I will try very hard for this post to not be political and I ask that as you read it you focus on why I think this is absurd and then you can agree or disagree based on the actual purpose of me writing this, not because it's Democrat vs. Republican...vs. Tea Party (puh-lease!).
I came across an article this morning (Mother's milk stirs unlikely political debate - CNN.com) that really ticked me off! I hope you will take the time to read it and even research other articles if you would like more information to base your opinion on. The "debate" is over the IRS now accepting breast pumps as medical equipment and therefore can be a write-off. (Just that part in itself being an 'issue' is absurd to me). It then becomes more of a "debate" because the First Lady has promoted breast-feeding recently during her "Let's Move" campaign stating that it could help in childhood obesity. According to a few Republicans/Tea Party-ers, the IRS decided to change this part of the tax code just because Michelle Obama has promoted breast-feeding recently even though this has been an issue for the IRS (and others) since at least last Fall when the IRS actually stated breast pumps WERE NOT medical equipment. Numerous people/groups were in disagreement with the ruling including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). All of this to say, what is wrong with breast pumps being considered medical equipment? There are thousands of women who could not get through breast-feeding if it weren't for a pump and if it's for the betterment of someone's health (i.e, the child) how does it not constitute the same tax break as say hearing aids, contact lenses, eyeglasses, etc.?
The issue becomes even more ridiculous when people start blaming the First Lady herself for sticking her nose into 'our' business. Really? Childhood obesity can only be talked about in our own homes? Maybe that's the real problem, because I highly doubt the majority of families with weight issues are sitting around their dinner table talking about what they could do to change their lives for the better...or maybe they are, it's just while eating a huge serving of creamy pasta or a big bowl of ice cream. Heaven help us if someone offers advice or if some state-led or federally-led program(s) can offer kids a healthy start to life or help them lose weight. We should just let them do what they want and govern their own lives because if they decide one day that they're too fat and finally want some assistance all they need to do is find the right surgeon to get a little nip and tuck and then they can possibly write THAT off (seriously...look it up)! And why is it wrong for the First Lady to have a "voice"? Nancy Reagan had "Just Say No" and Laura Bush had a literacy program. Every First Lady has an issue that they speak for so this should not be a surprise or a problem to others.
I find these days that silly things are becoming "debates" between the parties that don't need to be and the real issues are being sidelined or lost in the shuffle. If the real issue is the tax code, then talk about the tax code as a whole and what needs to be fixed, but obviously there will still be medical write offs and I honestly believe this is a legitimate one. I tried REALLY hard to not name names in this post and give my real opinion on some of the people talking crap about stuff they don't know about. But, I ask that if you the reader do not agree with me, please take the time to tell me and why, but please do not make it a party issue and start saying which party is right and which is wrong. I would like this to be a civil conversation...not a moronic one that is played out daily on the cable news networks.