Janice Shaw Crouse

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation predicts that the disparity could be even higher. In his analysis of the Senate bill, “saying ‘I do’ would cost some couples over $10,000 a year.” Rector also said that empty-nesters “would pay an effective tax of $5,000 to $10,000 per year for the right to remain married,” the report continued. “For example, a 60-year-old couple, each earning $30,000 per year, would receive $10,425 per year less in benefits if they marry or remain married. Simply by divorcing and then living together, the couple can boost their post-tax, take-home income by nearly one-fourth.” Rector’s report warned, “The bill’s wedding tax is perpetual. ... Some couples who remained married throughout their adult lives would face cumulative penalties of over $200,000 during the course of their marriage.”

The disparity is intentional and it means that U.S. government policy will encourage singleness and create increased disincentives for marriage. Single individuals will have an advantage with the earned income tax credit as well as welfare benefits, including food stamps. As the Democrats explained: “making the subsidies neutral towards marriage would lead to a married couple with only one bread-winner getting a more generous subsidy than a single parent at the same income-level.”

Stacy Dickert-Conlin, an economics professor at Michigan State University, explained, “You might like to have [the Health Care Reform Bill] be progressive, equitable and marriage-neutral. But you have to decide what your goals are, because you can’t accomplish all three.” Those who designed ObamaCare were willing to sacrifice marriage for the sake of seeming to be “progressive and equitable,” even though social science research reveals a clear link between single motherhood and poverty.

Today, poor children living in single-parent households comprise almost two-thirds of all poor children (63 percent). That figure stands in stark contrast to the time before liberal social welfare policies went into effect in 1960, when only 25 percent of all poor children lived in single-parent households.

The message is painfully undeniable and unequivocal. There is no way to address poverty in America without addressing the problem of single mothers and absent fathers. Yet, the Health Care Reform Bill that was just rammed through by the Obama Administration does exactly the opposite: ObamaCare ramps up the subsidies promoting single motherhood and discouraging marriage. These subsidies are just one more of the numerous financial incentives in current government policy that increasingly encourage individuals to reject marriage — the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), housing subsidies, food stamps, child support payments, and the welfare dependency programs that created and sustained the inner city matriarchal culture.

The domestic and social policies of the Democratic Party are typically shaped by feminist input. White House logs under the Obama Administration indicate that representatives of Planned Parenthood are among the most frequent visitors. ObamaCare continues the paybacks to the radical feminists. Early in his administration, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, allowing women to sue employers for workplace discrimination, even years after widespread workplace discrimination. Later, the President gave the majority of taxpayer-paid stimulus jobs to women even though men suffered the majority of job losses during the current recession.

These perks are costing American taxpayers trillions of dollars a year. Current welfare programs total close to $1 trillion a year (twice as much as national defense and nearly the size of the federal deficit); ObamaCare is projected to add another $2.5 trillion after all its provisions take effect. There’s no end in sight to the increasing costs of these entitlements.

Democratic staffers supposedly told reporters that they “had to decide what their goals were” with Health Care Reform legislation. They should learn from history: more than forty years of failed policies have shown that when the wrong solution is applied to a bad situation, increases in funding simply magnify the problem.

Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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