More government, less religion – the progressive doctrine | Columns


A great mystery is the persistent refusal of those on the left to give up what is clearly not true.

That is, the way to reduce the burden of poverty is to increase public spending.

It all really started in the 1960s under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He declared in his State of the Union address in January 1964 an “unconditional war on poverty in America”. Despite spending tens of billions since then, poverty persists, as does progressives’ belief that it can be wiped out with government spending.

It should be remembered that the avalanche of public spending launched in the 1960s was followed in the 1970s by galloping inflation.

We are now facing the latest wave of this misconception with the extension of the child tax credit in the Build Back Better Act – which has now been derailed thanks to Senator Joe Manchin.

Fellow Democrats are now all over the beleaguered senator for allegedly not worrying about child poverty.

Build Better would have increased the credit from $ 2,000 per child to $ 3,000, or $ 3,600 for children under 6.

In a particularly destructive move, they detached any work requirement from collecting the child tax credit.

A team of economists from the University of Chicago estimates that granting a generous new child tax credit with no work obligations would cause 1.5 million parents to leave the workforce.

More government, less work. It is in a way the answer that the leadership of the Democratic Party gives us to know how to build a better future for our nation.

Where does the Democrats’ passion really lie: to improve the lives of Americans or to dramatically expand government?

Equally revealing is what progressives are not at all interested in.

A little over ten years ago, Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution released what they called the “success streak”.

The success sequence consists of three stages of behavior to avoid poverty. Finish at least high school, work full time, and wait until the age of 21 before you get married and have children.

According to Haskins’ testimony to the US Senate in 2012, those who follow the “success sequence” have a 2% chance of being in poverty and a 75% chance of reaching the middle class.

But progressives are not very interested in the streak of success as the focus is on individuals taking personal responsibility for their lives in a free country. The “personal responsibility” part and the “free country” part carry little weight within the Democratic Party.

Also of little interest to our progressive friends is that larding our economy with massive amounts of government retards economic growth. Why would anyone think that slow economic growth is good for the poor, let alone Americans?

As Americans become convinced that government is the answer to their lives, they are more likely to abandon faith and religion, which provide the light and principle for individuals to take control of their own. life.

New data from the Pew Research Center shows the toll secularization is taking on our country.

According to Pew, 63% of Americans in 2021 identify as Christians, up from 78% in 2007. In 2021, 29% indicated that they had no religion, up from 16% in 2007. While in 2007, 56% said religion was “very important” in their life, by 2021 that number had fallen to 41%.

As we close 2021, perhaps we should recall the words of the first US President, George Washington, in his farewell speech.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports … And let us admit with caution that morality can be maintained without religion. minds of peculiar structure, reason, and experience both forbid us to hope that national morality could prevail to the exclusion of religious principle. “

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly “Cure America with Star Parker” television show.


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