By Tom Quiner

Rick Santorum scored a major point last night.

It took place in last night’s Washington Post/Bloomberg GOP debate. Mr. Santorum didn’t get a lot of opportunity to talk. But when he did, he delivered.

He pointed out that the poverty rate is dramatically less for children living in a two-parent household verses a single parent household.

In other words, marriage is the key to reducing poverty.

Government should bend over backwards to promote traditional marriage as the #1 weapon to fight poverty.

The poverty rate for kids growing up with a Mom and Dad who are married is just 8.2 percent. But it is a staggering 35.2 percent when they’re raised in a single parent household.

How do you increase poverty by 430 percent? Raise your kids with one parent.

The number of single parent households began to rise with the implementation of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Well-intentioned programs were established that subsidized (rewarded) illegitimacy. When you subsidize something, you get more or it. That’s human nature.

The chart above shows how the proportion of children raised in single family homes has skyrocketed over the past fifty years. Lyndon Johnson’s “war on poverty” created more poverty. The kids raised in single parent households experience dramatically higher rates of social pathology, including poverty, welfare dependency, academic failure, and crime.

Here’s the challenge to Rick Santorum and other GOP candidates: arguably, government programs increased illegitimacy; what kind of programs can reverse the trend?

 

1 Comment

  1. Kurt Johnson on October 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Tom,

    You make an excellent point. Our government should do everything it can to encourage marriage as the answer to the problem of poverty among single parent families.

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