Political Hay

Nancy Pelosi’s Modest Proposal

Stimulate the economy by eliminating the workers of tomorrow.

By 1.27.09

Send to Kindle

"It will reduces costs," Nancy Pelosi said on This Week, in reference to the "stimulus" rationale for sending millions of dollars to the states for "family planning."

What would once have been considered an astonishingly chilly and incomprehensible stretch is now blandly stated liberal policy.

The full title of Jonathan Swift's work, A Modest Proposal, was, For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public.

Change a few of the words and it could be a Democratic Party policy paper. Swift suggested that 18th-century Ireland stimulate its economy by turning children into food for the wealthy. Pelosi proposes stimulating the U.S. economy by eliminating them.

Other slumping countries, such as Russia and France, pay parents to have children; it looks like Obama's America will pay parents to contracept or kill them. Perhaps the Freedom of Choice Act can also fall under the Pelosi "stimulus" rationale. Why not? An America of shovels and scalpels will barrel into the future.

Euthanasia is another shovel-ready job for Pelosi to assign to the states. Reducing health care costs under Obama's plan, after all, counts as economic stimulus too. Controlling life, controlling death, controlling costs. It's all stimulus in the Brave New World utopia to come.

Let's not punish the economy with future workers. Maybe Social Security can be pushed back a couple of decades and the elderly can just work twice as hard.

Pelosi has helpfully if dimly blurted out what's often implicit in many of the left's schemes for human improvement: that, after all the rhetorical bells and whistles have fallen silent, the final solution concealed within the schemes is to eliminate people.

Alan Weisman's The World Without Us isn't a horrifying thesis to the liberal elite but enjoyable beach reading. Al Gore lists population control as the first solution to global warming and they nod and give him a Nobel Prize.

They name awards after eugenicists like Margaret Sanger. "Unwanted" children are immediately seen as an unspeakable burden. Pregnancy is a punishment, and fertility is little more than a disease.

Pelosi's gaffe illustrates the extent to which eugenics and economics merge in the liberal utilitarian mind. Malthus lives.

Hillary Clinton's State Department will soon treat people-elimination, in one form or another, as "development." She implied as much in her opening prattle about "development" and the "long-term" security interests of the U.S., which is a euphemism for saying that UN-style population control ideology and America's interests are seen by the Obama administration as identical.

Not only will the American taxpayer be expected to pay the rent for Planned Parenthood at home, but now with Obama's reversal of the Mexico City policy he will get to underwrite third-world abortions too.

Population is the poverty, not the riches, of a country, according to the left. Never mind that the only developing countries are the ones with growing populations. No matter: While nature can grow unfettered, human nature is to be controlled at all costs. We must preserve everything purely except ourselves. We must send money to the UN to save rain forests and destroy humans.

Pelosi's idea would have appealed to Swift at some level. Mocking the fashionable utilitarian theories of the day, he attributes his Modest Proposal to a "very knowing American of my acquaintance in London." He also had his own satirical notion of stimulus: have the poor be run "through a joint-stock company." Who knows what he would have done with TARP?

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.