition to losing about 30 percent of our income for federal, state, and local taxes (more than the typical family spends on food, clothing, and housing combined), Americans spend nearly 4 billion hours in complying with income tax laws. The cost of all this time is estimated at $110 billion. Further, Lukas reports, Americans pay nearly $30 billion for expert help in preparing their tax forms, including software programs and hiring tax preparation professionals. Compliance with the IRS regulations is a major burden on American citizens. The time individuals spend filling out tax forms increased a full hour due to the new confusing and complex processes. For corporations, the process is equally burdensome, costing $159.4 billion -- Lukas explains that "for every dollar the government raises in revenue from corporations, companies have to pay out more than $1.50."
As we face the pivotal 2012 election, we would do well to remember what our society (especially women, new college graduates and empty-nesters) has suffered grievously from government programs and policies such as Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" that meant well but failed miserably -- and on a colossal scale, as is documented by an abundance of data on poverty and all of the attendant social problems plaguing our communities as the stabilizing effects of two-parent families are diluted by the growth in number of cohabiting couples and single-parent families. One only needs to drive through the inner city of any great American metropolis to see the disastrous effects of fatherlessness.
With ObamaCare and its hidden tax increases, we face yet another ill-advised move for further expansion of the old failed social welfare policies of entitlements. It is distressing to contemplate the growing flood of anger, divisiveness, and conflict -- spawn of the dependency culture and simmering attitudes of victimhood -- these new initiatives will inflate. It is equally appalling to contemplate the ways these ill-advised programs will inundate the nation's women and their families, drowning them in debt, depression, and dismal futures. So much for hope and change.
Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D. is author of Obamanomics: The Financial Impact of ObamaCare on Women and Families, a publication of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute.