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imageAs much as some would like to divorce social issues from our national conversation – moral issues impact economic ones.  In the Bloomberg-Washington Post debate in Hanover, NH the candidates were asked who to address the disparity that now exists with a growing number of Americans who are below the poverty line.  How would they “close the gap.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry answered first and said, in a nutshell, that we need to get rid of the job-killing President that we currently have.  He also said, “Two-and-half million Americans are out there who have lost their jobs. We have got 14 million without work. This president, I will suggest to you, is the biggest deterrent to getting this country back on track, and we have to do everything we can to replace Barack Obama in 2012.”

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum answered next and he said something that a number of candidates should have been echoing, but none did.  Mainly you can’t think that social problems are not a root cause to our economic ills.  Santorum said that he agrees with Perry, but then went on.

…the biggest problem with poverty in America, and we don’t talk about here, because it’s an economic discussion — and that is the break down of the American family.

You want to look at the poverty rate among families that have two — that have a husband and wife working in them? It’s 5 percent today. A family that’s headed by one person? It’s 30 percent today. We need to do something, and we need to talk about economics. The home — the word “home” in Greek is the basis of the word “economy.” It is — it is the foundation of our country. We need to have a policy that supports families, that encourages marriage…

… that has fathers take responsibility for their children. You can’t have limited government — you can’t have a wealthy society if the family breaks down, that basic unit of society. And that needs to be included in this economic discussion.

Spot on.  You can address spending, tax cuts, and policies that will help create a better environment for job creation.  Many times that is just addressing symptoms, but not the root cause – a moral vacuum that feeds into a welfare mentality which leads to thinking people shouldn’t be held accountable for their own actions.  That we need to bail them out (whether at the corporate or individual level).  For instance rewarding single mothers on welfare when they have more children out-of-wedlock.  We have no-fault divorce.  There are numerous instances when government (on the local, state, and federal level) tramples on parental rights and diminishes religious liberty.  Then there is the question of the definition of marriage and how that may impact the health of the institution in the future.

Our second Preisident John Adams, understood that the only way we can truly have limited government is if we have responsible self-government.  He said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

The solution won’t be found in Washington, D.C.  Government won’t transform hearts; It just needs to stop being part of the problem.  One of the primary functions of Government is to restrain evil, but when it encourages it (or ignores it) instead it’s going to impact our pocketbook.  Santorum hit a bulls-eye, and I hope that warning doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

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