Hugh Hewitt: De Blasio's Pre-K Plan Misguided

Thursday, 02 Jan 2014 12:43 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The plan by newly inaugurated New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio to spearhead pre-K and after-school programs is not the answer to helping children learn, talk radio host Hugh Hewitt said Thursday.

"We spend all of our money on children 0-5 trying to figure out how to make them healthy and ready to learn by the time they get to kindergarten. Preschool is not, in my opinion, the answer," the host of "The Hugh Hewitt Show" told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

In his inaugural address Wednesday upon taking the helm as mayor of the nation's largest city, de Blasio promised to take "dead aim" at economic inequality. He pledged to offer "universal access to pre-kindergarten and after-school programs."

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De Blasio's plan, which must be approved by state lawmakers, would pay for the programs with a tax hike on the highest earners in the city.

Hewitt sees "smart" investment as key to solving the inequality problem, and not to "spring money on the street, hoping that somehow ends the inequality problem." He said an example of a smart investment was a swimming pool built in Santa Ana, which has the highest concentration of obese children in southern California.

Based on serving on the California Children and Families Commission for 10 years, Hewitt maintained it would better serve children to place "a great deal of intervention on the in-home environment — on how they eat, how they exercise."

Hewitt appeared on the show to promote his new book, "The Happiest Life: Seven Gifts, Seven Givers and the Secret to Genuine Success." He said the book is based on more than 10,000 interviews during his 25-year career.

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