November 13 2012

Katha Pollitt’s Go-It-Alone Fantasy

Carrie L. Lukas

IWF has written about how conservatives need to do a better job painting a positive picture of how a more limited government would benefit women and American society generally.  Yet it’s hard to know how to combat ridiculous straw menarguments such as those depicted in this piece by Katha Pollitt, who implies that Gov. Romney and conservatives generally support a complete dismantling of the social safety net, leaving orphan children to fend for themselves. 

This is absurd, of course, and misses the real debate today, which is not whether or not we should have a  safety net, but whether middle-to-upper class Americans, in addition to the poor, should also be wards of the state. 

As I wrote here and Vicki Murray wrote more recently, it’s no longer low-income Americans or those who are down on the luck who are dependent on state support.  A growing segment of American society depends on state welfare programs for basic support as a matter of course—and we are running up a massive government debt as a result.  We are really incredibly far from contemplating a “go it alone” society when a key sticking point of this recent campaign—during a time high unemployment and trillion dollar annual debts—is if a 30 year old Georgetown law grad can really be expected to shoulder the burden of a $5 copay for birth control pills each month. 

America is going to have to get serious about discussing needed reforms to keep our safety net programs from collapsing.  Katha Pollitt isn’t helping that cause—or the cause of those who truly need help—at all with such misleading missives.

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