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Jewish World Review April 27, 1999 /11 Iyar 5759

Don Feder

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The president's pro-parent claptrap

(JWR) ---- (
PRESIDENT CLINTON WANTS TO DO SOMETHING for parents ---- turn them into litigants.

The president proposes making parents a protected class (along with minorities, women, the aged and disabled) under federal civil rights law, enabling them to sue for job discrimination.

Then, every time a mother or father isn't hired or loses a promotion and there's the least hint of bias (like a supervisor's disparaging remark about "rug rats''), the victim can go to court.

This will further clog the judicial system, enrich trial lawyers (one of Clinton's favorite constituencies) and make it even harder to discipline or discharge an employee for cause.

Since the 1991 Civil Rights Act, which permits compensatory damages, the number of employment discrimination cases filed each year has exploded from 10,000 to 25,000.

To bolster its proposal, the White House is reported to have compiled a list of nearly a dozen instances of alleged job bias against parents. Really, almost a dozen in a workforce of 100 million? Crisis proportions, to say the least.

But with a presidential election approaching, reality takes a back seat to politics. Democrats are keen to demonstrate their devotion to soccer moms.

The scheme also is in keeping with Bill and Hillary's vision of the family - both parents employed, children in day care. It dovetails with Al Gore's urban sprawl initiative to get working parents out of traffic jams so they can spend a few more minutes of quality time with their children each day.

If the president were serious about helping parents, there is no shortage of urgently needed reforms he could get behind.

The marriage penalty is a matter of gross unfairness for the 21 million couples who, on average, pay $1,400 more a year in federal taxes than they would if they were single. Clinton pays lip service to the need for change but can't quite bring himself to back legislation to end the marriage penalty.

Then there's the middle-class tax cut the president promised us in 1992. (We're dropping it over Belgrade.) According to the Tax Foundation, the median two-income family paid 38.2 percent of its earnings in federal, state and local taxes in 1998, up from 37.3 percent in 1996.

Sadly, Clinton can't reduce the burden on financially strapped families, not as long as Social Security needs fixing, there are folks to be bombed in the Balkans and a cure has yet to be found for the common cold.

Last week, the Children's Scholarship Fund announced that there were 1.25 million applicants for its 40,000 tuition grants for low-income families. In New York City, 33 percent of eligible families applied.

Applicants weren't looking for a free lunch. Scholarship families must pay at least $1,000 a year for private schooling.

These numbers suggest how desperate urban families are to escape public schools. Taking his cue from teachers' unions, Clinton is an implacable foe of school choice.

Parents and their children are increasingly victimized by agencies of the state. In 1996, at a school in East Stroudsburg, Pa., 59 girls were marched to the nurse's office and subjected to genital examinations without their families' knowledge.

Schools regularly pry into family affairs by asking for sensitive information on psychological surveys. Students are subjected to explicit sex education and plied with condoms, frequently over parental protests.

In 1996, Colorado had a ballot amendment that recognized the right of families "to direct and control the upbringing, education, values and discipline of their children.''

Following a campaign of fear and distortion by opponents (the measure was misrepresented as an invitation to child abuse), the amendment lost. A similar law was enacted in Texas the next year.

Our family-friendly president quietly opposed the Colorado initiative.

What do struggling families need more: a tax break, school choice, laws protecting their right to raise their children according to their values - or victim status and a one-in-a-million chance to strike it rich in the litigation lottery?

But our president, who never worked in the private sector, whose child was raised by a succession of nannies and whose commitment to family values is notorious, knows what's best for parents.


4/22/99: McCain plays to the media
4/19/99: NATO would have favored the confederacy
4/14/99: Before we march into Kosovo
4/12/99: Taiwan more worthy of U.S. support
4/09/99: Bauer and Forbes --- Main Street vs. Wall Street
4/05/99: Bubba and Maddy lit Kosovo's fire
3/29/99: At Passover, Egypt is a state of mind
3/29/99: Could the GOP stand Pat in 2000?
3/17/99: Hollywood's party line in 1999
3/15/99: All bow, the court is in session
3/11/99: In praise of negative campaigning
3/09/99: Day-care study defies common sense
3/04/99: Starship Clinton orbits Kosovo
3/01/99: Public will blot out Broaddrick's accusation
2/25/99: Slick Hillie for Senate would be fun
2/23/99: Fascism in the name of fighting fascism
2/16/99: Was anything learned from the impeachment trial?
2/12/99: Educating the democratic voters of tomorrow
2/10/99: First Amendment doesn't apply to pro-life cause
2/08/99: Dems' triumph over Constitution complete
2/03/99: Blood of victims will drown out breakfast prayers
2/01/99: Without a home the heart knows no rest
1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
1/05/99: Monica and a call to modesty
12/30/98: Will Bubba get away with it again?
12/28/98: Zionist dream alive and well on West Bank
12/18/98: Impeach or abandon the Rule of Law
12/16/98: Clinton moves Middle East closer to war
12/14/98: Why we lost interest in the homeless
12/10/98: No place at table for conservatives
12/07/98: The day America lost its innocence
12/02/98: Pilgrims Pilloried in streets of Plymouth
11/30/98: Caribbean dogpatch not a good candidate for statehood
11/25/98: Will Vermont force gay marriage on the nation?
11/23/98: The ACLU wants your kids to get a love life
11/18/98: Why liberals hate tobacco and guns more than drugs and crime
11/16/98: "Pleasantville" a countercultural morality play
11/13/98: Ads are a tough sell for abortion
11/09/98: Why gutless Republicans lost
11/06/98: Historians against the Constitution
11/02/98: Loving response to a hateful conference
10/28/98: Professor Death will fit right in at Princeton
10/26/98: Plymouth caves to Pilgrim foes
10/21/98: On '98 election, keep a critical eye on polls
10/19/98: Clinton could yet be 'prosperity president'
10/16/98: Working families -- Dems love 'em (stuffed)
10/09/98: Majoring in 'weirdness'
10/07/98: Friends of Billy Clinton
9/29/98: Letter from ex-soldier highlights defense peril
9/28/98: Answering arguments against impeachment
9/18/98: The nation that doesn't exist
9/14/98: Bubba isn't the only one who should be ashamed
9/11/98: Resolution of Clinton crisis will define national character
9/09/98: We're still just wild about Harry
9/07/98: Mexican banditry didn't end with Pancho Villa
9/02/98: Clinton forgives us!
8/31/98: Ashcroft's plain talking touches responsive chord
8/26/98: Public opinion be damned
8/24/98: Why liberals condone Clinton's lies
8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1999, Creators Syndicate