Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pelosi Wants to Unleash ObamaDayCare

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Fed!

If you liked ObamaCare, you'll love ObamaDayCare! According to former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), nationalizing child care is next up on her list of government takeovers. In an interview with the Washington Post, she looks forward to "doing for child care what we did for health care." Raise your hands if the thought terrifies you! As a young mom, Pelosi said, "'I could never get a babysitter--have five kids in six years and no one wants to come to your house... And everywhere I go, women say the same thing' about how hard it is to find the kind of reliable care that would make their family lives calmer and work lives more productive. When it comes to 'unleashing women' in a way that would boost the economy, she says, 'this is the missing link.'"
Putting aside the exorbitant costs, let's stop and think for a minute what a Pelosi "nanny state" would look like. If ObamaCare is the prototype, will there be a mandate forcing parents to enroll their kids in government-run centers? Would a panel of bureaucrats dictate what kind of care your children receive? Would the government ration child care by funding more abortions? And I suppose the President will tell us that if we like our babysitter, we can keep her. Let's face it. The closest thing to parenting our government does is being the mother of all problems. Washington can't even do the jobs it has. Why let it barge in and take families'?

A child's parent is his best care provider. And that's not only the public's opinion--but researchers'. In the largest study on child care ever conducted, a 2007 team found that "the more time that kids spent in day care, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report problem behaviors such as getting in fights, being disobedient in school, and arguing a lot." As a society, the worst thing we could do is incentivize day care. If anything, Congress should embrace policies and reduced levels of government spending and taxation that would encourage and empower more parents to stay at home with their children. Even in stable economic times, those decisions require serious sacrifice on the part of most couples. But what families lack financially, they more than make up in the physical and emotional well-being of their children. In some situations, there simply isn't the flexibility for a parent to stay home--but that doesn't mean our government is the next-best substitute. Grandparents, neighbors, or church groups are far better options than Uncle Sam.

Besides, Americans have made it clear that they don't want a bureaucracy raising their kids. Nor do they want higher taxes, which forces moms who would rather be with their children into the workplace. They want tax relief and financial freedom so that they can provide the best care possible for their kids. And for that to happen, Washington will have to deliver on its promises to act responsibly and cut spending. In other words, what we really need isn't universal child care--but someone to babysit Congress!

Tony Perkins
Family Research Council