Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tax Everyone for the Foibles of the Few

Today's thoughts are about Colorado public policy "101"...

Every year, there are a few bad ideas which gain traction at our state legislature. One of the hot ones this year is the marriage tax proposal.

Democratic senator Jon Morse from Colorado Springs has proposed a $25 surcharge on Colorado marriage licenses (current fee is $10) to fund the court appointed child advocate program, known as CASA.

While we believe in the mission of CASA and its advocacy in child abuse cases, taxing couples who are getting a license to marry is bad policy. Colorado lawmakers should be doing whatever it takes to encourage couples to marry, not pass laws that de-incentivize marriage. Colorado already has one of the lowest marriage rates in the nation.

There are other ways to fund CASA. Taxing everyone for the foibles of a few is wrong-headed.

For more information on SB 47, visit this link.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Divorce is Costly

Divorce is costing American taxpayers a ton of money. The old saying that one never ever solves their problems but only trades them in for new ones, certainly applies here.

Here's the link to a new national study tracking the cost of divorce and family fragmentation to our nation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Evidence That Kids Need Marriage

These articles reinforce what we all knew already.

This was sent to us and its good. It's a timely reminder that marriage was intentionally created by God to bless adults and children. Our culture has lost that grip...

Marriage Matters to Children
April 10, 2008 on 12:00 am In Marriage, Children
The Claremont Institute ( recently published two book reviews having to do with the significance of marriage to the well-being of children, and the cohesiveness of society in general. The books reviewed are: “Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age,” by Kay S. Hymowitz, and “The Future of Marriage,” by David Blankenhorn.
These are two fascinating and informational books that you ought to read. The reviewer, F. Carolyn Graglia, writes: “Over the past four decades, American adults have seemed more concerned with enjoying their own existence than with the generation and welfare of children.” And in her book, Hymowitz writes: “Children of single mothers are less successful on just about every measure than children growing up with their married parents regardless of their income, race, or educational levels: they are more prone to drug and alcohol abuse, to crime, and to school failure; they are less likely to graduate from college; they are more likelyl to have children at a young age, and more likely to do so when they are unmarried. Soaring divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births (37% of U. S. births are illegitimate) have made ours a nation of separate and unequal families.”
The propensity to divorce is apparently correlated with two-income families. Hymowitz notes that the “traditional families, with breadwinner husband and stay-at-home wife had the lowest rate of divorce.” Women employed 80% of the time since the birth of their first child are twice as likely to be divorced as stay-at-home moms.
Today, more than 40% of all first marriages end in divorce (the rates for second and third marriages are higher), and more than half of all U.S. children will spend “at least a significant part of their childhood living apart from their father.”
Shacking up, having babies out of wedlock as an entitlement for working women who don’t have the time or inclination to create a marriage, having babies out of wedlock because of irresponsible sexual behavior (and not considering adoption to a two-parent mom and dad)…all of these now-normalized behaviors reek of narcissism and indicate that we worry less about children and more about adults being unfettered by morality, good sense, or compassion to the needs of children.
Strong Marriages = Strong Communities
April 9, 2008 on 12:00 am In Marriage
Pastor Alexander Hardy, Jr. of the New Dimension Worship Center in Frederick, Maryland banded together with 16 other churches to present Families United ‘08 two weekends ago. This was a three-day conference for children and adults, including workshops and fun and games. Sunday was even declared Marriage Day in Frederick, by way of a proclamation from the mayor and aldermen.
The point of this effort was to send a message of hope and perseverance to younger adults. The religious aspect was not incidental: one participant said that building a relationship with God has made all the difference in building relationships with his wife and children: “When we got married, we didn’t know God. God has taught us to be humble; taught us we don’t always have to be right or have it our way.”
All together, about 350 people attended this event, with six couples renewing their vows in front of their children and community. Inspiring!

Friday, April 04, 2008

New Survey Supports Evangelical Marriages

George Barna (noted Christian researcher) just released his latest work on the state of marriage in the U.S.

The good news is that people of faith, particularly evangelical Christians, have a high rate of marriage and remain married too.

The bad news is that our culture continues to twist away from traditional life long marriage. Young people, who were surveyed, reported that while they would like a life long marriage, they were pessimistic that that goal could be realistically achieved. In fact, most expected to be married several times during their life.

For more info, click here for the report.