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December 11, 2005
Liberals: Poor Parents Are Drunks

So much for the Liberal concern for the poor and downtrodden. Liberal Party leader Paul Martin will have a lot of explaining to do about comments made earlier by two of his aides on the Tory plan to give cash back to families for child care expenses. Trying to discredit Stephen Harper's new initiative for child-care tax credits, Martin aides Scott Reid and John Duffy told Canadian television viewers that the money would probably go for beer and popcorn instead of child care:

The federal Liberals scrambled Sunday to control the damage from their first serious gaffe of the election campaign after a top aide to Paul Martin suggested Canadian parents could blow any extra child-care money they get from Ottawa on beer and popcorn. ...

The Conservatives would provide tax credits worth $250 million a year over five years to private companies and non-profit day-care operators. But the centrepiece of their program would be to pay parents annual allowances of $1,200 per child under age six.

That money could be used to pay for child care, but Reid noted there's no guarantee that would be the case. "Working families need care that's regulated, safe and secure," he said. "Don't give people 25 bucks (a week) to blow on beer and popcorn. Give them child care spaces that work."

Duffy saw nothing wrong with the comment - and in fact repeated Reid's assessment and stretched the reasoning a little further. "'There is nothing to stop people from spending (the Tory cash allowance) on beer or popcorn or a coat or a car or anything," he said.

Canadians might be shocked to hear the Liberals assume that poor and working-class people would rather spend money on beer and popcorn than care for their children. However, conservatives of all stripes understand that leftists naturally assume that everyone except the anointed few have no ability to run their own lives, making regulation necessary so that government makes all the decisions for these poor, benighted folks. Rarely do liberals -- or Liberals -- come right out and say this as Reid and Duffy did today. It gives a rare honest look into the paternalistic nonsense that modern liberalism espouses, if usually a bit more smoothly than this.

Martin, who has to explain Adscam and now a burgeoning scandal involving possible insider trading benefitting a friend's income trust company, can add this foolishness to the baggage his desperate party has put on itself this election season. He tried to express his confidence in the ability of Canadians to make the right choices to adequately care for their own children, but whan a party leader has to come out and actually explicitly make that statement, it's not a good harbinger for the rest of their electoral season.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 11, 2005 10:20 PM

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