The Washington Post reports today that the Obama administration is entering “the politically sensitive debate” on sex education by spending $110 million on 115 programs in 38 states and the District of Columbia that “teach about the risks of specific sexual activities and the benefits of contraception and others that focus primarily on encouraging teens to delay sex.” But as the Post later reports, only five of these 110 programs are “authentic” abstinence programs and they will receive less than $5 million. So how did the Obama administration choose which programs to fund? The Post says the Obama administration is “promising to put scientific evidence before political ideology.” Don’t believe them for a second. On issue after issue, this administration has dressed up their political proposals behind the mantle of “science,” and on every issue there simply is no scientific consensus to support their political positions.
Take sex education. Contrary to assertions from the left that permissive sex education decreases teen birth rates, after adjusting for important demographic differences among states, those with liberal sex-ed policies actually have higher rates of pregnancy for girls under 18. And a recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that abstinence education reduced teen sex without causing any adverse decline in contraception use, while “safe sex” and comprehensive sex ed programs failed to reduce teen sex or increase contraceptive use.
Take early education. The Obama administration wants to expand the Head Start program, claiming that a recent Department of Health and Human Services study shows that the program is effective. In fact, the study shows the exact opposite. Using random assignment, 5,000 children were either placed in Head Start, or their families sought alternatives to the program. The study then tracked the children through kindergarten and the first grade. Specifically, the language skills, literacy, math skills and school performance of the participating children failed to improve.
Take offshore drilling. President Obama claimed that his domestic energy decisions were driven by science, not politics. But a lengthy Washington Post investigation found the opposite is true: politics drove Obama’s energy policies. After the Deep Horizon oil spill, the Obama administration instituted a job killing offshore energy drilling ban. They have since taken steps to begin lifting the ban. But at no time has the White House identified any science that underpins their decisions. Pressed to identify whether the White House has “a better sense of what caused the Deepwater Horizon explosion,” all spokesman Robert Gibbs could offer was: “But we know that — again, we know there’s inherent risks in doing this at all. That we understand.”
Take Obama’s failed stimulus. The Obama administration already knew that temporary tax rebates, as opposed to permanent tax cuts, do not stimulate economic growth. So instead of including real and permanent rate reduction in the stimulus, President Obama slowly doled-out his tax rebates in the form of reduced withholding. Well, a new study now shows that the way President Obama chose to design his signature tax cut “led to a substantially lower rate of spending than the one-time payments.” In other words, not only did President Obama choose ineffective tax rebates instead of effective permanent rate cuts, but the form of rebates he ultimately chose made his tax cuts even more worthless.
There is nothing wrong with using science as a tool to help inform policy debates. But as President Ronald Reagan once said: “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
- Federal law enforcement authorities arrested a Northern Virginia man Wednesday in connection with an alleged plot to carry out terrorist bombings at stations in the Washington Metro system.
- The European Union issued regulations this week that, unlike legislation passed by the U.S. Congress, allow for the import and export of oil and gas to Iran.
- According to The New York Times, critical parts of the Obama coalition (including women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents) are switching their allegiance to the Republicans.
- According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted in the 92 House districts considered most competitive, 55% of voters want Obamacare repealed.
- The Heritage Foundation’s Israel Ortega details President Obama descent into The Politics of Fear.