The Republican Welfare State

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Bush will soon be signing a $400 billion edict to give more free drugs to Medicare recipients (via the pharmaceutical industry), the biggest such welfare increase in 40 years. Meanwhile, he is also heralding the first anniversay of his millenarian “No Child Left Behind” decree. This involves, we discover, not only an unconstitutional usurpation of state jurisdiction, but much more coerced spending: $500 per student, to start. Maine, apparently speaking for other rural states as well, asked to be exempted, since it had its own standards and its own programs, and couldn’t afford the new spending (on a new, vast bureaucracy to file reports with DC and comply with all its commands). It was a Democratic effort, of course. The Republican Education Department refused, saying that all states must comply because of federal power, and its mandate of egalitarianism.

6:38 am on June 16, 2003