Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, October 02, 2014

To Fight Poverty, Support Marriage

It’s not an accident or just good luck that America grew into the greatest, most prosperous nation in history. As I explain in my new book, called Who Killed the American Family?, the fact that the nuclear family was the standard way of life and the basis of our economic system had all sorts of good implications for our economy. A professor at the University of Virginia, W. Bradford Wilcox, has explained some of these good results from his research. He says that “Adults are more likely to behave responsibly from a financial perspective when they get and stay married.” Married men work harder, longer, and smarter. The children of intact families are more likely to complete their educations and find employment.

If strong families are good for the economy, what happens when families are absent? The poverty rate for married couples with children is only 6.4 percent. The rate skyrockets to 36.5 percent for single parents with children. It’s easy to see the link between single parenthood and poverty. The prevalence of single parenthood means that the United States has much more poverty, and so the big-government liberals rush in with welfare programs. They don’t get rid of poverty; they make the problems worse. When women receive government cash handouts and other benefits from 78 different taxpayer-paid funds, that discourages them from looking for a job to support themselves. When Republicans passed the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, that imposed work requirements on people receiving welfare, but President Obama unilaterally banned the work requirement.

President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in the 1960s, but we’ve been losing the war ever since. We have now spent more taxpayers’ money fighting the War on Poverty than we have spent in all of America’s many wars.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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