For decades, Head Start has consistently disappointed anyone who expected it to make a real difference in the fortunes of the poor. A 2010 study by the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that though there were modest benefits to participating kids, they soon evaporated. "The benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by first grade for the program population as a whole," it admitted. "For 3-year-olds, there are few sustained benefits." Our elected officials generally agree that withholding money from social programs shortchanges the poor, writes Steve Chapman. They fail to notice that for the most part, providing money has the same effect.