Democrats are so thrilled with the success and popularity of Obamacare, they are looking for the next massive new entitlement program they can foist on the American people. Former speaker Nancy Pelosi has the answer: She wants to “do for childcare what we did for health care.” (Hat tip: Tina Korbe at Hot Air)
Parents — both those that use daycare and those at home with kids — should recoil from this prospect. Democrats would sell it as a major giveaway to parents struggling to make ends meet, but smart parents will see through this.
Any government subsidy for childcare would come with massive strings about what constitutes a “government-approved daycare center.” As we’ve seen with health care, this means that government would soon be dictating exactly how daycare centers could do business: who they let in, the services they provided, how much they charged, who are “qualified” workers — the list would go on and on. Existing daycare centers that meet government-standards would be flooded with children; smaller centers and at-home daycare facilities would have to be radically altered — or more likely would just go out of businesses.
And what about families that currently keep a parent at home? The stay-at-home mom who now provides a valuable service to her family — both in providing the best care for her charges and saving the family from childcare costs — would see her economic value decline as she could be replaced with a “free” government alternative, even if it provided inferior care. Worse, her family’s tax dollars would go to paying for a service that she didn’t want to use.
Pelosi describes this as a boon for the economy, with women currently wasting their potential caring for kids moving into the workforce. Perhaps. Although with unemployment what it is today, one wonders where all these women would find jobs. Yet even if cajoling women out of their homes into jobs would increase economic output, what are the costs? What message are we sending that parents shouldn’t have to care for their children, or even make arrangements for caring for their children, on their own?
Pelosi recalls her own troubles finding babysitting when she had five kids in six years. Many mothers undoubtedly sympathize. Yet that’s no reason to create a massive government entitlement program, which would discourage stay-at-home parenting and family-based childcare arrangements (which parents tend to prefer), micromanage the childcare industry, and create a new, heavy burden on taxpayers. Parents and taxpayers be warned: Democrats won’t be satisfied until they have complete cradle-to-grave care. If Pelosi regains more power, more entitlements are in the offing.
— Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum.