A government report released Tuesday says a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising that child through age 17.A thousand dollars per month?! Does that include the bottles of Pinot Noir mommy drinks to get through the day? Mommy juice adds up if you don't buy by the case.
The report by the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion identified housing as the largest single expense, followed by food and child care/education costs.Housing?! Since when are kids getting their own houses? I've never seen MTV's Cribs. Is it really about... cribs?
I grew up in a two-bedroom rowhome. Three kids slept in one room: my brother and I were in bunkbeds on one side and my sister had a single bed on the other side. It wasn't Angela's Ashes but our folks certainly didn't spend the equivalent of one thousand dollars per kid per month on housing. I don't think my entire neighborhood combined spent that much money on housing. Beer, yes. Housing, no way.
Child care was provided by grandma. Food was inexpensive because mom knew how to cook. Plus my parents weren't afraid that saying no to me ten thousand times before my 4th birthday would damage my self-esteem.
Pardon my cynicism, but is this the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's subtle way of discouraging our citizens from burping out babies? Aside from giving parents who were stupid enough to procreate something else to complain about at the next BBQ, what purpose does this report really serve?
Now, instead of having real children, I'm just going to have two pretend children and spend a half a million dollars on myself between now and 2026. Oh yeah, my pretend children are twins.