President Barack Obama asked me to prepare some material for his State of the Union address, but I was so flustered that I failed to deliver it in time. However, he has thanked me profusely for the following and given me permission to share it with you.
After the usual introductory remarks….
One of my fellow Democrats, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a man who has long gone to meet his Maker, addressed the issue of poverty when he was an Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Johnson Administration. This was one year after President Johnson persuaded Congress to get serious about alleviating poverty with his Great Society program.
As some of you may remember, Mr. Moynihan addressed the poverty of black families in 1965 and suggested that the black family structure might have something to do with poverty. At the time, the black out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate was 24% and the white rate was 3%. His paper was treated as controversial, but many in Congress thought he might have a point, so in the ensuing years Congress has done every thing it can to make contraception and abortion universally available with a special focus on black communities. Since that time, however, the white folks have managed to increase their single-mom rate by eight times to reach the level of about 24 or 25%, and the black single mom rate has increased to 70%. In other words, if the government effort to provide contraception and abortion was to reduce the out-of-wedlock birth rate, it has been a colossal failure.
We all know that the single greatest new source of poverty in these United States is the household headed by a single woman with children. We all know that those babies born into that situation have, in baseball terminology, two strikes against them. And we know that they frequently do not do as well in school, are less likely to graduate from high school, and are more likely to spend some time in jail than those children born into a family headed by a male father and a female mother committed to each other and to their children.
We all know this is expensive, but perhaps we don’t all realize just exactly how expensive it is. A friend of mine in Ohio did a bit of research on the internet and came up with a price tag of $123 billion dollars each year for what he calls the cost of the Sexual Revolution that you have all heard about. I realize that in terms of trillion dollar budgets that may not sound like much, but, you know, a billion here, ten billion there, and another 123 billion here and there—that starts to add up, and I think we can all agree it shouldn’t be ignored. Especially when the results have not been helpful to families.
Then there is the even more important human cost of men and women spending part of their lives in prison because they got off to a poor start in life.
Something else we all know is that we have kicked God and his Commandments out of the public schools of these United States. We have let ourselves be cowed by those who have claimed that any mention of God and his Commandments is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution which states very clearly, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791 when George Washington was president. And we all know that he and the Congress did this so no particular church could be made the Established Church in this country. Many people came to this country just to get away from that situation. But there is no reason to think that our founders were setting up a completely secular anti-religious nation. After all, toward the end of his second term as the first president of the United States, George Washington stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
Now that I have outlined the problem, I know that you are expecting me to propose something that will cost an additional $100 billion dollars a year. But I have a surprise for you. It’s a very simple plan called “Let the money follow the child.” All tax-generated funds will go to schools of the parents’ choice.
I am sure that you all agree that we need to eliminate discrimination, but sometimes not everyone is aware that the greatest remaining case of discrimination in this country is against those parents who want their children to receive an education someplace other than their local public school. Frequently this amounts to religious discrimination. This is similar to the tax Christians have to pay in some Muslim dominated countries. Do we really want that sort of discrimination in this country? It has never been shown that it is dangerous for this country to have citizens educated to respect the morality enshrined in the Ten Commandments. Let’s put into effect our realization that President George Washington was really onto something when he said that religion and morality are indispensable supports for political prosperity.
The economic consequences of this will be significant. It will certainly lead to many new good paying jobs. There will be lots of new schools to be constructed or old ones to be renovated. These will need lots of new teachers. Furthermore, if more and more of our young people are instructed on the biblical principles that God has a plan for sex and that it involves postponing sexual involvement until you are married, there will be a dramatic decrease in pre-marital sex and babies.
Lastly, I propose a significant step towards ending our wars with the Islamists. Let’s stop giving them the grounds for calling us The Great Satan. Let’s ban completely the exporting of pornography, abortion, unnatural forms of birth control, and the propaganda for same-sex marriage. Let’s help less developed peoples with food, not filth.
Stop discrimination. Let the money follow the child. Food not filth. Why not?
John F. Kippley, also at http://www.nfpandmore.org