Their agenda calls on churches to take the lead in fostering policies that promote and save marriage. This would include encouraging four to six months of marriage preparation so couples will know what they are getting into before they marry, and mentoring couples in troubled marriages.
Usher and McManus recommend effective shared parenting laws after divorce because all social studies show that children need parenting by both mother and father, unless a parent is found unfit.
Usher and McManus urge reforming welfare and child-support policies to remove financial incentives for non-marriage. Present policies of welfare-to-perpetual dependency should be replaced with policies that promote welfare-to-marriage because marriage is one of the best routes out of poverty.
The famous 1965 Moynihan Report on how welfare handouts destroy families by giving financial handouts only to women, thereby making husbands and fathers irrelevant, is now recognized as one of the most prophetic government reports ever written. The many financial incentives written into federal appropriations laws that promote cohabitation rather than marriage must be eliminated.
Even Obamacare contains a marriage penalty by reducing the insurance subsidy when cohabiting couples marry. Financial incentives that penalize marriage are a reason why unmarried cohabiting couples soared from 430,000 in 1960 to 6.8 million in 2008.
The 10 Usher-McManus recommendations include the economic factor by urging us to bring back sustainable manufacturing jobs for working-class Americans. Jobs used to be available to the average middle-class guy that enabled him to support his wife and children in their own home, but millions of those jobs have now gone overseas.
The decline of marriage is the major cause of the growth of the welfare state. This year, we the taxpayers are spending $350 billion to support single moms, and this amount increases every year.
That's only the start of the costs because social problems come out of female-headed households: crime, drugs, sex, teen pregnancies, suicides, runaways and school dropouts.
The left is content to let this problem persist because 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama for president. They vote for the party that offers the richer handouts.
Abortion is another major factor in the social-fiscal controversy. The feminists who demand the right to abortion also demand that the taxpayers pay the costs, and the people who opposed Obamacare discovered that the abortion-funding issue almost enabled defeat of Obama's health control law.
Fiscal and social conservatives need each other. Remedying the culture and restoring a marriage society is the only way to reduce the size and costs of the welfare state.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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