Ryan Taylor Proposes Fiscally Ridiculous Child Care Subsidies
What’s interesting about North Dakota’s race for governor is that the two candidates, Republican Jack Dalrymple and Democrat Ryan Taylor, aren’t divided by ideology so much as degree. Case in point, the issue of child care in western North Dakota.
Nobody disputes that there is a shortage of child care services in the oil patch. There is a shortage of a lot of services in the oil patch due to the rapid economic and social expansion there. But neither Taylor nor Dalrymple are asking why it is the private sector can’t supply demand for child care services on its own. Rather, they look immediately for government solutions.
But the degree of government involvement is what separates them. Recently Governor Dalrymple announced $500,000 in child care grants made available through the state’s Land Board. The grants are only available in the oil patch.
Not to be outdone, Ryan Taylor announced no less than $45.6 million in new child care funding including “$30.6 million in child-care facility and equipment grants, $15 million in workforce development grants and tax credits and incentives to help communities sustain child-care services in the 2013-15 biennium,” as reported in the Minot Daily News.
“There’s a gaping hole in the child-care sector and I believe the amount of revenue we are taking in, it makes it the state’s responsibility to help fill that hole,” Taylor is quoted as saying. He then alludes to figures from a child care special interest group suggesting that the needs for child care in Williston alone amount to $28 million.
“So throwing $125,000 at a $28 million problems is a lot like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. It just doesn’t work,” Taylor said referring to Dalrymple’s plan which would have sent the maximum grant at $125,000.
But here’s the problem with Taylor’s plan: North Dakota is a state with only 684,000 citizens. Of that number, just over 45,000 are daycare-aged children. That’s a thousand dollars in state assistance for every single daycare-aged child in the state. Even if we add school-age children to that total who might need daycare after school or during the summer (and, to be fair, subtract all the kids who have stay-at-home parents or other child care arrangements or just don’t need assistance) we’re still talking about a ridiculous amount of money.
And the numbers Taylor cites for child care needs in Williston – $28 million – are especially ridiculous when you consider that there are only a couple of thousand daycare-aged children in Williston (a guess based on Census estimates).
What Taylor is talking about here isn’t so much state childcare assistance. He’s talking about creating a defacto child care entitlement. Which makes Dalrymple’s modest proposal look almost free market by comparison.
Dalrymple is a spendthrift and a bit to eager to intervene with government to solve problems, but Taylor is several orders of magnitude worse.Tags: child care, jack dalrymple, North Dakota News, ryan taylor, subsidies