The Nanny States of America

Minnesota, like so many states, is facing a harsh reality.  On July 1st, the government shut down and each side began blaming the other for failing to pass a budget that would solve the $5 billion deficit.

What caught my attention was the story of Sonya Mills, a 39-year-old mother of eight children – six of whom are ages 3 through 14 who apparently live with her – who now has to face the loss of about $3,600 a month in state funding for their daycare.  Yep, that’s $43,200 tax free money the generous people of Minnesota cough up to watch this irresponsible woman’s children while she works at a temp agency.

There’s so many things wrong with this picture, I don’t know where to begin but I’ll try.

Mills should be the poster child for the nanny state.  Instead of families, communities and churches helping those who really need help, the nanny state that has evolved in this country encourages people to have lots of kids they can’t support and who expect the state to pay for their stupidity.

She’s collecting more a month than most seniors collect in Social Security and they’ve been paying into the system their entire lives!

I can understand one mistake by someone in her early 20s.  But how do have seven more and the last one when you’re 36 years old?  As Judge Judy would say, “she has to find something else to occupy her time besides making babies.”

We can all be very pleased with how effective sex education in schools has been.   Perhaps Mills skipped school on the days when pregnancy prevention was being taught.

Even if she missed those classes in school, why wasn’t she going to tax-funded organization, Planned Parenthood, for some contraceptive advice?  Isn’t that what they’re there for?  To hand out free birth control pills and condoms?  (Or is it really an abortion mill?)

And how about the fathers?  As I’ve written before in “Political Correctness Abounds,” I want to know whether Mills is an unwed mother, divorced or widowed.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there’s more than one father and she’s an unwed mother.  (Prove me wrong.)  So who and where are the fathers?  Why aren’t they paying child support?  Has the state tracked down these deadbeats and are their wages being attached?

The article doesn’t mention the other two children.  Are they the oldest?   Why aren’t they watching their siblings instead of the people of Minnesota?

In “Who’s Rich? Who’s Poor?” I wrote about people who’ve learned how to scam the system with impunity.  I’d like to know what other benefits is this woman receiving?  Food stamps?  Child tax credits aka welfare?  Section 8 housing?  Medicaid?  I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s getting paid under the table and still collecting unemployment or SSI, but then again, I’m a very cynical person.

We’ve always been a very compassionate nation.  We still are.  We donate more to victims of disasters around the world than all other countries.  However, the nanny state has taken hold in the United States and it has eliminated the incentive to take care of yourself and your family.  The days of “rugged individualism” seems to be waning.

If the economic crises continues, I wouldn’t be surprised to see rioting in the streets led by people like Mills complaining that their cradle to grave benefits have dried up.  If you don’t believe me, just look at the chaos in Greece.  Once people get used to the government taking care of their every need, handouts are expected, and God help you, if you start saying, “no more.”

So, when I read stories like this one, when people’s own choices put them into predicaments such as the one Mills finds herself, I don’t feel sorry for her.  I feel sorry for the kids and if their mother is so irresponsible, I hate to say it, but perhaps the state should raise them – it’s already footing the bill.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

P.S.  If we find out that Mills actually adopted eight developmentally delayed and/or physically disabled children and her husband was killed in Afghanistan and left her without any life insurance, I take back all the bad things I said about her.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
Author website:
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  • chief98110

    Leona, I doubt you’ll have to extend an apology on this one. As posted here she has no incentive to move out of the warm and fuzzy blanket of government care.

  • don

    I wish I could get as wound up as you, but the CEO’s of the failed banks and the managers of this countries in all other industries, that get hundreds of millions for doing nothing but looking good, offend me far worse.
    We give bonuses to management that fails big time, and we say that is alright because they are College Grads.
    The greed and theft is rife and runs from the top down, not the bottom up. Lets try frying the rich crooks first for a change.

    • Leona Salazar

      I hear your frustration, Don, but if you’re writing about corporate executives, they don’t answer to the American people. They’re in business to make money for their shareholders, who approve of their compensation and to whom they must answer.

      • Ron

        But we did bail out corporations. We had TARP I and II. In addition, we bailed out AIG, General Motors and Chrysler. We have no idea how much money the Federal Reserve has poured into the economy and the primary beneficiaries of the largess are financial institutions. My guess is that since 2007 we have far more bailing out corporations than we have in giving welfare to individuals. My biggest complaint about federal welfare, individual or corporate, is I do not see anything in the Constitution that authorizes it. State do not have the same restrictions.

    • Vince Ricardo

      Ah, yes, the old “apples and oranges” argument. What do CEOs of PRIVATE companies have to do with people who cannot say “no” milkin’ off of their fellow taxpayers? Nothing. If you really want to get “revenge” against rich CEOs and CFOs and UFOs of private companies, don’t purchase their products. It’s that simple. Sure, YOU won’t make a dent in their profits, but tell your friends to do the same. And they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on …

      I wonder if this woman in Minnesota has a huge LCD HD 3D tv for her kids to view when they’re not at day care? I’d love to have another child (my wife and I have two sons), maybe a little daughter, but we simply cannot afford it, even though we both work 40hrs a week at decent jobs. Oh, we’re not poor, but neither are we even near to being rich (except for having two great boys), and having a third child would really stretch our budget to the limit. We don’t need more debt, and I’ll be darned if “the system” (read: y’all) are going to pay for that third kid. We are not “entitled” to have as many children as we want and damn the consequences.

      • Leona Salazar

        Vince, I’ve worked as an attorney in the area of child abuse and neglect for over 20 years, and, yes, you’re right. I’ve read hundreds of social worker reports, and, far too often, the homes have big screen tvs. I can’t remember once ever reading that there was a bookcase filled with children’s books in any of these homes. Now, I’m not saying Sonya Mills is abusing or neglecting her children, but I’m guessing her home is similar to those I mentioned. P.S. Reading comments from responsible people like you and your wife give us all hope in America.

  • Ron

    If she is losing state money, it is up to the people of Minnesota to decide what they want the state to fund. It is the way the system was designed, If you do not want to fund daycare for deadbeat mothers, don’t live in states that provide the benefit. We all pay for welfare and benefits provided by the federal government which is obviously a concern for all of us. It is the problem with the federal government now providing benefits that traditionally should be left to the states. I fail to see how are Constitution allows the federal government to provide any direct payments to individuals. We cannot move to another state to avoid federal taxation or avoid government programs we do not believe in. The problem I have is I do not know what the solution is, at least as it relates to children. If we stop providing the benefits, do we take the children away from the parents. The problem with all government programs is once they are established, they are extremely difficult to stop. I do not know what kind of problem we would have if we stopped all welfare payments tomorrow. In addition I do not know if there is more wasteful spending in individual welfare or corporate welfare. Planned Parenthood only spends about 1% of its budget on providing abortions and it can’t provide family planning advice unless the person goes to see them.

  • Florida Jim

    These are good questions about this woman who is abusing the system. I also wonder how is Casey Anthoney paying for her very expensive trial ? We make it too easy for deadbeats all in the name of “Social Justice” when you see those words you know for certain some system abuse is being planned or is, infact, being carried out. We are broke and must awaken or lose our country to Obama/Socialism/Marxism, communism[ all the same simply different names ] they are the product of 60’s radicals who love marx and want to destroy america as Marx destropyed Russia.Please read David Mamet’s book “The Secret Knowldge” his climb from liberalism to conservatism after 60 years.

    • Leona Salazar

      Casey Anthony’s attorneys were working pro bono. They’re not Public Defenders who are paid by the county. I read the “Anthony family” was paid $200,000 by ABC and that money apparently went towards defense expenses which have totaled around $250,000. I’m sure Casey’s attorney, Jose Baez, has a signed contract with her regarding the monies she’ll earn in the future, all because of the death of her 2-year old child. It’s up to the public not to put a dime into the pockets of Casey or any media outlet planning to make a “killing” off of this tragedy.

  • Ken

    Was her mother on government assistance? We, my wife and me, are on SS and our two checks combine do not equal what she recieves for day care. Now our president wants to cut SS and raise the cost of Part B. This is STUPID but seeing it comes from the Socialist Democrats it must be the correct solution.

  • Bruce A.

    I see this everyday & after 35 years of working it still makes me sick.
    Keep writing about this insanity Leona, maybe someone important will notice.

  • Roger Ward

    Entitlement programs will ultimately cause the collapse of our system. Some entitlement programs are more defensible than others (where people paid in) and some are a stretch to defend at all …. but make no mistake, entitlements will collapse the system. Too many people are taking out too much money …. and not enough people are contributing. I suspect that we are at (or very near) the tipping point now.

  • paradox4

    I live in rural WV, arguably the nanny-state queen. I worked with parents and children like Mills on a daily basis for a long time – until I couldn’t stand it anymore. We offered programs and resource help for these families, but the first question was always “Does this get me more money?” or “Do I lose my benefits if I don’t show up?”
    It just kills me to see our government spend money on new programs that no one wants to participate in – unless it’s a program handing out more cash. Forget that it’s healthy for the kids or that families might learn something about how to get out of the system. They don’t WANT out. This is evidenced by the fact that when the families we worked with started hitting their 5-year limit for welfare benefits, an amazing thing happened! Everybody was suddenly disabled! Backs were hurt, depression and bi-polar disorder became a local epidemic, and all of the children were ADD or ADHD.

    It was cringe-worthy to see the way people sold out themselves and even their children, just to keep the money rolling in.

    P.S. Every single one of our (36) families was suing somebody for something. In a town of 5,000, this was ridiculous!

  • Nancye

    Amazing how many of us somehow managed to get married FIRST, then have two or three children, take care of them, all the while working outside the home, raise God-fearing, patriotic, and yes, honest sons and daughters. Absolutely amazing!!! Oh, I forgot – that’s the way it used to be back “in the day”. BTW, we managed to rear two conservatives as well.

  • TomSr

    Being cynical isn’t necessarily a bad thing.