The media are forever trying to create a division in the conservative movement between those care most about so-called social issues and those who want priority for fiscal issues. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the most recent politician to fall into this trap by asserting that the next president will "have to call a truce on the so-called social issues." The truth is that social and fiscal issues are locked in a political and financial embrace that cannot be pried apart. Those who want to emphasize runaway government spending and out-of-control debt and deficits must face the fact that those trillions of dollars are being spent by government on social problems. Government powers, as well as the money in government's hands, have expanded to deal with social problems.
In order to reduce government's size and power, and restore the limited government sought by fiscal conservatives, they simply must address the social issues. It's the breakdown in our culture that has caused millions of Americans to depend on government for their living expenses and for solutions to their personal problems. In the not-too-distant past, we had a society where husbands and fathers were the providers for their families. The 1.7 million babies born out-of-wedlock last year (41% of all births) and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider. The decline of marriage is not only the biggest social problem America faces today, but it's also government's biggest financial problem. Those who care about fiscal costs have to be concerned about social problems.
The famous 1965 Moynihan Report on how families were destroyed by giving welfare handouts only to women, thereby making husbands and fathers irrelevant, is now recognized as one of the most prophetic government reports ever written.
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