Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, in a broader piece debunking American stereotypes about the French daycare system, makes the case for Americans to be more like the French when it comes to bipartisan support for helping parents raise kids:
There is an overwhelming [French] commitment, from elites and the political class on down, to enacting policies that help families raise children. Along with healthcare and welfare transfers, the politique familiale is one of the pillars of the French welfare state.
This commitment is lacking in American politics. Oh sure, you can’t swing a cat in a Congress session without hitting a politician who has nice things to say about “family”, but there is a certain extent to which the socially liberal Left and the economically libertarian Right have a problem with the idea of helping families qua families, and being a parent qua being a parent (as opposed to simply, say, improving schools). It doesn’t help that the Left’s ideas on that are rooted in big government ideology.
Reform conservatives have proposed many ideas for a while now, from pro-family tax reform to credits for child care to more flexible labor markets to better monetary policy to more affordable housing and better infrastructure (spending that 3 hour commute with your kids instead should be a family value!) that seem to comport with the American framework much better than copying-and-pasting ideas that already don’t work well in Europe and would do even worse in the American context–ideas that, judging by the latest France-worshipping blog-fest, aren’t just ignored by Republican politicians but also by left-of-center wonks.