Subsidizing Irresponsibility and Free Sex

Yesterday I wrote about Barack Obama’s claim in his speech at the Democratic National Convention that the path he offers is the harder (but better) path. I explained with an analogy of a toy robot that a kid wants but doesn’t need that there is nothing hard about Obama’s “path,” or his way of doing this, namely, spending, spending, spending until you can’t spend anymore, and even then, continuing to spend. I said that contraception, for example, bought and paid for by your friendly neighborhood taxpayer, may be something we desire, but it is not something we need, and it is therefore not something a country $16 trillion in the hole can afford. It is not a bare necessity. Heck, it isn’t even a necessity.

I was using the subject of subsidized contraception as a mere example of a frivolity, for there are certainly countless others that the federal government simply does not need to pay for — Harry Reid’s beloved taxpayer-funded Cowboy Poetry Festivals come to mind. But one reader chose to focus on the contraception, arguing:

“When you talk about contraception as something people don’t need, you imply that women do not need to extend their pre-mothering years in order to get an education, to join the work force, etc. If we allow insurance companies to sell birth control at whatever prices they want, and offer no help to young women who can’t afford it, we are forcing them into earlier motherhood.”

A number of things in that argument jump out at me. One is that many young mothers continue their education or start jobs despite having a child. It’s hard, but hard work never hurt anybody (outside of Auschwitz).

Another is that this person, like the federal government, seems not to understand what constitutes necessity. Food is a necessity. Water is a necessity. Birth control and liberal-arts courses are desires (though that last fact is a particularly confusing one).

And still a third thing apparent in this person’s argument is that she, and indeed many liberals, believe they are not capable of abstaining from sex. What other conclusion am I to make from her belief that if I don’t buy birth control for her, she is being forced to be a mother? I’m sorry, but who is forcing you to have sex? Your rights end where my nose and my wallet begin. You choose to have sex, you do not need it. Therefore, you do not need birth control. What you need, and what the government needs, is self-control.