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‘Leeches’? That’s ludicrous

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Spencer Smith and Scott Lee have, in this forum, characterized parents of large families as "leeches" based solely on the ratio of taxpayers to non-taxpayers in this state. This assertion is as frankly bigoted an attitude as those who believe thatblack Americans are inferior because of the color of their skin.

The true leeches of society are those who abuse the welfare system, not to mention those who occupy cells in various correctional facilities throughout the state. How many of them have, or came from, large families? I don't know. But to say that all parents of large families are "leeches," hangers-on of society to get gain, is ludicrous.

Ever wonder how Utah schoolchildren manage to consistently score high nationally in standardized testing, in spite of the fact that Utah ranks next to last, only recently up from dead last, in educational spending? Perhaps it's because those parents Mr. Smith and Mr. Lee have characterized as "leeches" care enough about their children and education to volunteer their time and efforts to make sure their children get the best education they can. To call these parents "socially irresponsible" is ridiculous.

While I agree that Utahns need to find answers to the question of how to fund education in this state without continuing to place an ever increasing burden on the taxpayers, I do not believe the answer lies in limiting family size.

Charlotte Hansen