Democrats are announcing defeat in their half-century “War on Poverty.” They’re just too good at propaganda to put it that way. Instead, they’re taking to mouthpiece outlets like The Atlantic to gush over the latest expansion of the United States’ social welfare state: monthly checks to parents taken through federal deficits straight from their kids’ futures.
“The newly expanded child tax credit is a wholly different kind of welfare policy—a guaranteed income for kids,” writes Annie Lowrey in The Atlantic on July 14. “With it, the federal government will send American parents and guardians $300 a month for each child they have ages 5 and younger, and $250 a month for children ages 6 through 17. (Single parents making $75,000 a year or less and married parents making $150,000 a year or less will get the full amount; families earning up to $400,000 a year will get smaller amounts.) The monthly disbursements begin this week and continue through the end of the year, with families getting another lump-sum check next tax-filing season.”
This trial balloon was enacted inside Democrats’ $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan,” rushed through as “pandemic stimulus.” Lowrey describes it as a “monthly, no-strings-attached cash payments to an estimated 65 million children living in low- and middle-income families.” She also notes that “The old child tax credit provided roughly $120 billion a year to families. The new one will provide an additional $105 billion a year, making the credit three times the size of the pre-pandemic food-stamp program.”
Cash for Kids
The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector and Marie Fishpaw provide more pertinent details about the massive expansion of welfare this program would comprise:
If enacted permanently, the Biden plan would constitute the second-largest expansion of means-tested welfare entitlements in U.S. history. In constant dollars, its annual cost would dwarf the initial costs of the Medicaid, food stamps, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children programs. Only Obamacare would be more expensive.
…Two-thirds of the new benefits provided ($79 billion per year) would be cash grants to families who owe no income tax. The proposal would also remove existing work requirements from the child cash grants, thereby providing extensive new welfare benefits primarily to non-working single parents.
While the administration suggests that these changes would be limited to a single year to help families suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan itself is modeled after legislation that would create new, permanent entitlements. Indeed, according to off-the-record sources, establishing a permanent expansion of the welfare state appears to be the real goal.
The Atlantic article exists to amplify naive excitement about this program, but it is in reality an announcement of despair. Democrats are admitting their socialist welfare state doesn’t work and they have no effective ideas for addressing the fact that Americans have spent more than $28 trillion on welfare since 1965, yet at least the same proportion of Americans is considered poor today as when the “war” started.
“[T]he War on Poverty has cost the taxpayers nearly three and a half times the combined cost of all military wars in U.S. history,” notes a different Heritage analysis. Not only can Washington not win real wars anymore, Washington can’t win pretend wars, either. So the party of unlimited entitlement is just openly admitting their new plan is… throwing taxpayer money out the window.
Welfare Increases Child Poverty
Economist Veronique de Rugy notes that the last time the United States promoted mass welfare detached from work, it made children the worst off: Before 1996, “we also had welfare payments with no work requirement. The result was that nearly 9 in 10 families on welfare were workless, unwed births rose significantly, and most of these families were stuck in long-term poverty, creating a trend in intergenerational child poverty. That cycle was broken with the 1996 reforms requiring welfare recipients to work or prepare for work. The great news is that this led to a historic reduction of child poverty.”
She further writes that if Biden’s “guaranteed income for kids” is extended, “we’re at risk of repeating the mistakes of the past by increasing the number of single-parent families in which no one is employed and reversing the gains the nation has made since the welfare reforms of the 1990s—all at great cost to taxpayers.”
It is imperative to understand that programs like this are perhaps the single greatest cause of misery to American children, because they unequivocally increase family chaos. Social welfare programs effectively subsidize family separation. Democrats have been silent about their policies working to separate American children from their parents for more than a century.
Paying people to pop out children with no attention to the circumstances such children will be born into will cause living nightmares for the weakest among us. How is it a good thing to incentivize more children born to parents who can barely feed them and are dependents on welfare programs that work mostly to trap them and their children into the poverty cycle? How could our society be so callous to children? Do people know what it feels like to grow up in a relationally chaotic home?
Children whose parents are unmarried are the children at greatest risk of rape and beatings. Children living in marriage-less homes are at the greatest risk of poor performance in schools and work, to find themselves contemplating suicide, and to perpetrate violent crimes upon others, among other horrible things.
Essentially every single exhibition of human unhappiness is exacerbated by a child being subjected to the lack or end of a marriage. Why would we ever, ever think it was okay to risk more children’s safety and happiness to make ourselves feel better because we gave their legal guardians some cash?
As with making “unaccompanied minors” a “get into the United States free” card that has caused international crime syndicates to orphan more and more children, Democrats’ push to subsidize unparented childbearing will only increase human misery. Just like there remains a massive consensus that people should work in exchange for handouts, there must be an unshakeable societal consensus that children always deserve to be born into love.
And what love means and requires is commitment: Commitment to the child’s best interests, which unequivocally requires bringing that child into the home of that child’s married and ideally biological parents.
The political left instead incessantly touts social structures robustly proven to accelerate human misery. Those who know that increasing dependency hurts children and advocate for it anyway deserve our utter contempt and absolute refusal to countenance their evil. For that’s what it is to devastate children to gain power: Evil.
Republicans who try to “aw, shucks” away this reality deserve to be spurned as cowardly enablers of such evil, and replaced with people who will fight for American children’s rights to grow up in as many sound homes as society can possibly encourage for them.
Agents of Chaos
As demonstrated by their use of COVID-19 to accelerate the revolution in every way possible, many in Democratic Party leadership think crashing the system works to their advantage. Why else would they keep proposing crisis-inducing levels of deficit spending that also works to ruin people’s families? They want chaos, dependency, and despair. It feeds their power. They are agents of chaos, like Bane.
The way to take down a Bane is to resist him and his agents of chaos collectively by as many moral means as possible, and to not get discouraged at how evil he is. Fight for your sanity. Fight for your happiness. Fight for stability in your homes and neighborhoods.
If your family life is having a rough patch, push in. Get a counselor. Go to church. Work less, if you need to. Work more, if you need to. Turn off the television and play a board game and talk to each other. Invite other people. Stake out your little island in the seas of chaos, and sing a sea shanty around your humble hearth with warmth and great joy. Happy people are exactly the kind of people the left want to eradicate. So don’t let them.