In case you've missed it, the Obama Campaign has released the life of Julia. "Julia" is a composite of women living in an America remolded in Barack Obama's vision for the United States. One wonders why the Obama Campaign would release a composite of a woman's life just as Americans learned that the girlfriend detailed in his autobiography "Dreams of My Father" is a composite of many women. One might imagine that the hay made of the composite girlfriend should have delayed the release of "Julia" in an intelligently run campaign.
In any event, Julia's life is detailed from the age of three until her retirement at age 67. The animated infographic, which goes through stage after stage, details all of the government programs and other liberal goodies that Julia uses during her life. Programs not available should Mitt Romney become President, and the authors argue that under Mitt Romney all such opportunities will disappear. Whether it's the Head Start program, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or Medicare and Social Security, Julia utilizes government program after government handout after government program to live her life. The only mention of her working is taking a job in the glamorous field of web design. It mentions she uses birth control and then chooses to have a child, Zachary, who also uses government programs. There is virtually no mention of her parents and no husband. Julia's story is a vague abstract and not a complete picture.
It's very clear that Julia is something upon which the Obama campaign can hang whatever idea they want. Julia can stay on her parent's health insurance until she's 26. She gets birth control so she can focus on her career. She retires comfortably on social security. She is, essentially, the model liberal woman.
In other words, Julia is a mannequin.
Julia has no face. Look at the graphic! There's nothing where her face should be! She has no parents. No husband. There are virtually no details about her life beyond the use of birth control, having a son and retiring on Medicare and Social Security. There are no details the Obama Administration doesn't want us to know, just as a designer boutique has featureless plastic women modeling the clothes. Julia is, in fact, nothing but a cardboard cutout of a "perfect liberal woman".
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration left out some very important details. Let's look at Julia's kindergarten classmate, Maria:
Maria is a middle-class girl growing up in the Obama's America. Her parents voted for Barack Obama and his messages of "Hope and Change" and moving "Forward". Maria attends Head Start, but because her parents spent time with her to learn important things like letters and numbers, colors and shapes, she's already ahead of the other kids and doesn't learn many new things. Starting at five years old, Maria attends a well-funded but poorly performing public school. Her parents would put her in a private school or a better-performing public school, but school choice programs were killed by politicians who were supported by teacher's unions. As a result, Maria and her two older brothers have no choice but to attend a school that barely stays accredited and doesn't effectively teach its students.
At age 16, Maria decides she wants to get her license and drive her own car, but the tax increases that pay for Obama's vision have sapped her parent's disposable income. Maria wants to get a job to pay for one herself, but the regulations on child labor mean no employer wants to hire anyone under the age of 18. Instead, Maria earns money by babysitting and other odd jobs like sewing the uniforms of a few members of her school's marching band. Still, she can't earn enough money to buy a car because every time the auto manufacturers get into trouble, the government buys and scraps tens of thousands of older cars so that people will buy new ones, driving up the price of used cars.
Maria is very bright and manages to learn and excel despite her poorly performing schools. As a senior in high school, she takes the SAT and ACT and gets excellent scores. Unfortunately, the cost of college has skyrocketed since she was a child due to Federal Student Loan programs that have artificially inflated demand for a college education. Despite being accepted into top-ranked colleges, Maria stays home and saves money by spending her first two years at a community college, then takes out student loans of her own so she can finish. Still, the cost is so high that it she can only afford to take the minimum class hours and it takes her three and a half more years to finish school.
When Maria graduates at age 24, she still hasn't found a job. Like most recent graduates Maria finds that employers will only hire temporary workers for many positions, only hiring permanent workers for highly experienced positions. This way the employers can avoid paying the crushing health insurance premiums that the Federal Government requires for full time employees. Maria stays on her parent's plan, but to cover her they have to save less, delaying their retirement.
On Maria's 27th birthday, she signs up for a government-subsidized health care plan. She's no longer covered by her parents and as a contractor she isn't eligible for health coverage. The plan is expensive and only a small number of doctors even accept it. Still Maria feels happy to be independent of her parents. She finally feels like an adult!
Maria can't save for retirement or a home because her student loans take up all her extra cash. Despite the low interest rates, the huge cost of a college education takes up all her spare money. She moves into a small, one bedroom apartment until she meets Brian, a young man struggling like her. Both 28, they fall in love. Even though they'd both rather honor their traditional upbringing and not move in together until they're married, they decide they have to move in together to be able to save up enough money for a halfway decent wedding and modest honeymoon. Brian dreams of starting his own business one day. He wants to be a retirement planner, but he doesn't have the money or time to take the classes necessary.
Maria and Brian are married shortly after she turns 30. Maria finally gets a full-time job as a supervisor of 20-something temps just as she used to be, but her employer got a health insurance waiver and she still has to buy government-sponsored insurance. She and Brian earn enough money to pay off some of their debt and live a mildly comfortable life. Maria and Brian have their first child, Johnny, when they are 32 and a second child three years later whom they name Angeline. Even though Maria has access to "family planning" services, she never uses them and she and Brian choose common-sense contraceptives. At 38, Maria is surprised by a third child. Despite being warned by her doctor about the health risks of having a child as she gets older, she and Brian opt to keep their baby, whom they'll name Walter.
Despite earning far more money than her parents, Maria and Brian are so heavily taxed that they can't afford a new home. They live in a neighborhood nearby Maria's home as a child, having bought a three bedroom, two bath foreclosure when they were 34. This is the most common form of home purchase in their age group these days. New homes are only for the very rich or older people who've had more time to save. Maria's children end up going to the same poorly performing schools she attended, except now they're even worse.
When Maria is 42, Walter comes down with a serious illness. Instead of getting immediate care, Walter has to wait until the doctors Maria's government health plan covers have time for him. She waits for hours as Walter's fever gets worse. Soon, she abandons the regular doctor and goes to the emergency room. Walter has a very severe case of strep throat, she learns. They're able to save his life, but Walter never fully recovers. He needs special care and is constantly at the doctor's office; even with low co-pays the bills are still adding up. Worse, because Walter's illness is deemed a "non-emergency" case, the emergency expenses aren't covered. Brian takes a job as a pizza delivery driver to help pay the bills. This puts a strain on Maria and Brian's marriage and leaves Johnny and Angeline often unsupervised. Brian changes full-time jobs and now works for a company that provides health insurance, but most of the costs of Walter's illness have already accumulated.
By the time Maria is 47, Johnny is failing half of his classes. Maria makes every effort to get him help, but the teachers at his school seem uninterested in helping. They think of 15 year old Johnny as a troublemaker and a "lost cause" and advise Maria to focus her energy on her other children. As Maria turns 49 she has no idea that 14 year old Angeline has gotten pregnant. Angeline tells her school nurse, who directs her to an abortion clinic. No one ever tells Maria about it; she doesn't even know Angeline has a boyfriend because she's too busy caring for Walter while Brian is out working. Unsupervised, Angeline starts using drugs and failing her studies.
At 54, both graying and wrinkled, Maria and Brian finally pay off their student loans. They start saving money for a nicer home. Johnny spent two years in the army and now lives with them, working as a temp just like mom and dad used to do. Angeline left home when she was 17; the last they'd heard from her, she was in Seattle and needed money for bus fare home. That was six months ago. Walter is still in school but the pace of his classes are so slow he has trouble paying attention. He's diagnosed with ADHD and starts taking medication, though Maria suspects he's just bored by his remedial classes. He's 17 when Maria and Brian finally save enough money for a down-payment on new house.
The new home is in a better school district, but Walter is behind and needs to attend summer school and get special tutoring to catch up. By the time he graduates he hasn't been accepted to any colleges and starts taking classes part-time at the community college Maria attended. Johnny has found a dead-end job but it pays enough for him and his girlfriend to move in together. Word of Angeline occasionally comes back to them, but the news is never good.
When Maria and Brian turn 56, Brian is laid-off. Brian suspects it's because of his age and the increased costs of his health insurance premiums to his employer. He goes back to being a contract laborer and continues working part-time jobs. Money becomes tight and he and Maria rarely see each other.
At 59, Brain admits he's having an affair. Maria is devastated. Brian moves out and Maria puts the house up for sale. Walter, who has gotten his associates degree, is working part-time and helps her pay bills. He offers a little money for rent, but they still have to scrape by. Maria earns too much to qualify for government assistance, but Walter stays on her health insurance plan for now. Brian and Maria finalize their divorce shortly after she turns 60. She drinks to dull the pain of the separation from the man she loved for so long.
Walter is working as a contract laborer when Maria turns 65 and signs up for Medicare. She hasn't heard from Angeline in years. Johnny and his wife are always fighting, worried about money and their bratty kids. Maria learns she needs a kidney transplant when she's 66. Despite the odds she finds a donor, but the government has determined that dialysis is less expensive than a complicated transplant. She could pay for it herself if she had the money, but paying her student loans kept her from putting money into retirement savings early, when it would have done the most good. Maria turns 67 and wistfully remembers the days that was the age someone could retire on Social Security. Not that Social Security is available to someone so young. She couldn't afford to retire now, anyway, since she has very little savings and Social Security is woefully too little money to live comfortably.
Eventually, Johnny and his wife put Maria into a nursing home. They and Walter visit her less and less often. When Walter visits, he talks about moving to Chile or Brazil or Australia. Anywhere there is opportunity. Anywhere but the United States. Maria is 72 when Walter visits the last time, excitedly telling her he's moving to Dubai. Alone, in pain and broken-hearted, Maria dies in her sleep at the age of 73, well before her life expectancy when she was born.
The story related above isn't terribly uncommon right now, but in Barack Obama's America it will become far more well known. Liberals like to blame such outcomes on the evils of capitalism and greed. The story related above, however, isn't a story of greed or being a victim of capitalism. It's a story of following expectations. It's a story about doing what everyone else is doing, and ending up somewhere no one wants to be, because the government intrudes on so many aspects of our life. Maria was bright. She had an education. She got married and bought a house and did everything she was supposed to do, everything we're expected to do as Americans, everything the government encourages us to do through the tax code and other incentives. But the crushing weight of regulations including many that were never intended to affect her, the heavy taxes that will be needed to pay for Obamacare and massive deficit spending and the lack of options and choices inexorably drive Maria to this outcome.
Maria will not be alone if we fail to stop this government juggernaut. Many Americans with dreams and aspirations far above their parent's lives will be held down by the oppressive regulations and laws that limit competition, eliminate choices, increase the cost of life and doing business and which have devastating after-effects as people try to cope with their ever increasing burdens and stresses.
President Obama wants us all to believe that his mannequin, Julia, is the model by which we will all live in his utopian society. But like a fashion designer, his mannequin lacks important details that better illustrate the picture and might make people choose other options. The clothes he dresses her in fit only one type of person; anyone else buying these clothes will feel ugly and depressed when wearing them. But unlike the fashion designer, President Obama is arguing for the power to force people into his designs, whether they fit that person's lifestyle or not. Julia lived a happy and prosperous life in Barack Obama's America, but like the woman who can wear high-fashion presentably, she is the exception.
Julia isn't reality. Julia is a marketing tool. She's an impression, a" type". She's the woman in the athletic shoe advertisement every little girl wants to be and many women wish they were, but reality dictates they won't be. She is meant to inspire the hard-Left. She is meant to drum up Obama's base of support this election. Unfortunately in Barack Obama's America there will be far fewer Julia's than there will be women who's life fits Maria's story.
UPDATE: Someone has independently come up with an alternate version of Julia's tale. It's excellent, check it out.