Sunday, January 18, 2004

It's Always Worse Than It Initially Seems

The Bush Administration's proposal to spend $1.5 billion dollars on marriage promotion is not just a condescending, wasteful, embarrassing nanny-state sop to social conservatives. It's worse than that. The $1 billion in federal money (the rest comes from the states) will be drawn from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families budget. So that makes the marriage promotion bill a condescending, wasteful, embarrassing, nanny-state sop to social conservatives that takes food out of poor children's mouths.

Which, incidentally, makes Wade F. Horn, assistant secretary of health and human services for children and families, a liar:
Dr. Horn said this is all the Bush administration is aiming to do. "Marriage is not the administration's antipoverty program," he said, pointing out that no money was diverted from any other program to pay for the new proposal. "It's an issue of addition, not subtraction. This will add options and opportunities, not take away from them.''
I suppose that from Dr. Horn's point of view, marriage education is a form of "assistance" for needy families, and thus doesn't involve the diversion of funds from one program to another, but a happy new diversity in the types of assistance available.

Anyone else buying that?