Are Conservatives Embracing a New Kind of Welfare? by Anne Hendershott 

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Pro-family legislation is not “a new kind of welfare” nor is it a rejection of small government. It is an attempt to return power back to the people.

By Anne Hendershott, Crisis Magazine, Feb. 21, 2023

Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. She is the author of The Politics of Envy (Crisis Publications, 2020).


Anne Hendershott

Claiming that “in the post-Roe World” a growing number of conservative lawmakers are “embracing a new kind of welfare,” the New York Times recently reported on the attempts by a few conservative members of Congress to promote new tax benefits for parents. Describing an influential group of conservative intellectuals “with a direct line to elected politicians” like Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, as well as Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and J.D. Vance of Ohio, the Times is suggesting that the new pro-family movement is an attempt to finally “abandon Reaganomics once and for all.”

This is really not true. The truth is that the Republican movement to help support families and address the falling birth rates by encouraging family formation and support began long before the Dobbs decision when U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) proposed legislation to create the Parent Tax Credit. Senator Hawley, a lawmaker who has been critical of the anti-Catholic animus in the Senate, was the first to propose a historic tax cut to help parents afford to start a family and raise their children. …

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