By Rhode Island standards, Gary Sasse has been a conservative figure, culminating in his 2008 appointment to direct the departments of administration and revenue under conservative Republican governor Donald Carcieri. As GoLocalProv noted while naming him one of 20 to watch in 2020, “Sasse has morphed into the conscious of Rhode Island government.” (Note: They mean “conscience.”)
If that has an ominous sound in conservative ears, it should. Most prominently, Sasse is a Twitter-vocal Never Trumper, who indicates that he’d gladly throw the United States into the arms of socialist Bernie Sanders in order to wrench it away from Donald Trump. The erstwhile weekly guest of Buddy Cianci’s radio show just can’t take the ego and perceived corruption of the president.
Perhaps to help justify his attitude, Sasse’s policy ideas seem to be drifting to the left, as well, as indicated by this recent tweet:
Yes preschool is an example of where the private market has not been responsive to needs of families and kids.
In fairness, this socialist-seeming Tweet was more like the moderate splitting the baby after somebody had challenged a more-free-market tweet alluding to the “exploding” cost of college and healthcare compared with “market driven commodities.” But by such accommodations do progressives incrementally open the door to socialism.
After all, Sasse blithely brushes away the central question: When it comes to preschool, “the private market has not been responsive to the needs of families and kids” by whose definition of need?
If the private market has not been “responsive” to preschool, it is because families do not want it at the price that providers are willing to supply it. Because their goal is to make everybody dependent on government while giving their bureaucratic friends as much control of children as possible, progressives only ever look at one side of that equation: lowering the cost for parents (preferably to zero) so that even the slightest whim will be enough to hand over their children. When that victory proves incomplete, they’ll likely attempt to make it mandatory.
The other side of the equation, however, is that families rightly find value in other options, regardless of the cost of preschool. That could be a parent staying home or structuring his or her employment to accommodate child rearing, or it could be grandparents or neighbors. These options are arguably better for the children, which is why studies are generally finding worse results for universal pre-K.
Maybe I didn’t understand him as well as I thought I did, but it seems to me that Gary Sasse would have appreciated this point back before the 2016 election.