Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ is very definition of cradle-to-grave, big government dependency

Published 3:14 pm Friday, December 3, 2021

BY SEN. BILL HAGERTY
The contrast between the Democrat and Republican visions for America has perhaps never been sharper. Republicans want to put Americans, not the federal government, in control of their lives and families.
We want to strengthen the American Dream so that more Americans can move up the ladder of success and free themselves from government dependency. Democrats would pull the ladder from aspiring Americans and create a permanent status of government-run mediocrity.
Need confirmation? Look no further than Democrats’ explanation for their so-called “Build Back Better” proposal. The Biden administration is marketing its program to transform the American economy via a cartoon drawing depicting a mom and her son as they encounter the government programs on which they would depend under this plan, from the very beginning of their lives to the very end. That is the very definition of cradle-to-grave, big-government dependency.
By pushing America toward big-government socialism, this “Build Back Better” legislation poses a grave threat to the American Dream. It would impose unprecedented government control that deserves unceasing opposition from every American who still believes in the opportunity to climb the socio-economic ladder.
If the last two years — and the recent election in Virginia — have taught us anything, it’s that parents, not government bureaucrats or teachers unions, know what’s best for their children. Yet, the “Build Back Better” legislation ushers in federal parenting by putting federal bureaucrats in charge of teaching and caring for children during their most formative years.
Specifically, the bill creates and designs from the ground up a massive new nearly $400 billion federally controlled preschool and child care program, from the curriculum to the instructors.
The federal government — and no doubt the teachers unions — will decide which teachers are acceptable and what pre-kindergarten children may learn — at the same time crowding out private, faith-based, and other family-oriented preschools and child care.
Under Biden’s massive spending and taxation plan, federal government preschools and child care facilities will be the only choice left for parents. Though Democrats will say that nothing in the bill closes down other preschools or child care facilities, these are the same people who told you: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
Same result here: Once the government gets its tentacles into an industry, it shoves aside private competition. And with skyrocketing inflation, a barrage of tax audits, and a deteriorating economy ahead, parents will have an increasingly difficult time affording anything other than the government option.
This isn’t about helping children; it’s about control. That’s why the plan puts the federal government in charge of what can be taught and by whom. The same administration that recently threatened to sic the FBI on parents for inquiring about their children’s education now wants to federalize preschool and daycare, never mind that they can’t even fully open the schools we already have.
This unprecedented step toward displacing parents and indoctrinating American children is not only a violation of the proper role of government, but of parents’ right to raise their children.
With vaccine mandates, the administration is inserting the federal government between Americans and their health care providers and jobs. And the “Build Back Better” legislation provides the teeth to punish violators of these federal commands. Namely, the bill increases — by 10 times — penalties for violating OSHA orders like the vaccine mandate on private employers. Now, a “willful” violation can result in a $700,000 fine and must result in a minimum fine of $50,000. In other words, the bill forces a small business owner to choose between self-annihilation and a federal government firing squad to put them out of business.
And if you’re one of the millions of Americans who work in the oil-and-gas industry, the “Build Back Better” plan delivers a crushing blow by implementing $555 billion worth of Green New Deal mandates and tax increases. It replaces these good-paying jobs with $8 billion for the Civilian Climate Corps, a taxpayer-funded outfit empowered to police for radical green-energy policies.
Once your job is gone or business is closed, the “Build Back Better” proposal offers government welfare programs with no work requirements. It is an attack on the dignity and right of self-determination that defines what it means to be American.
And if you’ve come to expect financial privacy and autonomy as an American, the “Build Back Better” plan eliminates that, too. It provides $80 billion in increased IRS funding. That’s six times the current IRS budget.
The Biden administration hopes to use this supercharged IRS to wring an extra $400 billion out of the American people. With everyone from independent contractors to retired grandparents now facing regular audits, this is Democrats’ backup plan for unleashing IRS spying on everyday Americans’ bank accounts.
Since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth 400 years ago, America has, above all, promised the freedom to hold your own beliefs, raise your own children, and control your own destiny. This basic guarantee of liberty created the greatest nation in the history of the world.
For the last four centuries, each American generation has successfully preserved this precious gift for their children and grandchildren, against threats both foreign and domestic. Nothing less is demanded of us today. As Americans, we must protect that freedom and reject these massive big-government socialist programs.
(Sen. Bill Hagerty represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.)