March 6, 2012
After thoroughly crediting Ann Coulter for years of witty attacks on guv’mints, varmints and feminists, it must be said there is something missing about her understanding of social policy at the federal level.
This week, Ann lambasted Rick Santorum: “I also wonder why he’s running for president, rather than governor, when the issues closest to his heart are family-oriented matters about which the federal government can, and should, do very little.”
Ann’s statement reveals the “great mistake” Republicans have made since 1963. They stood aside while Democrats built the Great Society, enacted Title IX, enacted the marriage-destructive Violence Against Women Act, and let Barney Frank force banks to give loans to unqualified individuals on welfare.
Ann (and many Republicans) are apparently unaware that federal laws often direct state statutes with “pass through” requirements (often referred to as blackmail). States that do not pass legislation parroting federal requirements lose very large sums of funding or block grants.
Marriage and family policy at the state level is bought and paid for by federal pass through requirements or otherwise contravened by direct payments to individuals. Phyllis Schlafly documented some of the anti-marriage federal drivers in her recent article “The High Costs of Marriage Absence.” Has anyone besides Rick Santorum read it yet?
For 45 years we have lived under a social policy framework designed to douse forest fires by paying people to light them. We complain about the same old problems, throw another trillion or so down the rat hole, and wonder why it gets worse.
Marriage-absence is the greatest fiscal problem we face. Last year, we spent at least $1.2 trillion at the federal level, not including “apron ready” jobs. Marriage-depressive spending in states is also their largest budgetary line item (the cost to Missouri taxpayers in 2007 was approximately $1.8 billion).
We now know that welfare reforms enacted in 1996 were not a success. Since 1996, social spending increased dramatically, illegitimacy continued at alarming rates, marriage rates did not improve, and cohabitation rates exploded because federal law encourages couples to shack up to double-dip welfare benefits and EITC.
Family Research Council recently proved that we cannot tax, spend, and borrow enough to substitute for marriage.
At CPAC 2012, Phyllis Schlafly issued a declaration far more profound and valuable than her opposition to the ERA. The “gap between fiscal and social conservatives is phony” because “social and fiscal issues are explicitly linked.”
This is a seminal moment in conservative history. For the first time, economic and social conservatives have a mutual opportunity to build a strong economy on a balanced budget (the balanced budget did not occur during the Reagan years because of the phony gap between economic and social conservatives).
As in economics, socioeconomic policy drives behavior. Here is how American social policy has essentially malfunctioned since the Great Society was established:
1. Socioeconomic policy drives the culture.
2. The culture makes choices based on federal stimulus having the effect of discouraging marriage.
3. The culture ends up in deeper trouble, discontented, and angry. Morals and marriage decline. Culture, religion, media, and politicians blame each other for fault, cause, and effect.
4. Government decides that more programs and money are needed to either help, incarcerate, or punish the culture.
5. Government has to invent new taxation schemas to cover the costs.
6. Go to step 1.
Socioeconomic policy is the engine driving cultural behavior. It is the only effective point of leverage for positive change. Everybody who is not yet in prison, bankruptcy, or thrown out of office by taxpayers must aggressively do something about it.
We must get Federal government out of the business of actively destroying marriage in the name of “helping people.” We must set states and individuals free from the prison of the federalist welfare plantation.
Who do we blame? The policy. Nothing else matters now. Democrats and Republicans must stop pointing fingers and get to work before America goes Greek.
The answer we all seek begins with straight talk addressing what most Americans still dream of – a decent home, a decent job, and a decent marriage (for most of us). Marriage is the core microeconomic structure necessary to rebuild the middle class from rubble and lift millions of poor out of poverty and social decay without spending a dime-- one marriage at a time.
Fortunately for America, 85% of women and 66% of men still strongly believe in marriage. This is a very good sign considering it is virtually impossible to get so many people to agree about anything else.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
The Center for Marriage Policy has developed the first set of core Marriage Economic Policies and identified the levels of government at which they must be executed to restore the natural institution of marriage to an unfettered state.
Every candidate that does not make Marriage Economic Policy a leading facet of their campaign should step down now because they will be categorically unable set the American Dream free, balance the budget, maintain low tax rates, and build a strong economy.
Since Ann is not running, she gets a second chance to get it right the next time around. We cannot afford granting this luxury to any candidates running in this election cycle.