Mississippi Senator Chris McDaniel is in the news for statements he made regarding “unhappy liberal women” and his desire to cut all funding for Planned Parenthood and deny health insurance coverage for birth control. Spoiler alert: McDaniel is not a fan of women wanting stuff.
Here is his original statement:
“So a group of unhappy liberal women marched in Washington DC. We shouldn’t be surprised; almost all liberal women are unhappy. Perhaps there’s a correlation.
“Nevertheless, I’m fascinated to see them exercise their First Amendment rights (however objectionable the message).
“But I do have a question: if they can afford all those piercings, tattoos, body paintings, signs, and plane tickets, then why do they want us to pay for their birth control?”
If you look at McDaniel’s Facebook page, you’ll notice that he’s a big fan of criticizing the federal government. He is a leading voice to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He does not believe health insurance ought to provide birth control without a co-pay. It’s possible he doesn’t believe in birth control at all, though I’m making a leap here. He just seems so angry about the concept of birth control. He wants to defund the UN. He is pro-gun, and anti-poor people. These views are wildly popular amongst certain groups in Mississippi and elsewhere.
Unfortunately it’s hard to take McDaniel seriously, given that he’s such a complete and utter hypocrite. Here’s the deal: Mississippi receives about 43 percent of its revenue from the federal government. Mississippi is on the dole. It receives more federal dollars as a percentage of total revenue than any other state in the nation. So it’s laughable when its politicians pound their fists and complain about the injustice of providing “free” birth control to women. Because, of course, Mississippi isn’t providing “free” anything to women. The rest of the nation subsidizes Mississippi’s education, health care, maintenance for roads and bridges, children’s services, disaster relief, and all sorts of other things. If we broke our states down into offensive stereotypes, Mississippi would be a pregnant teenage welfare queen.
I grew up in Mississippi. I was educated there and I love the state as much as I sometimes hate it. I have no desire to see the people of Mississippi suffer, and so I’m happy to prop the state up with my tax dollars. I definitely believe we should send federal aid when they suffer devestating losses from natural disasters such as tornadoes, as they have recently. But it is hypocritical to the extreme for a Mississippi senator to complain about providing birth control to women when the state has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation. Also, one of the highest STD rates. It has more young families receiving SNAP (food stamps) than almost any other state. Young children in Mississippi qualify for the Child Healthcare Plus Program (essentially Medicaid for children) at higher rates than most other states. The poverty level in Mississippi is high. The tax rate is low. As a result, the state does not bring in enough money to take care of itself. The rest of us are left to foot the bill. That’s how America works. We don’t turn our backs on our neediest citizens. And Mississippi is ever so needy.
If the rest of the nation adopted McDaniel’s logic about cutting off services and defunding programs to help the less fortunate, Mississippi would find itself in dire straits. If McDaniel and many other state representatives in Mississippi truly believed half of what they say, they would refuse the federal assistance the state receives. They would wean themselves off the federal dole and learn to stand on their own. It would mean a significant tax increase for their citizens. People would die. Unplanned pregnancies and STD rates would soar even higher. The education rankings, already among the lowest in the nation, would fall even lower. But at least its leaders wouldn’t be shameful hypocrites.