"Universal pre-K. I love that because it's children learning, parents earning," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at an April 29 press conference.
That was the day after President Joe Biden had presented Congress with his euphemistically titled "American Families Plan," which calls "for free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds."
Pelosi's professed "love" for having parents leave their preschool children in government custody has not diminished since then.
At a press conference last week, she once again spoke about "universal pre-K, which I love."
Biden's budget proposal calls for spending $6,011,148,000,000 in fiscal 2022, which begins this October. That is $1,564,192,000,000 — or 35% — more than the $4,446,956,000,000 that the federal government spent in fiscal 2019, which was the last full fiscal year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Buried in this massive proposal for federal spending are two line items under the heading "Universal preschool." They call for spending $139,158,000,000 over the next ten years on "universal preschool grants" to states and $25,684,000,000 for a "Head Start educator fund." That is a total of $164,842,000,000 in federal subsidies to help states take daytime custody of preschool children.
In his budget, Biden said that a part of his plan "would provide universal access to high-quality preschool to all three- and four-year olds, led by a well-trained and well-compensated workforce."
The question here is fundamental: Who should care for and nurture a 36-month-old child? Should it be the government? Or should it be the child's parents?
The past 80 years have seen a great transformation in both American government and American families. While the size of government grew, the percentage of children born to married parents decreased.
In 1940, when President Franklin Roosevelt was running for an unprecedented third term and the United States had not yet entered World War II, federal spending equaled 9.6% of gross domestic product, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget.
That same year, 3.8% of the babies born in the United States were born to unmarried mothers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2019, the latest year for which the final annual birth numbers are available (and the last pre-pandemic year), 40% of babies were born to unmarried mothers — and federal spending equaled 21% of GDP.
Thus, from the eve of World War II to the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal spending as a percentage of GDP more than doubled while the percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers increased more than tenfold.
The problem now is not that too many American preschool children are being cared for at home by one of their biological parents — in a traditional family. The problem is that too few get to have that experience.
Now, Biden and Pelosi want to further decrease the number of preschool children who get to spend their days with a parent and increase the number who spend their days in government institutions where government employees oversee what they do and what they learn.
This is what Pelosi "loves" and Biden has targeted with potentially massive federal expenditures.
So, what values will Biden and Pelosi want the government to instill in three- and four-year olds when those children are spending their days in government institutions that Biden and Pelosi want taxpayers to fund?
Will they teach them to respect life? Biden and Pelosi both claim there is a right to kill an unborn child, and want to use federal tax dollars to pay for the killing of unborn children.
Will Biden and Pelosi's pre-K schools treat boys as boys and girls as girls? Both Biden and Pelosi support the Equality Act, which would instruct schools that "an individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual's gender identity."
Will Biden's and Pelosi's pre-K schools introduce American children to this nation's great traditions of self-reliance and individual liberty and the traditional moral values that make self-reliance and individual liberty possible?
The core purpose of putting all three-year-olds in government-run institutions is to make them dependent on government.
Members of Congress who believe in the traditional family — and the American tradition of liberty — should make sure that this element of the Biden budget is never made American law.
(Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSNews.com.)