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2.18.2011

Bachmann is a nut job and Palin is a child

I have written entire blog posts about how much I dislike Sarah Palin and why, only to delete them... Mostly because its a bit outside of the scope of my blog. But by commenting on breastfeeding she is now fair game.

I'm going to be a bit blunt about this- Sarah Palin is a child. She is so bitter and hateful towards the democrats in Washington generally and towards Michelle Obama specifically that one begins to wonder about the source of this bitterness. I won't speculate as to the source of it, but regardless of the reason it is juvenile. She attacks everything that Michelle Obama says- if she says our kids should eat healthier, Palin says she's trying to tell us how to raise our kids. Now that Mrs. Obama supports the tax deduction of breast pumps as medical equipment and Palin totally turns around and blames the democrats for the high price of milk (because its their fault, isn't it?  P.S. when did babies start drinking milk?).  Why couldn't she forget their differences for this one issue and stand behind Mrs. Obama- breastfeeding is something she, too, supposedly supports; she declared October '07 breastfeeding awareness month in Alaska, and openly breastfed Trig throughout her campaign for VP.  I'll tell you why not- she's a bitter child who can't play nice.  And what really burns me is that this is the song ALL the republicans seem to be singing right now; we don't care what you democrats say, we are going to disagree with it until we drum you out of Washington, no matter what it takes!  How is this better for our country?  Shouldn't we be working together to actually try to solve our problems through compromise and healthy debate instead of acting like a bunch of children on the playground?

And don't even get me started on Bachmann.  Seriously Minnesota- what were we thinking???  The lady, from what I have seen, is almost as much of a quack job as Christine O'Donnell.  Don't you love it when politicians completely mislead the American public?  I sure do.  In response to the reclassification of breast pumps as medical equipment she has this to say; "To think that the government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies.  You wanna talk about a nanny state?  I think we just got the new definition of nanny state."  Oh, there is so much wrong with that, I don't even know where to start.
  1. Tax deduction does NOT = "government pays for."  I think a basic understanding of how tax deductions, particularly medical ones, where you have to meet an income-based minimun in order to even get the deduction, should be required for anyone who is going to bitch about them publically.
  2. How... HOW does allowing tax deductions for breast pumps make this a nanny state?  It's not like the government is passing a law penalizing moms who don't breastfeed.  
  3. She just sounds stupid and reactive.
And us lactavists have many other issues with these exchanges- why are they so intent on fighting against this one little tax code, yet no one is trying to reduce the amount of formula covered by WIC?  Think of the amount of money the government could save by encouraging breastfeeding over formula.  First of all, I have found several sources (below 1, 2) stating that HALF of the formula sold in the United States is supplied by WIC.  That sounded too ridiculous to be true at first, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense.  Women in lower socioeconomic groups are exponentially more likely to use formula, and WIC covers just under 1/2 of the infants born in this country each year (1).  So, if it's true, the American government spends (even after the rebates from the formula company) 2.06 BILLION dollars a year on formula (I didn't get that from a source, it's my own calculation based on the median cost of formula from Kellymom and the average rate, also from Kellymom, of 25 oz a day times 2 million babies minus the rebates listed in source #1... I found another source that said 850 Million.  Either way, a lot of dough).  THEN figure in the health cost- it is not debatable that breast fed babies get sick less, and the CBS article estimates that 900 babies die each year because of formula (3).  One doctor at UCLA estimated that, in L.A. County alone, if only 5% more women exclusively breastfed their children over $4 million could be saved... and she was only considering medical expenses and lost wages from ear infections, not any of the other "common" childhood illnesses which are proven to be more frequent in formula fed babies (6).  And since many formula fed babies are on various assistance programs, it is safe to assume that much of the medical expenses related to formula feeding are paid by the government.

Why can't we recognize the cost of feeding our babies formula, both financially and to our health?  I know that, even though I did breastfeed both of my children for the minimum recommended period of 6 months I now recognize the cost of supplementing with formula for the last few months- months of ear infections and food sensitivity.  And when will the government get on board?  Quick answer- when formula stops being a multi-billion dollar industry (another reason I dislike capitalism).  It's all well and good to say that "you can't tell me how to parent my child..." except that those on WIC are saying "I do what I want" and then letting the government foot the bill for both the formula and in many cases the resulting medical expenses.  In my opinion, if the government is footing the bill they should darn well be able to tell you how to feed your child.  But this violates our right as Americans to do whatever the hell we want without regard for the consequences, and then, when the consequences are staring us down, either blame the government or sue someone. 

The earlier statements made by prominent members of the Republican/Teaparty only go further to prove that Republican don't give a crap about actually helping the American people.  Why discourage anything involving breastfeeding except to either aid the formula companies (formula is a multi-billion dollar industry, don't cha know... that works on so many levels) or simply to piss of the liberals?  Either way, they don't care about US or our children.

  1. Sharing the economic burden: who pays for WIC's formula, on Amber Waves
  2. WIC: Killing Children With Kindness, on Homeland Stupidity
  3. More Breastfeeding Could Save 900 Babies a Year, on CBS News 
  4. Breastfeeding in the United States: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2006, from the CDC
  5. Financial Costs of Not Breastfeeding, from Kellymom.com
  6. The Hidden Cost of Formula Feeding, From the Family Magazine Group

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