It may surprise you to know that the Congressional Budget Office, the agency charged with informing Congress about the cost implications of bills it passes, in the weeks just running up to the historic vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex ?marriage,? issued a report titled ?The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages.? My immediate reaction was that there are a whole lot better ways to spend federal tax money than studying the budgetary impact of same-sex ?marriages.?
But wait. There?s more. The report found that recognizing same-sex ?marriages? would have a positive effect on the budget. Now if you?re not getting a little hot under the collar at this point, you must have a very different genetic makeup than I do.
To come to this conclusion the report measured tax revenues that would be collected from same-sex ?married? couples and health benefits that would be paid to them. On the positive side, the report discovered that there would be an increase in tax revenues ironically due to the infamous marriage penalty. That?s a laugh. For years we have been saying get rid of that entirely, and to his everlasting credit, George Bush largely did so in his tax bill. Now a government agency acknowledges the penalty and says that gay ?marriage? will increase taxes because of an injustice in the tax code.
In calculating health benefits and social security services, the report found that same-sex couples, because each one would be male or each one female, would have similar life expectancies, not the discrepancy that exists between men and women. This translates into less social security survivor benefits. And it found that more people would be leaving Medicaid because of their combined assets.
Particularly striking is that the report left out the fact that homosexuals have a higher disease rate than heterosexuals. That?s not gay bashing. It?s a fact, demonstrated in study after study. Health-care expenses would rise for same-sex spouses. But wait a minute?wouldn?t marriage put an end to the risk-taking behavior that increases homosexuals? disease rates? Not necessarily. For a majority of homosexuals in long-term relationships, outside sexual relationships are the norms. One recent survey showed that only 25 percent of homosexuals in a committed relationship for more than a year had been monogamous. In another well known study, only seven of 156 male couples reported being completely monogamous.
Since it?s clear that a so-called ?committed relationship? is hardly a guarantee of risk-free behavior, the Congressional Budget Office made a major error by not taking homosexuals? higher disease rates into account.
But this debate is not about money. How do you put a dollar sign on the most fundamental moral questions a society must ask?
All this report proves to me is that there is no end to government?s creativity when it comes to finding ways to waste our tax money. I hope the congressional leadership will take a hard look at the budget of this office.
And if they?re going to intrude in areas they don?t belong in, the least they can do is get their facts straight. At this point, I?m more interested in the actual cost of running the Congressional Budget Office than I am the potential budgetary impact of recognizing same-sex ?marriages.?
For further reading and information:
Congressional Budget Office, ? The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage ,? report to Rep. Steve Chabot,
Timothy J. Dailey, Ph.D., ? Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples ,? Insight, Family Research Council, 2004.
Deborah Caldwell, ? The Gay Marriage Ban: Where?s the Groundswell? ? Beliefnet, 13 July 2004.
Alan Cooperman, ? Christian Groups Say They Won?t Give Up ,? Washington Post, 15 July 2004, A04.
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