The Members of Congress who were elected last month and take office next month have promised to make significant cuts in federal spending. This promise requires Congress to face up to the nearly $1 trillion currently spent each year on social problems caused by the decline of marriage, which is the major cause of the growth of the welfare state. This breakdown in our culture has caused 40% of Americans to rely on government for all or part of their living expenses. The one and a half million babies born out-of-wedlock last year are 41% percent of all births, and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider. That's only the start of the costs because most social problems come out of female-headed households.
Congress should reform welfare and child-support policies to remove the financial incentives for non-marriage and for welfare-to-perpetual dependency. Since marriage is the best route out of poverty, government should reduce or eliminate the marriage penalties in welfare programs, in tax law, in means-tested welfare programs.
Many people think that these single moms are worthy of taxpayer support because they've been abandoned by the father of their kids. Apparently, that's not always true. The U.S. Census Bureau just reported that more than a fourth of the unmarried women who had illegitimate babies last year were actually living with a partner. This brings us to the conclusion that taxpayer handouts are actually providing financial incentives to women NOT to get married.
The best way to get people out of poverty AND the best way to cut government spending is to stop powerful financial incentives to young people AGAINST getting married. If you have babies without getting married, you are probably going to be poor and dependent on government for much of your life.
Listen to the radio commentary here: