Spending Priorities

January 27, 2009 at 7:44 am (Politics) (, , , )

Well, the Democrats are debating *their* new spending package, and some of the stuff in it has started to come out.  For one thing, despite a promise of ‘no pork,’ there’s pork in it.

Everybody who’s surprised, raise your hand.  Those of you who’ve raised your hands, please verify that your brains are actually *inside* your head, and that they didn’t leak out of your ears last night.

However, there’s one bit that folks are up in arms about that I actually agree with Pelosi on (I know, I shuddered too.)

Using some of the funds on birth control.

We’re not talking about forcing people to use birth control or get abortions – China-style population control.  A lot of people seem to think we are, so let’s get that out of the way first.  Based on what I’ve heard about it, these hundreds of millions for ‘family planning’ are primarily for making contraceptives available for free/at reduced cost to low-income individuals.

Not only to the unemployed, but to the underemployed and college students.

Now, will this stimulate the economy?  Not immediately, no.  But funding birth control is one of the best returns on investment the government has ever tripped over.  It’s certainly a better return than abstinence only sex-ed!  Why?

Because doing this allows people who *don’t* want to have kids and can’t afford them – regardless of race or social status – to not have them.  This keeps families from having to take welfare from the states and federal government.

It also means that the kids who are born will, presumably, be born more often to families that can afford to raise them.  This gives *them* better odds in life of ending up in college and better jobs.  It keeps *them* from perpetuating the poverty cycle that leads to a continuous upward-spiral of welfare, crime, and related issues (I am *not* saying that everybody on welfare is a criminal – my family was once too.)

Perhaps more importantly… making contraception easier to get means that abortions happen less often.  I’m pro-choice, but that doesn’t mean I want to see abortions happen more often.  Which is a better expenditure, by the government or *anybody*?  A buck for a condom, or $600 for an abortion?

That right there pretty much makes contraception a good investment, if you ask me.

Ultimately, this sort of expenditure actually has an impact on future expenditures by the state.  Should it be bundled in with the stimulus package?  I don’t know.  But it *is* a good place to spend money.  Maybe if we can get comprehensive sex-ed on the menu next, we can make sure people actually know how to *use* that contraception once they can get it….

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