They can't, and they shouldn't

Federal intrusion into pre-K years can't be afforded or allowed

If Washington boasted trillion-dollar surpluses instead of trillion-dollar deficits. If Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid weren’t on the path to insolvency. If we weren’t already leaving our children more than $16 trillion in debt. If veterans were getting the care and services they deserve.

If all those things were true and Santa Claus really did ride in a sleigh, it would still be a horrible idea for the federal government to inject itself into pre-kindergarten “education,” as the president proposed Tuesday night.

With every challenge already facing America – including as much as $100 trillion in unfunded promises to care for future retirees, who are nudging closer to their golden years with each second – President Obama in his State of the Union actually suggested the federal government help “make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.”

No nation in history facing our financial challenges – no nation ever has faced our self-imposed challenges – could simultaneously cover all that deficit and debt and aging citizens and still create a universal preschool entitlement.

But never mind the fact that no such pixie dust exists. Do we really want the federal government reaching down into every citizen’s toddler years? Is the federal bureaucracy not enough of a parent already?

What kind of a surrogate parent is the government? You think it’s a good one?

And did Washington’s attempt to become our national school board go that well? Has its increasing involvement and expense since Jimmy Carter made schools better?

Not if you look at graduation rates, test scores and comparisons to student achievement in other industrialized nations.

How much more parental responsibility will the government annex?

This idea, and a whole laundry list of other top-down government-knows-best proposals, is a left-wing fantasy that Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign trotted out – as a present to the country that she was placing under the Christmas tree.

They never say where the money is coming from, and neither does Barack Obama. After releasing his wish list including $50 billion for infrastructure work and untold amounts for speculative alternative energy sources, education and more, he promised none of it would add a dime to the deficit.

Of course, he’s said that and made other promises repeatedly over the years, most of which have never been true. He promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He promised “not another dime” in taxes for those earning less than $250,000. He promised to take care of survivors of the Fort Hood shooting. He promised consequences for the Iranian assassination attempt of a Saudi diplomat on American soil. He promised to find those behind the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans and bring them to justice. He promised to close Guantanamo Bay. The list goes on and on and on.

Moreover, this promise that he can deliver all these things and not borrow another dime – maybe possible if he hikes taxes to ungodly levels – comes from a chief executive whose first few budgets earned not one vote in Congress from either party, and whose 2014 budget blueprint is now weeks late from its legal deadline.

Republicans noted that Obama has increased our debt in four years by 58.6 trillion dimes.

It is disgusting that this president Tuesday attempted to appropriate the word “investment” to serve as a euphemism for more spending and more power in Washington.

President Obama essentially proposed a new entitlement Tuesday, when the country’s foundation is collapsing under the weight of those we already have.

He’s right about one thing: America’s 4-year-olds had better get a quick education; they’ll have to start pulling down paychecks at age 5 just to cover all this spending.

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