Sunday, November 07, 2010

Reduce Government Costs By Promoting Marriage

Mike McManus, the moving force behind community marriage covenants, has a fine stump speech for anyone running for office. His argument: "divorce and unwed births are two of the engines driving up the cost of government."

In addition to all the direct costs, there are the many indirect costs that come from worse health, less education, spotty employment, and increased crime rates that we can reliably predict from marriage breakdown and single parenthood.

McManus, who is a pretty conservative guy, has a quite moderate approach to gradually diminishing the welfare benefits of cohabiting poor parents who marry. This seems like a practical and centrist approach to me.


Brendan said...

That's very strange. Am I misinterpreting the platform in question? It seems like reducing welfare payments to married people would be a strong disincentive to marry. Or is the problem that those parents would immediately stop receiving welfare when they married under the current system?

Gruntled said...

Marriage is better for a couple, and much better for their children. This is true financially as well as otherwise. To make up for the short-term loss of welfare that would come with marriage, McManus proposes a five-year wind-down of welfare, to get the couple (the husband, in most cases), up to speed in supporting the family.