Economists: Rauner's $50 million state subsidy will drive up cost of child care in Illinois
Gov. Bruce Rauner's $50 million expansion of state child care subsides will raise prices for Illinois residents who don't receive it, one economist says.
Tim Worstall, a fellow with the Adam Smith Institute in London, says the Rauner program will put financial pressure on working, middle class taxpayers ineligible for the subidies, while simultaneously creating a child care shortage in Illinois.
"It's not necessarily true that taxpayer subsidy makes things cheaper,” said Worstall. “Anyone looking at the cost of college can see that."
"Increasing the subsidy without increasing the supply is just going to make child care more difficult for all to find," he added.
Rauner's child care subidy is part of a recent hard turn left for the Republican governor, who last week also approved taxpayer funding of abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients.
State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Glen Ellyn) said this week he estimates state taxpayers will foot the bill next year for "20,000-30,000 abortions."
Jeffrey Dorfman, professor of economics at the University of Georgia, told Prairie State Wire that, politics aside, Rauner is spending money Illinois doesn't have.
"(Illinois) state government and its citizens need to face the fact they are far past broke and simply don't have the money to spend on anything new, " Dorfman said. "With at least a $130 billion public pension shortfall, it hardly seems the right time to increase subsidies for daycare.”
Actuary Elizabeth Bauer recently published an article on the subject of alleged "child care deserts" in The Federalist, an online journal. She says left-leaning politicians purposely use "faulty metrics" to justify a shortage of child care where none exists.
“They take it for granted that every child should be in licensed child care, and disregard the choices families have made to find other arrangements that better meet their needs,” Bauer said. “While there is undoubtedly value in the various licensing programs for home daycare providers, many families may feel their personal connection to their provider is more important than the number of early childhood classes that person has taken.”
Bauer said that, in justifying their arguments on child care, left-leaning think tank The Center for American Progress performed a flawed analysis that, among other things, confused supply with demand.
“What it all boils down to is yet another way of pitching the notion that all children, following their mothers’ maternity leave, belong in daycare centers, because all mothers, following their maternity leave, belong in the workforce, because, regardless of their personal preferences, that’s ‘best for them.’”