I wish someone, somewhere, would research the following phenomenon:
People who purport to be self sustaining, frugal, fiscally conscious people, who eschew government "interference" and who turn up their noses at the "welfare state", yet are totally, completely, 100% fine with said welfare state financing their way through early marriage and early babies while in college.
I suppose if you want to get married at 19 while you're both still in college, pop out two or more kids by the time you walk, and finance it all with Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, pell grants, etc., that's fine. But please don't, as soon as you graduate, start to stump for politicians who want to cut those very same programs. Also, keep in mind that you only got those things because, as married students, you qualified as INDEPENDENT from your parents. Because for hundreds of thousands of single students who receive not one dime from their parents, being qualified as independent from the parents is IMPOSSIBLE until you are 24. Been supporting yourself since you were 14? Doesn't matter. Haven't received a cent from the parents all 4 years of college? Have proof that you paid for EVERYTHING on your own? Tough luck. But hey, get married really young and have a bunch of babies with only one or maybe neither of you working while in college? Bring on the gravy train!**
**Just to clarify, I for one wholeheartedly back welfare programs. I don't think there is anything wrong with using them, and cool, some young married people use them to get through college, perhaps even post-grad work. I don't think it's the practice that is wrong, it's the holier than thou in retrospect attitude. I actually read a comment on a blog by a woman saying "we're on food stamps and WIC and Medicaid now, and will be for the next 3 years while my husband is in dental school but we won't be on it forever, unlike some people". Well, good for you, but some people aren't using food stamps and WIC and Medicaid while hubby is in DENTAL SCHOOL and you tend to the passel of kids you've already popped out. They're single working parents, or teen mothers who were told that their baby is a blessing from God, please keep it, choose life and all that, but once it comes out it's just another problem for the conservatives to rant about. Check your middle class privilege at the door Mrs. Dental Student, and hang up your douchebag hat while you're at it please.
The moral of the story is, whatever your reasons or justifications for using welfare services are, the fact remains that you felt like you needed help, and you got that help from a government program. And instead of being a hypocrite with a short memory, why don't you bite your tongue the next time someone starts moaning about welfare mommies and wards of the state. Regardless of how you spin it, you financed your education, your early marriage, and your babies with welfare money. Ta-da, you're a welfare mommy too!! You were just lucky enough to have been in college and getting a degree while you did it.