More Government, Less Religion—the Progressive Doctrine

It is a mystery why the left refuses to accept what is obvious to be false.

This means that government spending is more effective in reducing poverty.

It all started in the 1960s with President Lyndon B. Johnson. He declared in his State of the Union address in January 1964 an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Despite tens of trillions of spending since then, poverty remains, and so does the conviction of progressives that it can be wiped out with government spending.

It is worth recalling that the 1960s saw an avalanche of government spending, which was followed by runaway inflation in the 1970s.

We now face the latest round of this misguided idea with the expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the Build Back Better Act—now derailed thanks to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Fellow Democrats are now infuriating the senator over allegedly not caring about child poverty.

Build Back Better would have raised the credit from $2,000 per kid to $3,000 or $3,600 for children younger than 6.

They removed any work requirement to receive the Child Tax Credit in a particularly damaging move.

A team of University of Chicago economists has estimated that a new generous Child Credit would result in 1.5 Million parents leaving the workforce. There is no work requirement.

More government, less work. This is how the Democratic Party leadership proposes to us to build a better country.

Where does the passion of Democrats really lie— in improving lives of Americans or in dramatically expanding government?

Equally telling is what doesn’t interest progressives at any level.

A little more than a decade ago, Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill at the Brookings Institution publicized what they called the “success sequence.”

The success sequence includes three steps in behavior to avoid being poor. At least a high-school education is required. Work full time and wait until you turn 21 to get married and have children.

According to testimony of Haskins in the U.S. Senate in 2012, those following the “success sequence” have a 2% chance of being in poverty and a 75% chance of reaching the middle class.

But the success sequence doesn’t much interest progressives because the focus is about individuals taking personal responsibility for their lives in a free country. The “personal responsibility” part and the “free country” part have little standing in the Democratic Party.

Our progressive friends also don’t care that massive government spending slows down the economy. Why would anyone believe slow economic growth is good news for the poor, let’s not forget about Americans?

Americans are more likely to believe that government is the solution to their problems than to believe in religion and faith. These two sources of light and principles allow individuals to take control over their lives.

The Pew Research Center has released new data that shows the devastating effects of secularization on our country.

Pew reports that 63% of Americans identify themselves as Christians in 2021, compared to 78% in 2007. 29% stated that they don’t have any religion in 2021, compared to 16% for 2007. Whereas in 2007, 56% said religion was “very important” in their lives, in 2021 this was down to 41%.

Perhaps as we close out 2021, we should again recall the words of America’s first president, George Washington, in his farewell address.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”


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