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Jewish World Review Oct. 5, 2000 / 6 Tishrei, 5761

Michelle Malkin

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Consumer Reports

Pay for your own day care -- IN SAN DIEGO, they've turned the public schools into full-service babysitters at a cost of more than $15 million per year. The program is called "6 to 6." Every elementary and middle school student is eligible for sun-up to sundown care. Well, why not? The kids already get breakfast, lunch, Ritalin, and condoms in class.

Might as well give 'em dinner and a movie, to boot.

On a recent CNN report gushing over the San Diego program, a parent named Paula Ball, whose child is enrolled in 6 to 6, said: "It gives you a little more quality time at home. You're not so stressed and pressured to get all this homework done. You can have a little more time to relax and enjoy your child." What a sad and selfish sentiment. When I was growing up, some of the highest "quality time" spent with Mom and Dad over the years was the time spent doing homework – learning the alphabet, struggling over multiplication tables, memorizing state capitals, sharing poetry, and sweating over physics problems.

If you'd rather leave the hard work to someone else so you can "relax and enjoy" your time at home, don't have kids. Go buy an aquarium instead.

Taxpayer-funded day care – don't you just cringe when the do-gooders call it "free?" -- encourages drive-through, drop-off parenting. Subsidizing this phenomenon cheats children, undermines family responsibilities, and breeds resentment among childless workers who are forced to pay for costly social services. Nevertheless, city, state, and federal government sources cover an estimated 40 percent of the nation's child-care expenses. And new tax-and-spending sprees for the children seem to be all the rage across the country:

-- Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore would add to the current federal child-care tax credit by steering $38 million to families earning up to $60,000 a year. Gore is also wildly enamored of creating universal preschool programs, moving us one more step forward toward the village collective system in China – where "quality child care" means handing off your babies to the government before they can crawl.

-- Denver will vote in November on Initiative 1A, a 0.2 percent sales tax increase that would generate $30 million a year to pay for subsidized day care, before- and after-school programs, parenting classes, and public health clinics (more Ritalin and condoms!) for all public schools.

-- In New York this year, the state earmarked $62 million in additional subsidy funding for day care and New York City set aside $25 million to build new child-care facilities.

-- In Seattle, the county council allocated $1.5 million to artificially boost the salaries of day-care workers. In San Francisco, Mayor Willie Brown set aside nearly $12 million to pay city child-care workers a $9-an-hour minimum wage.

-- California, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and South Carolina provide public support to round-the-clock child care centers, where parents pay strangers to make sure their kids brush their teeth in the morning, do their homework in the afternoon, and say their prayers before bedtime. In Orange County, Calif., and Connecticut, Internet companies provide high-priced Webcam services to schools, preschools, and child-care centers so parents can monitor their tykes on the computer. Parenting-by-modem. Can we sink any further?

I don't want to be forced to pay for other people's retirement and health care. In turn, those taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for my three-month-old daughter's child-care expenses. I choose to stay and work at home. It's the best 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year child care arrangement on the planet. More parents would be able to make this same choice if our caring government would stop creating so many cradle-to-grave benefits that require higher taxes and longer working hours.

Nanny State caretakers say they merely want to help working parents and reduce hardships through free institutional day care. But if moms and dads aren't willing to make personal and financial sacrifices for their children, why should anyone else?


JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.


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09/25/00: Watch the other Washington
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09/11/00: No cure for generational pain
09/08/00: Notes on a West Coast wilding
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09/01/00: For those who labor 24/7
08/28/00: There's something about Rudy
08/25/00: A conservative case against Napster
08/22/00: Death Row Marv mocks justice
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08/14/00: "Make-A-Wish" shoots down dreams
08/10/00: Who will stop Bill Lann Lee?
08/07/00: Emily Dickinson's lesson for rude drivers
08/03/00: Leave the slogans behind
07/31/00: Hey, GM: Build cars, not quotas
07/28/00: Stop milking The Juice
07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
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07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
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06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
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05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
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04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
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04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
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03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
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02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
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12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
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12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate