When approached about making a Christmas contribution to charity, Ebenezer Scrooge famously replied that the poor should die off “and decrease the surplus population.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with her colleagues in the House leadership, apparently believes the same thing.
In the name of fiscal authority, Pelosi wants us to embark upon a population control program here at home to drive down the birth rate. She argues that increasing “family planning” spending will save the government money. As she said on ABCE This Week, “Family planning services reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises new and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs.”
The Cost of Children Is Borne By Their Parents
It does cost money to raise children, of course. But as every parent knows, the government does not deliver free boxes of disposable diapers to your door. The vast majority of childrearing expenses are borne by the parents themselves. For example, the baby born today will not be enrolling in school for five years and, when they do, the lion’s share of their education will be paid by the parents through taxes.
But the main point is this: Those of us who celebrate the natural family and the new life that it brings into the world do so in part for hard, practical reasons. Babies grow up into productive workers. They marry and buy homes and cars. They help defend this country from its enemies and they pay taxes, including social security taxes, that provide for the care of the elderly, among other things.
Of course, Speaker Pelosi’s anti-people attitudes are not uncommon during a recession. During the Great Depression, recent immigrants, such as Italian Americans, were targeted for contraception and sterilization. In some cases, they were denied food aid for refusing to submit.
One might be tempted to conclude that we are beyond all that. But Speaker Pelosi is proposal suggests that we haven’t come that far after all.
Liberal elites—people who are already predisposed to blame problems on “too many people”—are already reacting to the current crisis by demanding that something he done about the “surplus population.” As the unemployment rate goes up, they will seek to discourage people from having children. They will demand, in particular, that the poor be aborted, sterilized and contracepted in great numbers. Never mind that it was not the poor of the world who brought down the U.S. financial system, or caused the housing crisis, but the wealthy and powerful.
Initially, Pelosi wanted to add her $200 million in “family planning” spending to the so-called stimulus package. This absurd proposal immediately drew fire. Pro-life and pro-family groups, including PRI, denounced the measure as an attack on the poor that would do nothing to help the economy. The Speaker, at the urging of the White House, quickly caved. The contraceptive funding was stripped from the economic stimulus plan.
It would be a mistake to call this tactical retreat a pro-life victory. The White House remains determined to increase Family planning spending, and is simply looking for a less controversial bill to accomplish this same end.
This should not surprise anyone. President Obama’s positions on life and family questions are more radical than any of his predecessors. He and Pelosi presumably see eye-to-eye on the need to drive down the birth rate by targeting the pregnancies of the poor. Never mind that he himself, as the mixed race offspring of a single mother, not to mention Pelosi’s Italian Catholic ancestors, would have been among those targeted by an earlier generation of population controllers for elimination.
Add to this the fact that Obama’s appointment of moderates to key financial and security positions has angered the Left wing of the Democratic Party. This makes his pursuit of aggressive pro-abortion, pro-population control policies more likely as he seeks to placate his base.
Welcome to population control, American-style.