- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As a registered nurse who has worked in labor and delivery for 30 years in Washington, I believe “The Life of Julie” campaign ad has missed the point on both sides of the political ideology wars.

It is distressing to me to see 70 percent of black babies and 50 percent of Hispanic babies born to single mothers. It is clear that although the welfare system was started with the best of intentions, marriage is penalized and there are disincentives to work. If a woman doesn’t work, she receives housing assistance, food assistance, Medicaid and more. If she has an entry-level position, she receives nothing. As for marriage, there are fewer entitlements. What is wrong with this picture?

Pregnancy, childbearing and child rearing used to be private, family matters. Now when a young woman gets pregnant in some subcultures, the expectation is that government will foot the bill. Whereas some young women go to college or trade school to learn marketable skills, some have children in order to receive multiple government subsidies. The bottom line is this: The welfare system is broken.

Neither party addresses how to change an upside-down system while providing a safety net to those actually in need. President Obama’s budget did not include even one cut to entitlement programs. In obstetric wards, I see young women - the recipients of multiple government services - with expensive iPhones. Is anybody else insulted that their tax dollars are spent for iPhones and call plans?

I would love to see an honest debate from both sides of the political spectrum about the expectations of entitlements, disincentives to work, disincentives to wed and preservation of the necessary safety net.

JAN BUSSLER

Silver Spring

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