There are two strands to this ire. The first is a simple indignation that I—a childless man whose lifestyle is not only unsubsidised but heavily taxed (and sometimes illegal!)—should be forced to subsidise the lifestyles of those who choose to have children.
The second is based not on petulance but on a real concern for the kind of mentality that child benefits induce. Let me elaborate...
This year, it was reported that some GCSE students were visited by Michelle Obama, and one of them found herself inspired.
... before meeting Mrs Obama, Talitha didn’t see the point in school. She hung out with kids who didn’t take work seriously and was ready to throw her life away—to become a "stereotypical baby-mum", as she told the Times.
Why? Why would you saddle yourself with an expensive, time-consuming, helpless human being? Yes, all your friends may be doing it—but why are they saddling themselves with an expensive, time-consuming, helpless human being?
Because they will be paid for doing so.
More importantly, why should a visit from a strong woman convince Talitha that her hitherto chosen route may not be, y'know, entirely fulfilling.
Because using another human being simply as a way to gain money and a council flat is a pretty low ambition. And not just "low" as in morally suspect, but "low" as in "a pathetic way to waste your potential".
No, I'm not doing down those who choose to be mothers because they want to care for a child: I am condemning those who want to have a child because they cannot think of any other way to fulfil themselves—or, in too many cases, to make a living.
And of course critics tell me that no one would actually have a child simply for the money—that would be awful. Well, yes—yes, it would.
The 36-year-old woman is accused of shaving her son’s head and eyebrows and forcing him to wear a bandana to school to make it look like he was receiving chemotherapy.
It is alleged she then swindled the authorities by claiming a carer’s allowance, tax exemptions and a disability allowance for the boy, who is now aged nine.
Gloucester magistrates’ court was told how the mother allegedly forged doctors’ notes and prevented the boy and his seven-year-old sister from taking part in school activities by leading them to believe they were too unwell.
Of course I object to the £100,000 scammed out of our taxes by this pathetic excuse for a human being. But more, I object to the way in which she treated her poor children—she made them suffer simply so that she could get more money.
But what do you expect when our entire benefits system is set up to encourage people to pimp their children?