Family planning will save our economy?
There are lots of ways to stimulate an economy and American taxpayers are about to learn about some of them as Congress and President Obama study an $825 billion package ostensibly aimed to do just that.
Whether building roads or fixing bridges is the best way to spark the economy back into a roar will be a subject of debate in the coming days and there certainly are solid arguments on both sides.
At least one such provision, however, seems shaky from the get-go.
A provision that would divert millions of stimulus dollars into family-planning services seems to be intended more for ideological purposes than the pragmatic needs of a country needing to get laid-off workers back on payrolls and paying taxes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that giving stimulus money to the states for use in expanding family-planning services will somehow give new life to the economy by reducing costs to the states.
The speaker’s logic is difficult to trace, but it seems to go this way: Government-provided contraception will result in fewer children who will then need less in the way of government services such as health care and education.
Never mind that the speaker’s premise is an untested one.
It is not as though birth control is unknown to the vast majority.
It’s ubiquitous in drug stores, grocery stores, department stores, physicians’ offices and certain government buildings.
Exactly what more the federal government can accomplish is less than clear.
Even less clear is the role of family planning in reviving the economy.