Both National Review editor Rich Lowry and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) think the generic female Democrat featured in the Obama campaign’s “The Life of Julia” is “creepy.” Ryan thinks it’s “demeaning” for the Obama campaign to promote the idea that a woman should be so dependent on government programs that she needs the paternalistic hand of government to cushion the consequences of the slightest setback. “It doesn’t say much about his faith in Julia.” And as Lowry puts it:
[The government] is her educator, banker, health-care provider, venture capitalist, and retirement fund. And she is, fundamentally, a taker. Every benefit she gets is cut-rate or free. She apparently doesn’t worry about paying taxes. It doesn’t enter her mind that the programs supporting her might add to the debt or might have unintended consequences. She has no moral qualms about forcing others to pay for her contraception, and her sense of patriotic duty is limited to getting as much government help as she can.
For his part, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler points out that where things get tricky for Julia – and for the Obama campaign (Three Pinocchios) – is when she is ready to retire and “After years of contributing to Social Security, she receives monthly benefits that help her retire comfortably, without worrying that she’ll run out of savings” (which would have been a concern, had Romney been allowed to cut her benefits by 40 percent):
The most recent Social Security trustees report says that, under intermediate assumptions, the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2033, which would result in a 23 percent reduction in benefits if Congress and future administrations do not deal with the shortfall. …
According to an account in the New York Times magazine, the president offered to accept changes in the benefit formula for Social Security as part of a possible “grand bargain” on reducing the deficit. …
The article was not specific, but “less generous formula” probably refers to changing cost-of living adjustments in Social Security benefits from a wage-linked inflation index to a different, slower growing consumer price index. Generally, most people would perceive this as a benefit cut, which is certainly how liberal groups reacted when the possibility arose during the debt ceiling talks. …
Note how carefully the Obama campaign’s statement is worded. It says that, under Obama, Julia “receives monthly benefits that help her retire comfortably.” It does not promise that projected benefits will not be cut, but it certainly implies that. …
While Romney is proposing a cut in benefits for high-wage earners, candidate Obama in 2008 also targeted high wage earners as a way to extend Social Security’s solvency, proposing a payroll tax increase on people making more than $250,000.
What do the boldfaced bits have to do with Julia? Well, at age 42, when her son Zachary is 12, Julia makes the transition from being a web designer working for someone else to launching her own web business:
Here’s where – contrary to Lowry’s analysis – Julie suddenly finds herself on the wrong end of Obama’s cradle—to-grave government largesse. To put it in terms that Occupiers can understand, Julia becomes The Man.
Instead of being able to sue for wage parity under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, she is the one who will be sued. Julie cannot afford to provide her employees with a government-approved health insurance plan that includes mandates for everything from birth control to gender reassignment surgery, so she pays a $2,000 fine per year for each employee. Finally, under the The Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012 a Subchapter S corporation engaged in a professional service business like Julie’s is on the hook for “her fair share” of payroll taxes. Oh, and as an S-corp, her business earnings are taxed as ordinary income so once her business really took off she got hit by Obama’s Buffett Tax.
According to Kessler, no matter who is president in 2013, Julia will not be able to enroll in Medicare at age 65, or to retire at age 67 with full benefits. As a high-earner she will have to forego some of the government retirement benefits that would have otherwise been due to her. And thanks to ObamaCare, she cannot find a doctor or specialist who accepts Medicare patients.
Moreover, Julie’s business income was not considered a “salary,” so the last 25 years of her earnings were not counted toward her Social Security benefits. Fortunately, with President Romney having ushered in an economic expansion that continued through several back-to-back Republican administrations, Julie’s private retirement account grew steadily and allows her to live a healthy, happy, contented old age.