The President has become convinced that the middle class is under assault. In his SOTU speech tomorrow, he apparently will make the case that he is here to rescue the middle class from the three evils: child care costs, higher education costs and costs of caring for seniors.
He thinks that this will make us think of him more highly than we do now. He thinks that by expanding the reach of the federal government into child care centers, universities and retirement homes, that we’ll understand the error of our ways and go along with his take over of the entire economy.
He obviously didn’t hear the millions of people assembled in town squares, public sites and town hall meetings that sought nothing more than a roll-back of government out of their daily lives. He didn’t hear the thousands of people who showed up on September 12th to demand less government spending and lower taxes, so that we would have the money to make our own choices.
No one with any semblance of common sense believes that taking over the entire student loan industry will make it better. In fact, it will lead to a ‘bubble’ of trouble in education loans in default. The trap here is that student loans backed by the government never go away — not even bankruptcy can end the servitude that they create. Student loans have arguably made education more expensive; any time cheap money can be thrown at something, the cost doesn’t go down, and no innovation or incentive exists for costs to be controlled.
The elder care sector of our service economy is already fraught with incompetence, fraud and failure through the massive Medicare bureaucracy. Same thing goes here — by placing a huge bureaucracy between providers, patients and their families, no incentive exists to control costs or improve things — other people’s money paves the way to mediocrity. Adding to that will not improve the situation, it just speeds the process down the path further.
A recent study shows that Head Start is a complete failure after spending over $100 Billion dollars over the past couple of decades. With the pressure to make more money for a better house and education, the number of two income families has skyrocketed over the past generation. Add to that, the feminist drive to make women feel that they need a career to be ‘real,’ and the need for massive amounts of child care is born. The costs of good child care are placing additional stresses on family budgets, so enticing the middle class with this benefit makes sense. But adding federal money and inevitable federal control will degrade the service and drive many qualified child care operations (read: church affiliated) out of business. This is a really bad idea.
So who is assaulting the middle class? Government programs such as Head Start, Sallie Mae and Medicare. In short, the assault is coming from Obama’s own troops.
The only way he can save the Middle Class from the assault he is concerned about is to tell his own troops to retreat. Hardly likely, given the past year of his administration. It’s much more likely that the troops will continue their forward assault with increased energy — because it will be “for the children.”