By Dr. Kevin McNamee September 10, 2019
It finally became clear how couples are gaming the welfare system to enrich themselves at American tax payer expense while destroying the institution that lead to our national success.
I was confused when a woman tells me that her daughter is not marrying the father of their child but they are living together. The woman is delighted at the prospect of being a grandmother but is not sure why they do not want to marry. Her daughter said, “It is better not to be married.” I did not understand but listened.
I listened to a contractor tell me how he asks one of his long-time, “green card” employees from Mexico when he will become a US citizen. The employee says, “Why should he? It is better for him to not become a US citizen.” Again, I did not understand but listened.
The contractor said the employee and “wife” are unmarried and have four children. Three children are attending California State University Northridge. While attending college, each child receives a living subsidy ($3,000 annually) and pay no tuition, fees, etc. ($9,000 annually).(1) For the three children attending college, his savings for being unmarried with three children from Mexico attending a California State University, $36,000 annually or $144,000 after four years.
I was told of a man and woman living in Palmdale, California who are not married but live in the same house raising their children. She is a school teacher. He is employed as an electrician. They say, “It is better not to be married.” Again, I did not understand but listened.
Because the welfare system does not know the two live together, she qualifies for federal housing and food assistance. If they married, the welfare assistance would stop so they continue to live together in the same home, raising their children, functioning like a family but remain unmarried. By all outward appearances, they function as husband and wife raising a family.
Contrast these unmarried, family-living arrangements, to the story of a traditional life journey.
Another woman tells me that she and her husband have been married for four years and have a three year old child. She tells of how they have been living with her husband’s parents so they can save for a down payment to buy a house and make it their home.
After four years living with the in-laws, they decided to move out, rent a house and begin an independent life together. She described her frustration that she is paid well at her job and her husband’s company is finally making a profit and growing with the economy but between the two incomes making “good money” there is nothing left for a down payment after paying rent, taxes and expenses.
She then tells of two friends who have a child of the same age, but both women are not married to their respective “fathers of the children.” Both couples decided not to marry but live together while raising their respective child. Because the women are unmarried, they receive federal housing, food and healthcare assistance. If the women were married, those federal welfare subsidies would be stopped.
The woman and her husband, starting their life married and raising a family, are doing it the traditional way. She was angry that being married is penalizing them while her friends are rewarded by not marring. Her friends receive federal tax payer welfare subsidies and gaming the system to their financial benefit. She said “And I am a millennial, but this is not fair.” I said to her, “You sound like a Republican.”
I listened and began to understand.
Today’s youth have figured out that it is financially better to live together unmarried, in the same house, raising the family, receiving federal assistance, instead of being married which stops federal welfare benefits.
There are advantages to being unmarried besides the federal welfare benefits.
Today, there is less social stigma for an unmarried woman raising children.
It is easier for the unmarried man to step away from the “family” and abandon his children and the woman who birthed them.
Being unmarried removes the arduous and financially painful journey of divorce court. Unmarried, the man simply step away and is not obligated to pay child support and alimony. Unmarried woman’s benefit is the child support and alimony payments are shifted to a more financially lucrative, secure and reliable income source, welfare subsidies paid by tax payers.
Everyone wins with the unmarried approach to “family” except the tax payer who pays the cost of the bastardization of welfare’s intent which is enriching the unmarried couple.
Being unmarried was a non-traditional approach to raising a family but has become the norm. The traditional approach of marriage is now arbitrary and capricious.
The fabric that weaves historically through America society that has been so important to our national success is marriage and the family. However, this is changing with the invisible hand of government’s welfare policies and programs that encourage more couples to remain unmarried while raising children.
I listened and began to understand why couples are not marring. Government rewards it.