Should we penalize marriage? 1


By Tom Quiner

Society has a vested interest in marriage.

The institution was established thousands of years ago as society’s way to protect wives and their children.  To this very day, we see measurable benefits to traditional marriage:

Marriage reduces poverty.  The poverty rated for single mothers with children is five times higher than married women.

The poverty rate for single fathers is two-and-a-half times higher than married men.

Two-thirds of all poor children live in single parent households.

Marriage is the engine for a healthy society.  Government policy should reward marriage, not punish it. Unfortunately, a new study on President Obama’s economic policies reveal that marriage will be penalized more than ever.  The study can be found at Concerned Women for America.  The name of their report is “Obamanomics: A Summary of the Analyses and Commentary Related to the Financial Impact of ObamaCare on Women and Families.”

According to the report, President Obama’s policies will expand the “marriage penalty.”  Here are the highlights:

  • Married couples could be paying as much as $10,000 more for being married.
  • It will encourage cohabitation and divorce because of increased insurance premiums and fees for being married.
  • It will discourage married women from working because of higher tax rates.
  • Young married couples and empty nesters will be hit especially hard.
  • Financial effects are perpetual and, thus, cumulative.
  • ObamaCare increases the magnitude of the disincentives for marriage.
  • By encouraging single parenting, the bill will increase poverty.
  • It rewards the 70 percent of unmarried women who voted for President Obama in 2008.
  • The majority of taxpayer-stimulus jobs went to women, even though men suffered the majority of job losses during the current recession — costing taxpayers trillions of dollars per year.
  • Current welfare programs cost almost $1 trillion per year (twice as much as national defense, and nearly the size of the federal deficit).
  • ObamaCare is projected to add another $2.5 trillion to the cost of welfare programs.

How do we reduce poverty?  Through traditional marriage.  How can we expand poverty?  By penalizing traditional marriage.  President Obama’s policies pursue the second path according to Concerned Women for America.

Democrats take cynicism to new heights 3


By Tom Quiner

Governor Chet Culver should be ashamed.

A group called “Iowans for Responsible Government” have been running attack ads against Republican candidate for Governor, Terry Branstad.  They smear Mr. Branstad as being too liberal, that he would make Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama proud.

The goal of the ads was to tip last months Republican primary to Bob Vanderplaats.  The ads failed.

So who is this group that spent $760,000 in anti-Branstad ads?  Was it some right-wing group?  No, it turns out it was the Democratic Governor’s Association, Governor Culver’s biggest campaign donor.

Rather than use the three-quarters of a million dollars to promote a positive message and bolster Culver’s sagging reputation, they instead tried to equate Branstad’s record with the fiscally disastrous record of Mr. Culver and his national liberal soul mates.  In other words, they said Branstad was bad because he was too much like … a Democrat!

Knowing who ran the ads, does it seem deceptive?  Of course.

Does it seem hypocritical?  Of course.

Does it seem cowardly?  Absolutely.

I don’t view the Republican party as being particularly saintly, either.  However, Governor Culver’s allies have ratcheted up cynicism to new heights at a time when we voters desperately are looking for straight shooters who can balance a checkbook.

Governor Culver flunks on both counts.  I’m disappointed in him.  I say that not because of political differences. Republicans and Democrats can have legitimate and honorable differences of opinion when it comes to government policy.

But this whole affair is sleazy.

It’s dishonest.

It dishonors the Governor’s office.

Iowans deserve better.

Ask not what your country can do for you 1


By Tom Quiner

President John Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address is considered to be a classic speech.  In it, he invoked his famous line, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

In his presidency, Mr. Kennedy cut taxes.

In his presidency, Mr. Kennedy used NASA to put a man on the moon.

In his presidency, Mr. Kennedy faced down evil during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

How times change.

President Obama believes Americans are under-taxed.

President Obama believes that NASA is an instrument of social justice to improve relations with Muslims.

President Obama bows to our enemies.

Most of all, President Obama rejects Kennedy’s philosophy of “ask not what your country can do for you …” Our current President even thinks government (taxpayers) should pay for your abortions.

If John Kennedy were alive today, would he still be a Democrat?

Should we discriminate on the basis of religious orientation? 1


By Tom Quiner

The answer is yes if you’re the University of Illinois.

They fired Kenneth Howell who teaches Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought.  His sin?  He expressed Catholic thought on the subject of homosexuality.  Here is his fire-able quote:

Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY.  In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same.

A student labeled the professor’s response as “hate speech” and the professor was, of course, fired.  Here is what the offended student said:

Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing.  That homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one’s worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.

It appears, though, that the student is perfectly fine with ostracizing someone of a different religious orientation.

It appears that it is fine to discourage independent thought if it is Catholic thought.

It appears that firing a Catholic professor for expressing his views contributes to the public discourse.

This is an example of political correctness run amuck.

Professor Howell evidently never brow-beat students to believe his way:

My responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches.  I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never required to believe what I’m teaching and they’ll never be judged on that.

Imagine for a moment that the unemployed professor had instead said that he believed the Catholic Church’s position is wrong.  Had he only done that, he would:

• Be revered by academia.

• Be employed.

In the gay marriage debate that rages, supporters ask how can anyone be hurt if people who love each other are allowed to marry, even if they are the same gender?  After all, it’s a simple matter of equal rights. Right?

A few quick reactions:

• There never was any discrimination in our marriage laws.  After all, the laws were consistent regardless of one’s sexual orientation.  Someone with same-sex orientation was free to marry someone of the opposite gender, just as someone with opposite-sex orientation was prevented from marrying someone of the same gender.  Marriage was simply a matter of definition, a definition molded over several millennia based on a premise of protecting children and mothers.  Gay marriage advocates want to base marriage on the “relationship” instead of the children.

• There are going to be thousands and thousand of victims in the battle to normalize gay unions.  Professor Howell is an obvious example.  Interestingly, the mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News and the Huffington Post, have been conspicuously uninterested in this story of anti-Catholic bigotry.  But it won’t be the last example of people losing their jobs at the altar of political correctness.  Imagine Christian school teachers in states where gay marriage is the law of the land, who dare to state to students that in their eyes, marriage is only between a man and a woman.  Their state says otherwise.  Marriage is in the eyes of the state.  Your job may depend on publicly denying your Christian faith that states marriage is between a man and a woman.

Those who lose their job as a result of the redefinition of marriage certainly won’t feel that there are no victims to this act of social re-engineering.

Even gay icon, Elton John, doesn’t feel there’s a need for gay marriage:

Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.  I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.

I am no different than you.  I know people I very much care about who have same-sex leanings.  Some of them agree with Elton John that gay marriage isn’t needed, and some very much do believe in gay marriage.

If you disagree on gay marriage, that certainly doesn’t make you a homophobe.

Nonetheless, be aware that you may be putting your job in jeopardy.

***

The YouTube video above is an interesting discussion on the subject of gay marriage between Larry King, Dennis Prager, and Perez Hilton.

Why voters are cynical 1


By Tom Quiner

Voters hate to be manipulated.

The faux commercial above is funny because it smacks of some truth.  Take the current budget debate. Nine days ago, the Congressional Budget Office made a dire prediction:  America is going to experience long term red ink like we haven’t seen since World War II.  We have a growing crisis.  So what is our leadership in Congress doing about it?

Nothing.  They refuse to pass a budget.  Rather than presenting the usual five year fiscal blueprint, the House passed a non-binding one year budget “resolution.”

Even Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, David Broder, who is no conservative, is stunned by the depth of the Democrats’ chutzpa.  He describe it this way:

For all the publicity that goes to earmarks and other spending gimmicks, this was a far worst dereliction of duty. And the cynicism of the maneuver just made it worse.

Speaker Pelosi, no stranger to chutzpa, said Democrat’s dereliction of duty was “another step in restoring fiscal responsiblity.”

Do you remember how these same people railed (with justification) against President’s Bush’s profligacy?  Now they are not only spending us into an abyss from which we may never extricate ourselves, they are refusing to step up to the plate and present a responsible budget.

Republican Paul Ryan is one politician who has stepped up to the plate and presented a responsible budget proposal (ignored by Democrats).  Here is what he said of Democrats’ budget resolution:

“This is not a budget. The measure fails to meet the most basic, commonly understood objectives of any budget. It does not set congressional priorities; it does not align overall spending, tax, deficit and debt levels; and it does nothing to address the runaway spending of federal entitlement programs.”

Honest differences of opinions exist between the two parties on various issues. Nothing wrong with that. That’s politics.  That’s America.  But Democrat’s refusal to present a budget isn’t honorable.  It’s called political cowardice.  And it breeds nothing but cynicism.