This is an outstanding column. I think it should be framed and read every day. We need to ask our Senators and Congressmen/women about these programs and when will they be reduced or deleted. Don
Phony Divide Between Fiscal and Social Issues
by Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum (Visit Site)
Contrary to politicians who want to call a truce about social issues, there
is absolutely no way to separate social and fiscal issues; they are locked
in a tight political embrace. Politicians who say we can ignore social
issues or avoid talking about them, are really saying that they have no plan
to cut federal spending and the growing national debt.
That’s because the social issue of marriage and its importance to our
society has become a tremendous fiscal issue. The problem of marriage
absence is now costing the taxpayers even more than national defense.
We used to have a social structure in the United States where husbands and
fathers provided the financial support for the wife and children. Last year,
41 percent of all babies born in the U.S. (including 53 percent of babies
born to women under 30) were illegitimate, growing up without their own
It is obvious that when the mother of these children has no husband to
support her and her babies, she calls on big brother government. You and I
then pay the bills for what is labeled welfare.
It’s not poverty that causes broken families; it’s the absence of marriage
that causes poverty and puts kids below the designated poverty line. Social
issues cause fiscal expenses.
I grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the American family
— white and black — was not broken. It stayed together to face life’s reversal.
The massive national problem of having babies without marriage started with
Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty in the 1960s. LBJ welfare channeled all the
money and benefits to the woman, thereby making the husband and father
I’m not saying anything new; Charles Murray laid this all out more than 20
years ago. He said, “Illegitimacy is the single most important social
problem of our time … because it drives everything else,” imposing
gigantic costs on the taxpayers.
After Barack Obama became president, he increased federal welfare spending
by a third because, as he told Joe the plumber, he wants to “spread the
wealth around.” This was a conscious political strategy; it promotes
dependence on government and more votes for the Democrats.
Most Americans are unaware that nearly $900 billion a year of federal
taxpayers’ money is handed out to non-taxpayers allegedly below a designated
Americans’ lack of knowledge of the enormity of these handouts is why we
sometimes hear reference to the “hidden” welfare state.
The Heritage Foundation reports that more than 70 types of federal
means-tested handouts, in cash or benefits, are distributed. About half of
Americans (47 percent) pay no income tax and depend for their living
expenses in whole or in part on government handouts paid by the other half
who do pay income taxes.
This federal welfare apparatus includes 12 programs providing food, 10 for
housing assistance, 10 for social services, 9 for educational assistance, 8
programs giving cash, 8 for vocational training, 7 for medical assistance, 3
for energy and utility assistance, and 2 for child care and child
development. Welfare recipients are eligible for a free cellphone with
monthly minutes from the Universal Service Fund that the rest of us pay into.
So we get more illegitimate babies supported by taxpaying Americans every
year. This extraordinary change in our social structure is the primary
reason that government budgets, both federal and state, are so bloated.
The Rasmussen Poll reports that 78 percent of American adults rate marriage
as at least somewhat important to U.S. society, 60 percent consider it very
important, and 77 percent say it’s better for children to grow up in a home
with both their parents. So why are we using tax dollars to discourage
marriage and subsidize illegitimacy?
We should ask our presidential candidates who are worried about extravagant
government spending, unbalanced budgets and repeated raising of the debt
ceiling, how they will stop the flow of money that promotes more and more
dependency on government. Welfare spending is a major cause of our
unbalanced budgets and colossal debt.
This hidden welfare state is the fastest growing component of government
spending. And these figures do not include Social Security or Medicare
Nor do the Heritage Foundation figures count the social and fiscal costs of
the expensive problems that come mostly from female-headed households. These
include drug addition, sex, suicides, school dropouts, runaways and crime.
Welfare spending is a failure; it doesn’t advance us toward any constructive
goal, such as helping recipients to get on their feet economically. It
merely increases dependence on government handouts and increases votes for