Patrick T. Brown

Fellow

Patrick T. Brown is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where his work with the Life and Family Initiative focuses on developing a robust pro-family economic agenda and supporting families as the cornerstone of a healthy and flourishing society.

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Patrick T. Brown is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where his work focuses on developing a robust pro-family economic agenda and supporting families as the cornerstone of a healthy and flourishing society.

His writing has been published in The New York Times, National Review, Politico, The Washington Post, and USA Today, and he has spoken on college campuses and Capitol Hill on topics from welfare reform to child-care and education policy.

He has published reports on paid leave and family policy with the Institute for Family Studies, and edited an essay series featuring working-class voices for American Compass. He is an advisory board member of Humanity Forward and the Center on Child and Family Policy and a contributing editor to Public Discourse.

Prior to joining EPPC, Patrick served as a senior policy advisor to Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. There, he helped lead research about how to make it more affordable to raise a family and more effectively invest in youth and young adults. He also previously worked a government-relations staffer for Catholic Charities USA.

Patrick graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in political science and economics. He also holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He and his wife Jessica have four young children and live in Columbia, S.C.

 

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Thoughts on a Post-Roe Agenda

Patrick T. Brown

The pressure campaigns on religious freedom and voting bills would look like child’s play if a state moved to enact restrictions potentially enabled by Dobbs. Social conservatives need to prepare a counteroffensive.

Articles

Virginia’s New Governor Should Improve Options for the Parents of Young Children

Patrick T. Brown

With D.C. consumed with a social spending bill that could dramatically reshape life for America’s families, Virginia could offer an example of authentically pro-family policy from early childhood to high school.

Articles

Institute for Family Studies / November 16, 2021

A Distinctly American Family Policy

Patrick T. Brown

Borrowing a family policy prescription from Helsinki or Budapest is bound to disappoint. A distinctly American family policy platform must be seen as expanding choice, not constraining it, and working with our national character, not trying to reshape it, all while understanding family as the essential institution in society, one that stakes an unavoidable claim on our public resources.

Articles

Public Discourse / November 11, 2021

5 Ways to Make America More Family-Friendly

Patrick T. Brown

The family is the fundamental unit of society, and has a claim on our resources. Here are five important steps policymakers could take to put that philosophy into practice.

Articles

National Catholic Register / November 10, 2021

If You Like Your Church Preschool, Can You Keep It?

Patrick T. Brown

‘Build Back Better’s’ plan for child care has an ugly blind spot when it comes to faith-based programs.

Articles

Deseret News / November 10, 2021

What the Build Back Better Act Would Mean for Families

Patrick T. Brown

Childcare subsidies would dramatically reshape the landscape for parents of young children—perhaps in ways its authors don’t intend.

Articles

The Dispatch / November 3, 2021

Examining the Relationship Between Higher Education and Family Formation

Patrick T. Brown

Proposals to reduce or eliminate student debt on a large scale are often proposed in the spirit of lifting barriers to family formation, allowing young adults to marry or become parents. But understanding what role student debt plays in the lives of young Americans is important before adopting widespread policy prescriptions.

Articles

Joint Economic Committee / November 3, 2021

Biden’s Reconciliation Plan Would Expand Marriage Penalties. That’s Not Build Back Better.

Patrick T. Brown

Not only do marriage penalties leave families economically worse off, they also undermine marriage, an essential institution in a functioning society.

Articles

USA Today / October 29, 2021

INTERVIEW: Patrick T. Brown on Working-Class Families and the Child Tax Credit

Patrick T. Brown

EPPC Fellow Patrick T. Brown talks with Spotlight on Poverty about the congressional debate over child tax credits and what working-class families think about proposed federal aid.

Articles

Spotlight on Poverty / October 27, 2021

Gimme Shelter

Patrick T. Brown

David Wessel’s book Only the Rich Can Play offers an uncomfortable reminder that no matter how much you may appreciate an idea’s intellectual lineage or conceptual clarity, no plan survives first contact with the enemy.

Articles

American Compass / October 21, 2021

Why Working-Class Parents Don’t Buy What D.C. Is Selling

Patrick T. Brown

If politicians want expanded child benefits to stick, they need to listen to the families that will benefit most.

Articles

The New York Times / September 14, 2021

Early Childhood Districts: A Capita Symposium

Patrick T. Brown

It is difficult to look at the existing public education system and recommend it as a model for ensuring high-quality child care for newborns, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Articles

Capita / September 8, 2021

Editor's NoteIn the fourth essay in the Institute for Family Studies's week-long public policy symposium, Patrick T. Brown of the Ethics and Public Policy Center offers his advice for Virginia's incoming governor. 

Earlier this month, Glenn Youngkin rode a broad-based wave of dissatisfaction with education, the response to the pandemic, and everyday pocketbook issues to the Governor’s mansion. Now, with D.C. consumed with a social spending bill that could dramatically reshape life for America’s families, Virginia could offer an example of authentically pro-family policy from early childhood to high school. 

Outgoing governor Ralph Northam (D) sought to increase regulation of the child care industry by rolling supervision over from the Office of Social Services to the Department of Education. State officials want to introduce uniform standards for regulation. But many measures of so-called “quality” have little to no relationship with long-term outcomes, and only raise costs and barriers to entry for new providers. It is essential for Virginia’s new administration to carefully review the states’ regulatory regime and throw out any regulations that could pose an excessive burden to current or new child care providers. The Governor should also take a firm stand against efforts to change Virginia law to rescind the exemption from state licensure for religiously-affiliated day care and preschools. 

The new administration should also prioritize expanding Virginia’s tax-credit scholarship program to become more generous and more widely available. Even better would be to convert the program into an individual scholarship account that could allow all families to put aside pre-tax dollars to pursue a wide range of educational options. Those accounts could even be made eligible to cover the cost of child care or pre-school classes, helping more parents choose the care they want, rather than live with whatever top-down schemes get dreamed up in Washington. 

It is not uncommon for the party that lost the White House to gain the Virginia governor’s mansion the following year. But it doesn’t usually happen by winning on issues in which the other party typically holds the upper hand. Focusing on increasing choices for parents in K-12 education and child care will help Governor-elect Youngkin demonstrate what a truly pro-family agenda could look like at the state level.

Patrick T. Brown (@PTBwrites) is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.