We haven’t heard much lately about the “marriage penalty” in ObamaCare. That’s the provision designed to placate and cement the support of the 70 percent of unmarried women who voted for President Obama in the 2008 election. In 2012, not only were women not only the majority of voters, but they composed one third of the electorate voting for President Obama, creating a gender gap of 10 points. No wonder CNN called 2012 the “Year of the Woman.”
Remember when commentators argued that ObamaCare would “destroy marriage for the middle class the same way that the Great Society welfare state destroyed the black family with financial incentives for staying single”? Now there is a growing understanding that – as much as anything else – ObamaCare is aimed at subsidizing a life of singleness among women, particularly unmarried mothers. Little wonder many pro-marriage activists view the bill as “a direct attack on marriage.” The Heritage Foundation reports that the annual “penalty” for being married could go as high as $10,000, and, cumulatively, a married couple “could face a penalty of over $200,000 during the course of their marriage.” The bill would “hit young married couples hard” and “bite back at empty-nesters” by creating “enormous pressure for couples to live together without marriage – or even get divorced – by charging married couples thousands of dollars more in premiums and fees.”
In time, one would think that even the liberal media will be forced to recognize that progressive politicians – in their vote-buying spree – have added another huge layer to the bloated welfare state and forced the staggering married middle class to carry the load.
Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, pointed out in January 2014 that spending by federal and state governments on all means-tested welfare programs to provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans is “five times the amount needed to eliminate all official poverty in the U.S.” He added that President Lyndon Baines Johnson promised that his “War on Poverty” would be an “investment” that would “return its cost manifold.” We now “spend $9,000 per recipient a year,” yet the root causes of poverty have not shrunk, but have in fact “expanded as family structure disintegrated and labor-force participation among men dropped.”