Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Social Issues vs. Fiscal Issues
Social Issues vs. Fiscal Issues
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The media are forever trying to create a division in the Republican Party between those who care most about so-called social issues and those who want priority for fiscal issues. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is the most recent politician to fall into this trap by asserting that the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues."
The truth is that social and fiscal issues are locked in a political and financial embrace that cannot be pried apart. Those who emphasize runaway government spending and out-of-control debt and deficits must face the fact that those trillions of dollars are being spent by government on social problems.
Those who care about Big Brother's dictatorial intrusions into our daily lives and privacy must come to grips with how and why Big Brother has vastly increased his regulatory power. Government powers, as well as the money in government's hands, have expanded to deal with social problems.
In order to reduce government's size and power, and restore the limited government sought by fiscal conservatives, they simply must address the social issues. It's the breakdown in our culture that has caused millions of Americans to depend on government for their living expenses and for solutions to their personal problems.
In the not-too-distant past, we had a society where husbands and fathers were the providers for their families. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock babies born last year (41 percent of all births) and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider.
The decline of marriage is not only the biggest social problem America faces today, but it's also government's biggest financial problem.
It is encouraging that some grassroots groups are now searching for remedies to the marriage problem. A 10-point agenda for rebuilding our society based on traditional marriage has just been articulated by two author-activists, David R. Usher of the Center for Marriage Policy and Mike McManus of Marriage Savers.
Their agenda recommends waiting periods both for marriage and for divorce. The agenda includes replacing our current system of unilateral divorce with permitting divorce based on two methods: mutual consent or necessary dissolution for defined and proven reasons.
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.
Start a Revolution on Father's Day
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
What we need when Father’s Day arrives on Sunday is nothing short of a family revolution, led by America’s fathers.
Ours is a broken culture — of fathers and mothers with broken vows, families with broken bonds, and children with broken hearts.
For every 100 babies born in America, 60 are born to a broken family. That is, they are either born out of wedlock, or to a family that will soon suffer divorce. Our teen pregnancy rate is the highest in the Western world. Our little girls are looking and behaving like sex kittens at younger and younger ages. Boys are afraid of marriage, addicted to pornography and have few or no manners. There are about 1.2 million abortions in America every year.
Mothers feel overwhelmed as they seek to "do it all" — earn a paycheck, nurture the children, manage the finances and keep the family together. Much of that is the fault of a radical feminist movement that perverted the battle for equal treatment into a battle for total independence from men. Many men just sat out what became a destructive force, and now all of us — men, women and children — are suffering the painful results as we realize that we really do need each other after all.
Imagine how our culture would be transformed if fathers refused to be bullied by angry feminists and took more of a loving role of responsibility in their own homes. What if husbands started pouring out unconditional and constant love on their wives in the same manner in which Christ pours love out for his people?
Imagine how our culture would be transformed if each dad of a preteen or teenage girl sat down with his daughter, took both of her hands in his, looked at her intently in the eyes and said, "I love you more than the air I breathe. You are a priceless treasure to be valued and respected. I will fight for your honor; I will be here for you," and then consistently taught her the virtues of modesty, chastity and purity.Imagine how young boys and young men would be affected if their dads warned them of the addictive and harmful nature of pornography, admitted to their own battles, and made a vow to their sons to live clean and honorable lives. What if they began modeling for their sons behavior that begins and ends with being a gentleman, and treating women with thoughtfulness and respect — starting with their own wives?
What if dads everywhere started turning off the television and then turning to their children to reclaim lost hours and years? Imagine what would happen if absentee fathers across the nation called the sons and daughters they have abandoned and begged for forgiveness and another chance, and vowed to spend the rest of their lives devoted to them and doing whatever it takes to heal deep wounds? What if they started being the dads they always should have been?
And how quickly would the value of human life increase if dads across the nation started pushing back against a culture that is killing their preborn children? What if fathers claimed their rightful role as the protector of their little sons and daughters, stepped up to the plate and boldly declared their absolute devotion to every child they create? How would the pregnancy and abortion rate and the level of civility and decency in America be affected if men vowed to have sex only with their wives?
So fathers, start a revolution. Be the moral and spiritual leader your family secretly craves. Above all else, strengthen your family by humbling yourself before God and asking for his help and guidance.
Boldly let your buddies know that your family comes first, that you are going to battle for them, and in so doing, you will help create a more civil, thoughtful and moral America.
If you’re already a committed and devoted family father, then raise the bar by spending more time loving your wife, and more time teaching and nurturing your children. Make it a point to find men that are struggling with responsibility and walk along beside them to teach them how to be good fathers, too.
This Father’s Day, help lead the revolution for Americas families — starting with your own.
Posted by Brett at 5:31 PM