If Republicans are really seeking to drain the Washington so-called “swamp”—with immediate, tangible benefits for Americans’ prosperity and freedom—they could do no better than to begin with social policy.
Long neglected the vast welfare machinery not only furnishes the greatest reservoir of superfluous functionaries, but it is also among the most destructive sectors of government power and reining it in will reduce poverty, restore families, limit immigration, undercut the Democrats’ political machine, save enormous sums of money, and more.
Social policy has long been neglected, and this has had serious consequences.
Yet no solution was ever implemented. President Bill Clinton stole their thunder with perfunctory reforms that actually worsened the problem, and the little good achieved was reversed by President Barack Obama.
Welfare Entrenching PovertyWelfare effectively increases the poverty it claims to ameliorate. We are not a poor society, after all.
The “poor” in Western societies are not starving children with distended bellies. They are the offspring of single mothers and evicted fathers.
The poor are the victims not of a stingy society but of a bureaucratic and sexually indulgent one.
Not only is the welfare state itself hugely expensive, but its gargantuan expenditures are also actually minor compared to the multiplier effect of spending on the social problems it creates. Virtually every social pathology is directly attributable to the fatherless homes created by welfare: crime, substance abuse, truancy, prostitution, and poverty itself.
Social Policy Does Not Equate to RacismWelfare is thus the government’s self-expanding engine for creating social problems for itself to solve. By devastating marriage and family structure, it is money spent to turn children into criminals, addicts, drop-outs, prostitutes, rioters, and even terrorists—precisely the problems that rationalize more government programs, government spending, and government power.
There are some who argue that welfare benefits are also a magnet for immigration. They attract single parents and create more upon arrival. However, this too can be mitigated by implementing immigration measures that place emphasis on targeting immigrants in two-parent families, who are generally productive contributors to society.
Immigration policies that welcome two-parent families, coupled with social policies that ensure that they remain married and solvent, provide a constructive alternative to reliance on law enforcement alone.
Supporting Marriage May be the Cornerstone of Welfare ReformStandard reforms devised in the last century will not work now. They tried to move individuals “from welfare to work.” The real task is to move families from welfare to marriage. Married two-parent families are the only real alternative to welfare dependency and the sine qua non of prosperity and freedom.
- Tax incentives for marriage have limited value, but they are a start.
- Time limits on welfare benefits, so they taper off and encourage marriage.
- Replace “no-fault” divorce with mutual consent, shared parenting, and protections for parental rights so that no child can be made fatherless or parentless without due-process protections.
- Reform child support to benefit truly abandoned children and not serve as substitute welfare that discourages marriage and continues subsidizing fatherlessness (pdf).
- Education benefits attached to marriage, with policies ensuring that schools and universities are citadels of learning rather than seminaries of leftist indoctrination, plus orgiastic drug and alcohol abuse.