The Obama administration is up in arms about recent news regarding Wall Street executives handing out some $18 billion in employee bonuses. Yes, these are the same companies that received taxpayer bailout funds. Yes, these are the same companies that can't seem to account for all the money they received from Uncle Sam. Yet, they are able to meet these extravagant bonuses. Obama is right to be upset about this.
It seems the going opinion is that any company that receives taxpayer funding should be forced to play by a different set of rules. I can't say that I would argue that point. But I will say that we are all quite foolish to expect the Wall Street executives to behave any differently. We all know that many corporate elites are greedy, that they don't really care about mainstream America, that they have already demonstrated irresponsible behavior in helping get us to our current economic situation. Which makes me wonder: why give them taxpayer dollars? And why should we be surprised when they don't spend that money responsibly? I'm not exactly sure we don't share some of the blame here.
On the other side of the country, a 33 year old woman gives birth to octuplets. What makes this a bit frustrating is that she did this through in vitro fertilization, a procedure used for people who are otherwise infertile. Except she wasn't infertile. She already had 6 children. Not only that but she is single, unemployed and living with her parents. Yet, somehow a doctor felt is was reasonable to perform IVF on her and now she has 14 children. And I'd be willing to bet what's left of my savings that she - in one way or another - is dependent on the government. No, I can't prove it, so we'll call it a guess. Assuming that I'm right, we now have an ethical situation. Should we scrutinize an individual's personal situation before performing these fertility procedures?
The conservative in me says no. When you start to restrict reproduction in certain people you are flirting with eugenics - a theory embraced by fascists and many progressive thinkers. Eugenics is dangerous and has no role in a free society.
However, when taxpayer dollars are involved it sort of changes the game, just like it does with Wall Street. If this woman were married and financially secure, I would extend her my best wishes and wish her well. But that doesn't appear to be the situation. Instead, it appears as though the taxpayer will foot at least some of the bill for these kids.
I believe the doctor shares some of the blame. It would have been easy to simply claim that the procedure was not medically indicated and refuse to do it. After all, she already had six kids, so fertility wasn't exactly an issue. I think holding him partially accountable wouldn't be a bad idea. This was irresponsible medical practice.
Folks, you can't even go to the local animal shelter to adopt a stray dog without having to demonstrate that you're capable of providing for that dog. And yet, somehow, the same rules don't apply to humans?
So if Wall Street should abide by new rules in exchange for taxpayer dollars, why not our everyday citizens? Simple. Taxpayer dollars should not be used for fertility treatments. Period. This would stop the irresponsible practice of hospitals and doctors.
And anyone on government assistance who have children via expensive fertility treatments should have their funding cut. If you can afford $15,000 for in vitro fertilization, then you don't need taxpayer dollars to buy groceries. And government funding must not increase after 2 children. If you're poor and need government assistance, then you need to be responsible enough to not have more than 2 children. It may sound cruel, but people need to start behaving more responsibly. The US taxpayer has had enough.
I would also support legal action on behalf of the taxpayer against the doctors who performed this procedure.