Santorum Gets it Right on Failing Family Structure Ruining Economy

Katie Pavlich
Posted: Oct 11, 2011 10:14 PM

Tonight's Washington Post/Bloomberg GOP presidential debate was focused completely on the economy, yet one GOP candidate managed to usher in social issues to the discussion through an economic platform. Rick Santorum pointed out near the end of the debate that economic strength starts with a two parent household, saying poverty rates skyrocket in single parent homes. Santorum is absolutely correct.

The poverty rate for all children in married-couple families is 8.2 percent. By contrast, the poverty rate for all children in single-parent families is four times higher at 35.2 percent.

The number of single-parent families has grown considerably since the onset of the War on Poverty. In 1960, less than 12 percent of children lived in single-parent families. By 2000, that figure had more than doubled, rising to 27.6 percent.

Before the War on poverty began in the mid-1960s, traditional husband-wife families comprised the vast majority of families with children. Indeed, over 88 percent of all children resided in a married-couple family, according to data from the 1960 decennial Census of Population and Housing.[4] By 2000, this demographic statistic had changed significantly: Around 72 percent of all children lived in married-couple families. In four decades, American family structure changed, and more than a tenth of all children shifted from two-parent to single-parent families.
Research shows that children born or raised in single-parent families[5] are more at risk for a wide range of social maladies, including poverty, welfare dependency, academic failure (or sub-par academic achievement), and crime.[6] marriage might be seen as a kind of social inoculant that helps protect children from these social ills.


For over 40 years, liberals have promoted the idea that single parent households, and single parent mothers in particular, should be accepted within society. However, this idea was never about social acceptance and has been promoted in order to make more people dependent on government assistance.  The Left has unfortunately succeeded in their efforts to break down the American family and therefore breaking down our economic system by creating more government dependency among the population over past decades.

Tonight, Santorum said America must get back to promoting a strong family structure in order to get the economy back on track, and he is absolutely correct. Often times you'll hear this argument from moderates and many republicans:

I'm socially liberal but fiscally very conservative.

The problem is, it is impossible to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative at the same time. The promotion and support of socially liberal policies, such as abortion, single-motherhood, single-parenthood, individual irresponsibility, etc. leads to big government dependence. Those voters then support big government policies on behalf of government dependence, which then leads to a larger cost burden on the taxpayer and our economic system. Social issues and the economy go hand-in-hand, and Rick Santorum did an excellent job of drawing the connection between the two in tonight's debate.