No need to bail out working moms

I received in my e-mail box today a press release from a "women’s” organization called Moms Rising that supposedly represents "83 million moms in America." "These moms have unanswered questions for the Alaska Governor about her positions on the everyday issues that most mothers face, such as access to healthcare, fair pay, paid family and medical leave, after-school programs, childcare, paid sick days, and flexible work options.”

None of which can be handled without government mandates, apparently.

This picture is almost as hilarious as the Saturday Night Live sketch from last weekend featuring "Sarah Palin” and "Hillary Clinton” doing a joint appearance. Do the folks behind the press release actually contend that most moms, virtually all of whom, for starters, have access to healthcare itself and most of whom along with their families have health insurance, sit around their kitchen tables at night fantasizing about government mandated "paid family and medical leave?”

(Which if it were mandated here in the United States would actually hurt women’s employment rates as it has in other countries.)

Talk about being out of touch. I think it’s safe to say that most of us moms are more worried more about rising gas and milk prices, and why it’s hard to find clothes for our "tween” daughters that don’t make them look like little whores, and are we spending enough time with our kids and teaching them the things they need to know, and would they please stop whining and just do their chores, and they wouldn’t think of smoking a joint — would they? Could they?

And is that friend of hers a good driver, and are their characters developing as they should . . . than we are worried about government mandates for paid sick days.

But there is a group of people who have such ”unanswered questions,” as Moms Rising contends. It’s the group that wants to make sure that women look to the government, not themselves and certainly not husbands and fathers, to provide for their families.

Years ago commentator Linda Chavez made the dead on right observation that to the extent families are broken, dads don’t have to support wives and children and women look to the government to solve their problems, women have become more Democratic. (It’s still true that married women are far more likely to be Republican than are single women, whether or not those single women are working and providing for themselves.)

That’s apparently one reason why Sarah Palin is rattling so many folks. She is a woman who lives and breathes the belief that the government ought not to provide to families the things families ought to — and typically can — provide for themselves, in ways which meet their own unique needs. And, of course, two parent families are typically better able to do this than single-parent families, which is why the former should be encouraged at every opportunity. (Yes, government can help — low taxes would mean more choices about work verses staying home to care for kids, for example.)

The press release even repeated the old canard that "American moms make only 73 cents to a man’s dollar." Okay class, let’s think about this: an employer can pay a woman 27 percent less for the same work as a fellow? Come on, would that business owner ever hire a man? The reality is that today when variables like experience and education are controlled for, men and women are virtually at par when it comes to earnings for similar work.

Why spread such scary nonsense? Or insist, against all evidence to the contrary, that the typical mom’s priorities center around advancing certain big-government initiatives? Because then the government gets bigger, and the family becomes less important. Apparently saving that agenda is one more reason for certain folks to stop Sarah Palin.


(Betsy Hart hosts the "It Takes a Parent" radio show on WYLL-AM 1160 in Chicago. Reach her through