Building a cradle to grave state
Behind the drive to give the IRS expanded surveillance powers is a push from congressional Democrats and the White House for the largest expansion of the federal government since the 1960s.
As the New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman writes, this expansion “would touch virtually every American’s life, from conception to aged infirmity.”
While the details are still being worked out, and a final bill may look substantially different, portions are bound to become reality, even if they are (already being) pared back. The baseline, however, is something to behold:
To grasp the intended measure’s scope, consider a life, from conception to death. Democrats intend to fund paid family and medical leave to allow a parent to take some time off during pregnancy and after a child’s birth.
When that parent is ready to return to work, expanded funding for child care would kick in to help cover day care costs. When that child turns 3, another part of the bill, universal prekindergarten, would ensure public education can begin at an earlier age, regardless of where that child lives.
Most families with children would continue to receive federal income supplements each month in the form of an expanded child tax credit that was created temporarily by Mr. Biden’s pandemic-rescue law and would be extended by the new social policy bill. School nutrition programs, expanded on an emergency basis during the pandemic, would continue to offer more children free and reduced-price meals long after the coronavirus retreats.
And at high school graduation, most students would be guaranteed two years of higher education through expanded federal financial aid, geared toward community colleges.
Even after that, income supplements and generous work force training programs — including specific efforts to train home health and elder-care workers — would keep the government present in many adult lives. In old age, people would be helped by tax credits to offset the cost of elder care and by an expansion of Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision services.
There are some who will find the state’s comprehensive embrace comforting, and anyone opposing it will be tagged as cruel. The thing is…portions of this already exist. And some of them, like Medicare, are marching toward bankruptcy. The broader program is a blueprint for bankrupting us all. Though we may not realize it, having first been smothered in government’s all-encompassing embrace.