Column: Helping kids through thoughtful policy

  • Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 5:06 p.m.
President Barack Obama boards Air Force One as he leaves Chattanooga, Tenn., Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Obama is in Chattanooga to speak at the Amazon fulfillment center. (AP Photo/Lisa Norman-Hudson)
President Barack Obama boards Air Force One as he leaves Chattanooga, Tenn., Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Obama is in Chattanooga to speak at the Amazon fulfillment center. (AP Photo/Lisa Norman-Hudson)

As President Barack Obama heads for a nice vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, a place of wealth, I want him to work on a simple math calculation. One of the major themes of the president’s administration is that there is a tremendous problem of “income inequality” in this nation and it must be addressed.

Obama’s solution is to redistribute income using seizure tactics. His plan is to have the federal government provide subsidies for those with low incomes by taking money from the affluent and business.

The problem is that high taxation restrains economic expansion and inhibits the country from creating new avenues of wealth. If the affluent spend less and business invests less in expansion and development, wages for workers stagnate because there is heavy competition for jobs. The president does not seem to understand that. But the core problem of “income inequality” stems from failure to seize opportunity. If an American is ill-educated and does not develop useful skills, he or she will not be able to earn much money in the marketplace. And little is being done about that.

So here’s the math deal, Mr. President. Right now, 48 percent of American children living in female-headed households are poor.

That’s compared with a poverty rate of 11 percent for kids living in a married couple situation. The out-of-wedlock birth rate for African Americans is close to 73 percent. For Hispanics it’s 53 percent, for whites, 29 percent. And, sadly, most of those children are growing up without fathers in the home.

So where is the national campaign to discourage women from having babies out-of-wedlock? Is the Department of Education doing anything about that? The media? Anyone?

Back in 1992, then Vice President Dan Quayle derided a TV character named Murphy Brown on doing episodes about having a baby outside of marriage. Quayle was mocked unmercifully by the media and the salon set. But he was right. According to the U. S. Census, 34 percent of unwed mothers do not work, and that is driving abject poverty. America offers the most amount of people the best opportunity to pursue happiness on the planet. That’s why millions of illegal immigrants have poured into the country – most of them poor. They believe they have a shot to improve themselves economically.

But children living in poverty without fathers to guide them are at a strong disadvantage in our competitive society. Obama’s solution is to throw as much money as he can into programs to help those kids. But that will never work. The traditional American family has always been the foundation for success in America. But now, it is being destroyed in some precincts. Welfare programs and public schooling will never overcome disadvantage on the home front. It is time for President Obama to lead. The way to improve “income equality” is to encourage traditional upbringings and discipline.

Simply do the math, Mr. President.

Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and is an author and columnist.

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