30 September 2007

Hilary and Janice and Danny

Hilary Clinton wants to give every child born in America $5,000.

Danny Williams thinks this is proof he is on the right track with his $1,000 bootie call.

She isn't and therefore, he isn't.

The $5,000 Hilary is talking about is actually part of a larger Democratic Party initiative aimed at health care reform and promoting education.

It is not intended - as the Bootie Call clearly is - as an incentive to parents to crank out more offspring.

The Democratic Party initiative very clearly establishes that the money will be placed in a trust and will be accessible for two specific purposes:  college tuition or buying a first home.

It is not intended - as the Bootie Call clearly is - as an incentive to parents to crank out more children.

How bad an idea is the Bootie call?  Well, consider that most men and women in the province have already dismissed the idea based on two simple premises:

1.  It doesn't even begin to cover the costs of raising a child, including education costs; and,

2.  Everywhere it has been tried it has turned out to be hugely expensive and at the same time hugely  ineffective in increasing the birth rate.

The Bootie Call is such a bad idea that even columnist Janice Wells had to morph the whole thing into a discussion of the virtues of cloth diapers before she could make it into something vaguely workable.

This is no mean feat.  Wells is a former Tory candidate and has been known to monger a few nationalist myths in her time of public comment especially since Williams was sworn in as Premier.  For her to cast some doubts on the idea is pretty significant, even if she has to go through a few tortures to salvage the concept.

All of this leads inevitably back to the starting point of the Bootie Call discussion and the admission Danny Williams made the day he announced the concept:  it hasn`t been thought through.  That`s painfully evident and it grows more painfully obvious when Williams himself and his supporters - like Janice Wells - have to invent reasons to give it some consideration.

If Danny and Janice really want to do something for our future generations, maybe they wouldn`t be trying to come up with lame ex post facto rationalizations for someone`s brain farts.

They`d be doing the planning Williams likes to talk about in his campaign ads. Then they`d turn the plans into action to deal with things like the growing debt load our children will face, a debt load that is likely to made worse by the inevitably burgeoning cost of the Bootie Call.