Father Bill!

Headline from Reuters article: “CLINTON SAYS FATHERS VITAL TO CHILDREN”

This is news? During the last several thousand years of civilization, most people have pretty well understood that kids need fathers and mothers. If this is a trend, perhaps we’ll also see the following shocking headlines in the near future:


In his radio address of June 17 Clinton said “Research now confirms that involvement of both parents in a child’s education makes a positive difference; and that father involvement during infancy and early childhood also contributes to a child’s emotional security”. Really? And did we need researchers to tell us this? Grandmother Outrage would have been happy to explain the benefits of family life to anyone who would listen, and at no charge.

Of course, any time a politician makes a profound discovery, they also find a correspondingly innovative way of spending your money. Once Clinton discovered that fatherhood was a good thing, he proposed a $255,000,000 program called “Fathers Work, Children Win”. The problem, according to the Clinton administration, is that “many fathers can’t provide financial and emotional support to their children, not because they’re deadbeat, but because they’re dead broke.”

We are intrigued by Clinton’s statement, for a number of reasons. First of all, we didn’t realize that providing emotional support required money. I guess that if a man is insolvent he can’t say “I love you” to his child. We don’t have any government-sanctioned research to prove this, but the fact that millions of poor but very proud parents have provided love and affection to their children seems to dissolve the insoluble link between money and love.

Next, we were left wondering about the fact that so many fathers need government help to find work. Perhaps we can save taxpayers a few hundred million dollars with the following helpful instructions as to how to find work:

  • 1. Walk down the street
  • 2. Look into the offices and shops
  • 3. Note that most of these offices and shops have large “Help Wanted” signs
  • 4. Apply for work at the places with “Help Wanted” signs

(Note to Outrage readers: In order to develop the 4-step instructions above, we employed 322.5 researchers and extremely complex computer modeling; lots of custom software. To help us defray our costs, please feel free to send checks – in million dollar increments only – to PO Box 970, Leesburg, VA 20178)

Given the fact that we are now in the country’s longest economic expansion, with unemployment at the lowest levels in decades, the only way someone can avoid finding a job is by walking around wearing a tee-shirt saying “Under no circumstances will I accept gainful employment, and any attempt to make me do so will result in a lawsuit.”

But we’re sure we’re missing something here, so in order to unravel the mystery we did a little math. As a result of the $255 million program, Clinton says that 40,000 fathers might find work, and thus be able to make their child support payments. But, even using Clinton’s optimistic forecasts, the cost of the program works out to $6,375 per father. If the purpose of the program is to help children, maybe we could just give the money directly to the children. After all, how many of these fathers are really going to provide an additional $6,375 to their children as a result of this program?

Finally, we have to admit that we’re touched by Bill Clinton leading a program on fatherhood. Perhaps his next initiative, co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy, will be on marital fidelity. We could also get other leaders involved in lighting a path for the rest of us. Al Gore could sponsor a bill on increasing the nation’s cache of dynamic public speakers. Jane Fonda could lead a program on national loyalty; Pat Buchanan could expound on expanding economic opportunities in the new global village, Janet Reno could talk about helping leading American tech companies achieve global dominance; Oprah could tell us how to maintain a low profile, and Mike Tyson could lecture on living well on a fixed income.

Read all about it!

Rage back!

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