President Joe Biden’s “American Families Plan” is being touted by the administration as “an investment in our kids, our families, and our economic future.”
In reality, it’s a very bad bet – and for numerous reasons.
Of particular interest to me in the bill is the president’s proposal to spend an extra $225 billion on childcare and another $200 billion on “free” preschool. The premise and rationale for such a massive expenditure is that more federal dollars equate to healthier kids and families.
If only it were so easy.
In fact, in this instance, I believe more spending in this area will only exacerbate an already fragile situation and do children more harm than good.
That’s because it’s in a young child’s best interest to spend as much time as possible with their parents – and particularly their mother. There may be many talented and competent childcare providers in communities across America, and indeed there are – but research and experience demonstrate that a child’s own mother provides the very best care of all.
I recognize that circumstances might not always allow for the ideal, whether due to single parenting or other financial pressures. It’s a personal and sometimes complicated decision. At the same time, government should not be encouraging mothers and children to separate by providing financial incentives if they do.
From President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” social reengineering programs of the 1960s to the expansion of the welfare state in recent years, history demonstrates time and time again that money cannot solve problems rooted in morality and values.
The extent of government’s role in our lives is a hotly contested subject, and has certainly been so for generations. Even to this day, good people debate President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs – government help that many assumed would be temporary, but which quickly became permanent.
More recently, President Ronald Reagan gave voice to many of our concerns about government’s long and intrusive arm when he quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”
As proposed, the Biden plan promises to minimize parental influence and maximize government’s role in a child’s life – and to what end?
Given the onslaught of social “woke” propaganda bombarding kids in public schools, not to mention the increasing hostility towards people of convictional faith, do you really want three-year-olds being subjected to an agenda that blatantly undermines and contradicts God’s design and principles?
But our concerns extend beyond matters of faith.
Social science research confirms that young children who spend time in daycare struggle with excess behavioral problems by the time they’re five years of age. They’re also more likely to have elevated levels of cortisol – the hormone that develops when exposed to stress.
As a result, if government subsidizes daycare and preschool, we’ll be further redefining the family and childhood itself.
Ineffective policies are one thing, but bad policies disguised as a form of “help” that in the end hurt brings to mind Senator James Lankford’s observation that as families grow weaker, government grows stronger, but at what cost – a fact that should be of great concern to all of us.
Photo from The White House