Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The problem with out-of-wedlock pregnancy is a lack of marriage, not a lack of contraceptives

The inimitable Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation argues that the focus on teen pregnancy by liberals is a smokescreen hiding the fact that most out of wedlock pregnancies are among young adult women. It is a result, he says, of the breakdown of marriage and is the driving force behind the welfare state:
The steady growth of childbearing by single women and the general collapse of marriage, especially among the poor, lie at the heart of the mushrooming welfare state. This year, taxpayers will spend over $300 billion providing means-tested welfare aid to single parents. The average single mother receives nearly three dollars in government benefits for each dollar she pays in taxes. These subsidies are funded largely by the heavy taxes paid by higher-income married couples.

America is rapidly becoming a two-caste society, with marriage and education at the dividing line. Children born to married couples with a college education are mostly in the top half of the population; children born to single mothers with high-school degrees or less are mostly in the bottom half.

The disappearance of marriage in low-income communities is the predominant cause of child poverty in the U.S. today. If poor single mothers were married to the fathers of their children, two-thirds of them would not be poor. The absence of a husband and father from the home also is a strong contributing factor to failure in school, crime, drug abuse, emotional disturbance, and a host of other social problems.
In other words, the decline of marriage doesn't really bother liberals. But why?
Despite the transparent linkages among poverty, social problems, and disintegration of the family, the liberal intelligentsia has watched the steady collapse of marriage in low-income communities with silent indifference.

The reason? Most liberal academics regard marriage as an outdated, socially backward institution; they have shed no tears over its demise. Even worse, liberal politicians and anonymous government bureaucrats have a vested interest in the growth of the welfare state, and nothing grows the welfare state like the disappearance of marriage.

Single mothers are inherently in far greater need of government support than married couples, so an increase in single parenthood leads almost inevitably to an increase in government benefits and services and a thriving welfare industry to supply them. Marital collapse creates a burgeoning new clientele dependent on government services and political patrons. When liberals refuse to talk about marriage and the poor in the same breath, they are guilty of willful neglect of the major source of poverty.

For the statist, the collapse of marriage is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s no accident that the modern welfare system rewards single parents and penalizes married couples.

The Left, with the complicity of the liberal media, hypes the issue of “teen pregnancy” -- partly because feminists think girls should attend college for a few years before becoming single mothers, partly in order to strengthen their agenda of promoting condom use and permissive sex ed in the schools. (In reality, condom proselytizing is a bogus answer to actual social problems. Contrary to conventional wisdom, lack of access to birth control isn’t a significant contributor to non-marital pregnancy among teens or non-teens.)

Liberal journalists and pundits deliberately remain silent on the far larger issue of out-of-wedlock childbearing among adults because they believe the collapse of marriage is irrelevant, if not benign. From their perspective, concern about marriage is a mere red-state superstition; the important task is to increase government subsidies as we build a post-marriage society.
Read the whole thing here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Murray State University should stick to education, not social engineering

When the Murray State University Board of Regents adopted a sexual orientation, non-discrimination statement in 2008, I testified against the idea, noting that it would be a stepping stone to domestic partnerships. Now, two years later, Professor Kevin Binfield cited that statement as impetus for change, and on April 6, MSU’s Faculty Senate took the first step by voting to extend health benefits to domestic partners. Is it farfetched to now make the case that widespread sanctioning of domestic partners will eventually open the door to gay marriage?

Professor Binfield, a philosopher himself, defines domestic partners as “people who have entered into long-term committed relationships comparable in duration and commitment to marriage.” But he and others in the marriage deconstruction movement fail to consider the long-term implications of domestic partnerships. In fact, they’ve neglected to answer several important questions . . .

Why use traditional marriage as a reference point for domestic partnerships? Why limit partnerships to two people? Why have a minimum age requirement? And why shouldn’t relatives qualify as domestic partners? The answers, of course, are elusive because when the core definition of marriage as one man and one woman is dismantled, then lesser requirements will tumble shortly thereafter.

It’s one thing to get a definition wrong in an academic setting. It’s quite another to impose a wrong definition on all of society and expect taxpayers to pick up the tab. University of Kentucky’s "Domestic Partner Benefits Committee” estimated in 2007 that extending the marriage-like benefits to domestic partners will cost UK an additional $633,000 per year.

Dr. Randy Dunn told The News (MSU’s student newspaper) that this is a recruiting issue. If that’s the case, why not just increase the salaries of prospective hires? Why the need for dramatic social engineering?

With such a bold proposal coming from Murray State’s elected academia, one would expect a more thorough analysis of the costs involved, not just economic costs (which is a real issue as state universities are facing 1-1.5 percent budget cuts over the next two years), but the price our culture will pay when bedrock relationships are manipulated by political interest groups.

In a day when marriage is struggling and four out of every 10 children in America are born out of wedlock, the last thing the traditional family needs is another hit. Giving marriage-like benefits to unmarried, sexual partners does just that. It sends the message that marriage is just another type of sexual relationship. It puts heterosexual marriage and non-marital, sexual relationships on the same plane, which clearly they're not. And it’s an incentive to sexual relationships outside of marriage –something the state and federal government have been discouraging for years.

When domestic partnerships are legitimized, marriage becomes marginalized. Fewer people are likely to marry so long as they’re treated like they’re married. In fact, the University of Louisville – Kentucky’s first public university to adopt domestic partnerships in 2006 – required a relationship of only 180 days in order to get the benefits. But do we really need more short-term relationships? Shouldn’t governing authorities promote stronger, more durable marriages and life-long commitments?

Most would agree that society needs healthier families with both fathers and mothers devoted to raising their children. Mere partnerships between adults don’t accomplish this. Marriage – not “marriage-lite” – is the relationship that deserves exclusive support from our university leaders. To do anything less is cheating our children in the long run.

Murray State Board of Regents is facing its biggest cultural test this year. Hopefully, they’ll choose to shore up the relationship which is foundational to society. If they don’t, marriage may become just another subject studied in history class.

Family group assails college tuition increases, calls on lawmakers to take action

LEXINGTON, KY--A state family advocacy group called the decision by the Council for Postsecondary Education to allow state universities to raise tuition by as much as 6 percent a slap in the face to Kentucky families struggling to afford to send their children to college.

The group is requesting that Gov. Steve Beshear place the issue on his call for a special legislative session and asking state lawmakers to place a moratorium on tuition increases at state colleges and universities.

"Instead of taking measures to control their costs, state universities want to continue on their spending spree on new building construction and expansion of non-teaching staff," said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with The Family Foundation, "and they are asking Kentucky families to foot the bill."

Cothran said that college costs are already out of reach for average Kentuckians and that the Council's decision will only make the problem worse. He pointed to a study commissioned by his group that showed that costs for a college education were rising faster than health care costs and that the problem lay with the universities themselves who refuse to control their own costs.

"Our college presidents are blaming everyone but themselves for the problem of rising costs. They need to take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves whether they really need to be building more expensive buildings at a time when taxpayers have to tighten their belts."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hopkinsville Tea Party speech

Thank you all for coming out today. What a great turnout. You know, the big three TV networks have disparaged and maligned this movement as fringe and disruptive, but I say that there is nothing more American than to assemble and protest government abuse and fiscal irresponsibility. And that is what the tea party movement is about. Today, April 15, the tax man cometh. But the tax man needs to remember and those who sent the tax man need to remember that in seven months the voters will have their say. Today each of you are sending the message to our leaders at all levels of govt. that we are taxed enough already and we expect fiscal responsibility. And if you don’t hear our voices now, you will hear from us at the ballot box in Nov!

It was in 1773 when Mass. colonists gathered on a wharf in Boston and protested against England’s heavy hand. The cry was “no taxation without representation.” Today we have plenty of taxation and with our leaders in Congress, we have to but wonder who exactly are they representing? It seems the average Washington politician is more concerned about debt-inducing stimulus packages and bailing out big multi-national corporations, than about tending to the business of preserving liberty and freedom of average citizens back in their districts

Consider that we have 12.8 trillion dollar in national debt, Medicaid is projected to go bankrupt in 7 years. In 2017, Social security will start paying out more than it takes in. Friends, our financial train is on a collision course with economic disaster and the political engineers who are conducting it need to be told to switch tracks or move out of the way for somebody more responsible to take the wheel to avert this head on collision ...... This is a disaster that our children and grandchildren will inherit and have to clean up.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Today’s biggest swindle isn’t happening by common thieves, but by too many politicians who get into public office by promising to deliver benefits and contracts to special interests and charging it to generations not yet born. This is like Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme cloaked in respectability. Madoff went to jail last year, but too many Congressmen who like to spend other people’s money will ask to be re-elected this year.

Leadership in our commonwealth isn’t much better. The KY retirement system has some $30 billion in future obligations that is not paid for. An audit of the KY League of Cities and KY Association of Counties has found gross mismanagement of millions of taxpayer dollars and When the KY House had a chance to pass the Taxpayer Transparency Act which requires the posting of public agency budgets online, they killed the bill

Currently, we have a $780 million deficit and the House proposal was to issue an additional $2 billion in bond initiatives for roads, water projects and schools. The speaker called it a jobs bill... Let's call it what it really is: election year fodder and fiscal irresponsibility.

Earlier this year, the governor proposed to expand gambling to make up the budget deficit. What I’d like to know is that if individuals shouldn’t depend on gambling for their income, then why should the government depend on gambling revenue for its income? It is foolhardy to believe we can gamble our way out of this recession and into prosperity. Just as it is wrong for the government to profit off the losses of its people--people they are charged with protecting.

Re: unemployment, in Dec 2007, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.7 % now stands at 10.7% -- 1.2% above national average, and while the unemployment rate increases state government-sector jobs increased by 2,300 since Feb. 2009. So we have fewer people working and less tax revenue going to support more government workers. As Dr. Phil would ask, "how's that workin for ya?" By the way: with the health care bill passed by Congress last month, will require the hiring of an estimated 16,500 IRS agents.

One of the problems with current politics is that politicians justify their existence by bringing back goods: more projects, more programs etc. And so our government grows deeper in debt. One of the headlines of the Kentucky New Era the other week was of Gov. Beshear visiting Guthrie with a $600,000 check to restore a historic home. The governor will point to this and say “look what we built, look what we did for your community, look at this new renovated building.” There is nothing wrong with preserving a historic house, but should we expect the state government to do this? And this scenario is repeated all across KY.

The system is broken is because there are built-in constituencies that will vote benefits over what is good for the commonwealth and our children’s future. And we have politicians who are willing to deliver the goods in exchange for political power. According to the Bluegrass Institute:

--24.7 percent of Kentucky’s adults collect disability checks

--768,876 Ky’s depended on SS check in 2005

--add in other welfare programs and its clear that a large number of the electorate is dependent on a government check and this is unsustainable.

A quote attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Tytler explains where we are today: “A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies...”

Of course. many argue that social programs are necessary to be compassionate, but is that what government is about? Our first pres. George Washington said. Government is not reason, it is not eloquence--it is force! Like fire a dangerous servant and fearful master.” True compassion allows people to care for other people. (Alpha Alternative Pregnancy Care Center, Salvation Army, St. Luke’s free clinic, etc).

One of the biggest outrages this past GA session was when a Paducah State Rep. voted against the House budget bill on principle because of the amount of new debt and tax increases and in retribution, the Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo punished this person by stripping out necessary funds for a dilapidated school that needed fixing. There’s a term for this: political extortion. Our children shouldn’t be the casualty of somebody's political power trip. Kentuckians deserve to have their business conducted by their elected officials in a professional manner, not with threats and bribes.

I believe that this movement--that you are here because you desire to preserve liberty and freedom and give our children a better future--a future where they aren’t shackled down by the unconscionable debt incurred by our leaders today.

You understand that America is great not because of government involvement in our daily lives, but America is great because of the people who are free to pursue their God-given talents and use their abilities as they see fit.

Let’s agree together today, to not just let this rally be an emotional outlet for our frustration, but lets resign ourselves to find and work for candidates who are committed to preserving faith, family and freedom--candidates who believe in limited government and fiscal responsibility--candidates who will govern with the next generation in mind instead of just the next election. Candidates who we can trust in Frankfort and Washington to do what is right.

You know, the professional politicians may not be listening right now. and the media may not cover this event very well today, but come Nov. lets let our voices be heard at the ballot box so its a story they cannot miss. I believe that together we can make a difference. Thank you and God bless.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Western Kentucky University funds domestic partners

Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, Western Kentucky University will become the fourth Kentucky public university to extend domestic partner benefits to its employees. Ironically, while the commonwealth's current budget proposal cuts post-secondary education spending, WKU will increase its financial obligations by increasing its insurance pool to unrelated people who live together. Can anyone guess who's going to pay for it? To read more go to: