Cynthia Davis

We now live in a time where social welfare incentives have engendered unprecedented numbers of unmarried parents, causing record deficits. The inability to address this issue has politically-hobbled every Republican president since Reagan. Our government needs to take responsibility for creating this monster and start on a new path of adopting policies that are good for families.

The “marriage gap” carnage of 2012’s election forces us to confront the reasons for accelerating cultural decline since the days of Reagan. President Reagan had no pro-marriage social policy in his toolbox to counter liberal welfare and no-fault divorce.

In politics, showing up without strong social policy is the equivalent of playing in the Super Bowl with no offensive strategy. Reagan understood conservatism and personal responsibility, but could not find the policy to safeguard the foundation of economic stability— the home.

The “gender-gap” was not significant until Ronald Reagan ran for president. Reagan opposed socialism and welfarism on principle, but won because married voters formed a strong base. Conservatives are now dying off and failing to pass the baton to the next generation.

Since 1976, illegitimacy has grown from 15 to 41 percent. Social welfare expenditures are now the largest line item in the federal budget, weighing in at over $1.1 trillion in 2011. Means-tested welfare spending amounts to $168 per day per welfare household (including administrative costs), awarded specifically for not marrying!

Cohabitational welfare fraud is the new norm. Instead of marrying, parents cohabit so they can file taxes separately with the mother qualifying for extra family income. These financial expenditures are horrible for the taxpayers, and they don’t even attempt to measure the misery index on those who are left with broken shards.

The results are exactly what supply-side economics predicts. Reagan’s “gender gap” vote grew into today’s controlling marriage-gap vote. Those who followed Reagan failed to develop an attractive social policy. This caused the losses of John McCain, Mitt Romney, the failure to win the Senate in 2012, and ushered in Obamacare.


Cynthia Davis

Cynthia Davis is the Executive Director for the Center for Marriage Policy.