It’s the ________, Stupid

Still want to say that divisive social issues like sex education in our schools has no fiscal effect? Hope not.

Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign forever popularized the statement, “It’s the economy, stupid.” And fourteen years later, our focus still seems to be on the economy and on jobs. A more recent variation on the theme or perhaps the reason we need to boost the economy and create jobs is because in the minds of others, “It’s the budget, stupid.” But the economy and the budget are just two of the legs on a three-legged stool.

Unfortunately for many in the two camps just mentioned—the economy/job camp and the budget camp—the third leg happens to be those awful, divisive social issues they just want us to stay away from. But the reality is you just can’t. To ignore them is to ignore the wobble in the two-legged stool.

At the Stand for Truth Seminars coming up in Nashville (this weekend) and Knoxville (Nov. 12th), we’ll talk about this in more depth (helping people connect the dots between social issues and fiscal issues), but here was an interesting story from The Tennessean a few days back. It reported on HIV infections in Middle Tennessee:

New infections among 15- to 24-year-olds [in the 13 counties comprising Middle Tennessee] have more than doubled in the past five years, and 48 percent of those who are aware they’re infected are untreated. … [T]he rate of new infections among teenagers and 20-somethings increased 26 percent from 2009 to 2010.(emphasis added)

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised since at least Davidson County has had folks in the public schools showing students with anatomical models how to put a condom on while performing oral sex.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised with groups like Planned Parenthood telling kids that “outercourse,” such as “anal sex play,” is a form of birth control. It’s for sure you can’t get pregnant that way.

Talking about that kind of stuff is just plain divisive. But the fiscal effect:

The Tennessee Department of Health has expanded its testing efforts and focused on communities at highest risk. Dr. Carolyn Wester, medical director of the department’s HIV/AIDS program, said it has received federal funding to bring on three additional employees to coordinate treatment for HIV-positive prisoners upon their release. (emphasis added)

Federal funding for three new employees. Still want to say that divisive social issues like sex education in our schools has no fiscal effect? Hope not.