How progressives gave us the current budget deficit

recently read “The Myth of the Welfare Queen” and reminded me that we originally instituted welfare to help mothers stay at home to care for their children. However, in the past 40 years, as more and more middle-class mothers have given up the idea of staying at home to pursue their careers, our society had less and less sympathy for the mother who would like to stay at home to care for their children, but can’t afford to do so. As the number of two-earner middle-class families increased, the willingness to pay for government support for mother’s staying at home disappeared. Which made it possible for Clinton to completely reform the welfare system. That reform would have been impossible if moderate, middle-class workers had felt strongly that mothers should stay at home with their children (as they did earlier in the 20th century). Progressive Feminists successfully convinced mothers not only that they could have a career, but that they should (witness the discussions about whether or not motherhood is a worthy option for women in-and-of-itself). So moderates became convinced that mothers could work, support for welfare disappeared, and Clinton successfully eliminated a large amount of government obligation. This left the budget wide open for a conservative like Bush to create deficits supporting his pet projects. Things like “bringing democracy to the middle east“. This, as well as anything, demonstates why we should be cautious with policy changes. There are always unintended consequences.

4 thoughts on “How progressives gave us the current budget deficit”

    1. Am I not faulting Clinton? I fault him along with the rest of society for undervaluing the role of the full-time parent.

      I guess I’m confused about what your complaint is. I fault Bush for running up deficits. I fault Clinton for making it possible by undermining society’s support of full-time parenting.

      Like it or not, our government’s policies are a reflection of our values. If we value full-time parenting, our government policies reflect it.

      1. go one step further back. By supporting women and their children … who did not have a man in the home, the social welfare system was born in that a woman could live better without a man than with one. So in some respects some women found that they could walk away from their marriage because the state would provide for them better than their man. And thus welfare mothers could stay home without a job. Thus the program to help mothers who were so unfortunate as to NOT have a husband to care for them and their children resulted in encouraging women who did have a father in the house for their children … to divorce the man. So marriage was devalued AND the family concept was devalued originally by having a benevolent governmental program to help mothers who wanted to stay home. Try the Biblical standard where small groups cared for the widows and the orphans … and thus they became part of the larger body/family of the church and made their contribution there where caring for their children. The church became the husband, not the state.
        The issue is that we take the Biblical basis out of the Biblical concept and expect to have similar results. Christians provided a welfare state within the church, when the state tries to copy it, the responsibility and accountability is taken out of the formula.

        1. I think you’re missing the point here. It is no surprise that many conservative Christians didn’t support welfare. The interesting thing is that welfare lost the support of moderate and progressive feminists.

          If those feminists had continued to support the idea of welfare, we’d still have it today.

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