The taxpayer-funded child care subsidies in President Joe Biden’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan could cause child care costs to soar over the long term, in the same way that federal student aid programs fueled meteoric spikes in college tuition.
That’s the assessment of some public policy experts, who are sounding the alarm on the left-wing social spending program.
Jonathan Bydlak, the director of the Fiscal and Budget Policy Project at the R Street Institute, told Fox News on Tuesday that subsidizing child care could hurt families over the long haul by fueling a dramatic rise in child care costs.
“The idea of using subsidies to essentially engineer some sort of outcome is not exactly a great idea,” Bydlak said. “Anytime you end up subsidizing something, that represents a market manipulation.
“There’s always a potential, as we’ve seen in areas like education, for example, where … education costs are almost certainly higher as a result of the ways in which we subsidize that system.”
What happened with college tuition was that the more money the federal government pumped into financial aid for students, the more colleges began charging for tuition. The same is poised to happen with child care services under the Biden proposal.
Last week, the president unveiled the American Families Plan, a massive spending program that aims to provide “direct support to families to ensure that low- and middle-income families spend no more than 7 percent of their income on child care.”
Like all social programs pushed by Democrats, the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan places a heavy emphasis on “equity and racial justice.”
Specifically, the plan calls for spending $200 billion to provide “free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds and $109 billion for two years of free community college” to everyone, including “Dreamers,” illegal aliens who came to the United States as children.
As with all government programs, the American Families Plan can easily be manipulated to end up like the college tuition scam, where tuitions surged to record highs after the federal government threw billions into the system.
Experts say the federal student-aid programs did not make college more affordable for lower-income people because colleges simply responded by raising tuition.
For example, if you went to college, think of what you paid in annual tuition years ago. Compare that with today, when schools such as Harvey Mudd College and the University of Chicago charge more than $77,000 a year for tuition.
That’s more than $308,000 for a four-year, undergraduate degree.
Yet wages have not kept up with the jaw-dropping increases in tuition costs.
Ryan Bourne of the Cato Institute told Fox News that Biden’s child care subsidies could have the same effect.
“You come in and you offer lots of subsidies and you still have to play around with prices to control the subsidies you’re giving,” Bourne said. “Then from the prices, you get unintended consequences. You get too little child care in certain places. You get providers not being able to increase wages for certain employees, which means they tend to attract lower-quality care.”
He continued: “All of these effects feed through and create kind of dissatisfaction that the subsidies haven’t achieved all of their objectives. And then you get the demand for even more where we’ve seen in many other industries where governments have a heavy hand.”
The American Families Plan also claims to be pro-family, yet it pours money into federally subsidized child care and free universal preschool, which tacitly encourages moms to prioritize working outside the home over taking care of their babies and pushes parents to spend less time with their children.
Republicans have expressed opposition to this $1.8 trillion program, saying it’s too expensive and unnecessarily expands the government to advance liberal agenda items such as free college, which Democrats have hijacked to brainwash students with left-wing propaganda.
With free universal preschool, the left-wing indoctrination of children would start even earlier.
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