By Connor Semelsberger
The most troubling aspect of the Biden administration’s so-called “Build Back Better” plan is its unflinching attack on the foundation of society — the family. Our nation is already grappling with the effects of low marriage and fertility rates and ever-increasing inflation that hits the working class the hardest. However, instead of fostering healthy families, the Biden administration’s plan seems to favor the wealthy (often childless) coastal elites and seeks to superimpose the government into the role of caretaker and nurturer. Instead of “Build Back Better,” the $3.5 trillion plan really ought to be called the “Anti-Family Budget Buster.”
First, the plan undermines the fundamental institution that lays the fertile ground for a family — marriage. In any society that desires stability (and to reproduce), government policy should encourage strong marriages and incentivize married couples to stay married. But the Biden administration’s plan doesn’t do this. Instead, it makes existing marriage penalties worse. Specifically, the Earned Income Tax Credit, a program that helps low-income working parents meet basic financial needs, would have its marriage penalty nearly doubled under the proposed plan. Additionally, it would allow domestic partners to receive the same paid family leave benefits as married couples, further eroding the value our society places on the marriage covenant, which provides the most beneficial environment for children.
Next, the plan seeks to usurp parents’ role in raising their children by placing all newborn infants into an institutionalized childcare program, thereby giving control of children’s most impressionable years to the government. The plan includes a childcare entitlement program as a means of incentivizing parents to send their children to state-run childcare and educational centers. Even though studies show childcare provided in the home by parents or other family members has many benefits to both children and their communities, families providing their own childcare would not receive any of the federal subsidies they would be paying for with their tax dollars. Thus, what this plan essentially proposes is a one-size-fits-all program in which both parents work nine-to-five while the state raises their children.
Once these children reach the age of three, they would enter a new state-run preschool program, thus beginning the public education pipeline even earlier. And instead of allowing faith-based early education centers to participate in the program, only preschool programs that follow the state educational mandates (which could include assenting to teaching gender ideology to children as young as three) would be able to participate. If the Biden administration has its way, these children will remain in public education through high school and — with a proposal to allow up to three years of free community college — perhaps beyond. Although a college degree may be the right educational path for some, forcing all young adults into even more years of education does not allow our youngest and brightest minds to find a vocation that best suits their skills as well as their values.
Despite offering each person a free community college degree, the Biden administration’s plan does not promote the value and dignity of work. Each family should have the flexibility to choose a working situation that best suits their family’s needs, but it has also always been understood that each family should have at least one adult working to provide not only for their family but for their larger community as well (barring any prohibitive disabilities or illnesses, that is). Biden’s plan would remove basic requirements that at least one parent work to be eligible for the child tax credit, paid family leave, and even the new childcare entitlement. Government programs should only be used as a supplement to meet the extraneous needs of a family. They should not become the sole source of income. In the end, this would devalue the same community college degree the plan would pay for.
Disguised as a plan to tax wealthy corporations to help working-class families, the Biden administration’s Anti-Family Budget Buster would instead incentivize all families to have two working parents outside the home and place all newborn children in institutionalized daycare, undermine the dignity of work, and weaken the institution of marriage. Instead of providing real solutions to help working-class families that are barely getting by, the Biden administration’s “families plan” would instead prop up the childless upper-class socialites that helped elect him as president. It is well past time that our politicians truly place families, the bedrock of our society, first.