“Savings” For the Children; Losses for the Nation

Last week, at a small gathering of
friends, I asked if anyone had noticed that my attitude
is more curmudgeonly than normal during these sweltering
August days.

Their response was quick and
unanimous: “No, this week is no different than any
other. You have been

impossibly irritable
for the last twenty years.”

Hmmm…interesting…20 years…the exact
amount of

time
I have spent

crusading
for immigration reform.

What set me off this week was an
item forwarded to me by a sharp-eyed VDARE.COM reader in

New Jersey.

He tipped me off that Senator

Jon Corzine
(D-NJ) and

Senator Rick Santorum
(R-PA) have introduced

bipartisan
legislation called ASPIRE (America Saving
for Personal Investment, Retirement, and Education) that
would open a

KIDS savings account
for every newborn child in the
U.S. The federal government would make

an initial $500 deposit
into an account that cannot
be accessed until the child turns 18.

ASPIRE is “for the kids” as
the saying so nauseatingly goes. According to the
co-sponsors, the bill would teach kids about the

value of saving money
, encourage investment, and
blah, blah, blah.

Maybe that`s true. But if you ask
me, Corzine must have left his marbles at

Goldman Sachs.
What he and Santorum propose is yet
another incentive to unqualified parents to

have more children
. Take it from somebody who works
in the

California K-12
public school system, what we need is
far fewer children.

Here`s how I sum up the Corzine/Santorum
legislation: babies born

out of wedlock
,

crack babies
,

illegal alien babies
, “macho” babies conceived by
ethnic street gangsters
and their

girl friends
,  can all line up for their first draw
from a long list of taxpayer freebees.

For families in any of the above
classifications, the $500 would be more frosting on what
is already a triple chocolate layer cake. We pay the
prenatal care and maternity costs. And we shell out for
W.I.C.
, the special supplemental nutrition program
for women, infants and children.

T.A.N.F.,
temporary assistance for needy families,
and for

food stamps
.

Probably, we`re already subsidizing
their

housing
.  And maybe some of the new Moms have figured
out a way to hit the jackpot with an approved

Supplemental Security Income claim
for their child.
Naturally, we`ll pay for their

K-12 education.

Permit me to enlighten you about the
baby crisis in California.

The state is a baby factory. More
than 9.5 million children under the age of 18 reside in
California. To help you put that number in focus, I`ll
point out that only six states have a higher total
population than 9.5 million.

To become productive citizens, each
of those children must be

nurtured
. But today`s California cannot meet that
challenge given the decaying

social structure
that has

overwhelmed
the state.

California is broke—tapped out. The
taxpayers can`t afford to foot every single

maternity
bill that is presented to us. And when
illegal aliens tender those bills, we feel emotional pain
on top of the financial hurt.

Two types of families fuel
California population growth:

  • Babies born to illegal immigrant
    families (mainly Hispanic)

Children from both groups struggle.

In May 2004, the advocacy group
Children Now published its report titled, “Children
of Immigrants Three Times as Likely to be Poor
,”
which stated:

“California children in immigrant families are much
less likely to have access to

health care
or child care and much more likely to

live in poverty
than children in U.S.-born families.”

And the

National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
revealed,
in its May report, that

Hispanic teens
have the highest birth rates among all
teenagers. This is a pattern that repeats itself
annually.

Other

findings
:

  • 51% of Hispanic girls become
    pregnant at least once before reaching 20

  • Hispanic teen pregnancy rates
    declined only 15% from 1990 to 2000 while the overall
    teen pregnancy rated dropped 29%

  • Over the next two decades, the
    Hispanics teen population will increase by 60% versus
    an increase in the overall teen population of 6%.

The statistics are sobering.

A $500 savings account sends exactly
the wrong message. Parenting is serious business that
shouldn`t be associated with meaningless financial
rewards.

During my career at the

Lodi Adult School,
I have seen countless sad cases
where the child`s well being was the least of the
mother`s concerns. A few years ago, school districts
throughout California began to offer

parenting
classes. The “students” were adults—mostly
Hispanic— in their mid-30s finally learning what they
should have known twenty years ago. 

Every social problem in the United
States would be more manageable if we had fewer people.
If Corzine and Santorum—and their 98 colleagues in the
Senate—want to help struggling
young people
, they should act to cut down population
growth with a meaningful debate about immigration policy.
Dangling $500 carrots doesn`t mean anything in the long
run.

I guess I have grown more
cantankerous over the last two decades. What I know is
that my position on public funding for population growth
has evolved to this admittedly hard place:

“If you
want children, pay for them yourself.”

I call it a curmudgeon`s definition
of “tough love.”

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.