Exactly what kind of stimulus did Speaker Nancy Pelosi have in mind? That’s a question more Americans are asking now that details are trickling in about the controversial $825 billion “economic recovery” package. As it stands, more than 10 percent of the proposal–$87 billion–would allow states to expand their “family planning” services through Medicaid. The country’s recession is crippling families, and the Democrats’ solution is spending billions of dollars on contraception? On yesterday’s “This Week” program on ABC, George Stephanopoulos pressed Speaker Pelosi for an explanation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?
PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost… The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health… [is] to help the states meet their financial needs… [O]ne of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?
PELOSI: No apologies. No. We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.
In other words, children are a burden to the economy, and Pelosi believes it’s the government’s responsibility to eliminate them. More than anything, her comments underscore the shortsightedness of these liberal policies. All reports indicate that the global family is on the decline. Although America’s birth rate isn’t plunging like that of European countries, it has slowed. The reason we don’t find ourselves in a “demographic winter” is largely because of the fertility rates of our immigrants, many of whom come from cultures that value life. Overall, the U.S. is hovering at its replacement level, which is hardly enough to finance the Baby Boomers’ retirement. If Pelosi and her Congress continue to deemphasize the family, America will travel even farther down the deadly path of our European friends.
In the meantime, Congress continues to spend outside of its means, proving that the nation will need more children–not less–to help pay the bills for Social Security, Medicaid, and other government entitlements that Democrats hope to expand. Obviously, there’s a practical danger in suggesting that babies are problems or “punishments” (as President Obama called them) instead of blessings that build bridges to the future. For a realistic look at real economic recovery, we encourage you to read FRC’s just released tax policy proposal, now available online at www.frc.org.