In his State of the Union address, President Obama made the case for universal early childhood education — an idea that isn’t sitting well with conservatives.
On Friday, Fox Business host Stuart Varney and Fox News host Steve Doocy attacked preschool access as a government handout intended to extend “literally, the nanny state.” Varney echoed an argument used by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney that Obama won the election by giving “gifts” to women and minorities. Even though Obama cannot run for office a third time, the host warned the president is using preschool to entice a whole new generation of toddlers to support him when they’re eligible in 15 years:
VARNEY: Look what the president is doing here, it’s a repeat performance of his campaign, which is you raise taxes on the rich and you offer all kinds of free stuff to people who will vote for you in the future. Free preschool education for 4-year-olds, it’s free, here it is. Hand out the goodies.
In fact, preschool substantially reduces the likelihood that a child will later drop out of high school, become a teen parent, or be arrested for a violent crime. Studies have determined universal preschool programs generate roughly $7 in savings per child and increases human capital.
Varney and Doocy are hardly the only conservatives suspicious of preschool. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has called for ending childhood education programs because they “indoctrinate” children to make them dependent on government at an early age.
Other “gifts” Obama has been accused of using to influence voters are Obamacare, his DREAM directive, and partial college loan forgiveness.