Author: Alex Munguia (Conservative)
One of the biggest conservative goals for America as a nation is the promotion of the nuclear family. Within recent decades we have seen decreases in the number of people having children, and this could have harmful effects on our society for decades to come. To combat this, moderate republican senator Mitt Romney of Utah has proposed his new Family Security Act.
Romney’s family security act is an interesting solution, to say the least, which may gain bipartisan support. It provides monthly cash benefits for families that surely would go a long way in supporting families, or even potently further promoting future generations to continue to have more children. The goals laid out by the bill are to promote a “national commitment to all of America’s families,” as well as “Cutting child poverty by up to one-third in America.”
This bill is a new idea for Conservatives, and it is constantly being talked over, despite Romney’s odd place within the Republican party. His plan may even draw the support of deficit hawks, as it intends to work towards the goal of “Reforming and consolidating outmoded federal programs, including by fully paying for the new proposal.”
Undoubtedly, to conservatives, the most important aspects of this bill are its social implications. The bill does indeed state a plan of “Supporting families from pregnancy through childhood,” and even more importantly, “Promoting marriage.” A bill that simultaneously serves conservatives in both a social and fiscal way is not something you see every day.
Unfortunately most likely due to much of the negative perception he has received from those within our party, the bill has been overlooked by most republicans. Republicans would at the moment, rather hold the line when it comes to holding back any democratic piece of legislation, rather than promoting anything new until an inevitable flip of political control.
The bill is quite similar in purpose, and execution to the reforms instituted in Viktor Orban’s Hungary. Orban offered his program to boost the number of people having kids in Hungary, where the government would give large low-interest loans for every kid that it had, and after three kids the loans would be completely forgiven by the government.
The plan had a great amount of success in Hungary, with a large baby boom in the nation. The promotion of families via government policies is an important practice going forward in an ever globalizing world. Mitt Romney seems to understand this will, and wants to institute something similar here in the states. The mechanisms of the bill are of course up to debate within Republican circles.
Hungary of course is a very different country than the United States. Hungary is a predominantly Catholic country, with a strong conservative political base, and a government that has been related from the destructive social impacts of the Soviet Union’s imposed communism. Nevertheless, we as a society, both liberals and conservatives, should have a conversation on Rommeny’s merits.
One of the hallmarks of a healthy nation is the health of its familial base. Are people having more or fewer children? Is marriage occurring at a larger or fewer rate? Often the effects these topics have on a nation are far more impactful than any policy, as these shake to the very core of a people’s culture.
Romney’s bill seeks to boost the rate at which America is having families, through the promotion of both marriage and having children. Both of these goals do nothing but benefit society as a whole. A strong argument can certainly be made that as society has more people get married and have families, we see a strong facilitation in economic growth, and even a boost in a wider educated society as kids raised in a stable family are far more likely to attend college than those who are not.
These two issues are some of the most difficult to tackle, and the two must be done together. A marriage without children may not yield as strong economic benefits for society as those that do according to Forbes. A family without parents has been shown to lead personal and society consequences such as poverty, decreases in health, and boost in the use of destructive substances.
Ultimately every inch of Romney’s bill should be debated and talked about in a bipartisan fashion. Both democrats and republicans should come together to talk about something as important as this. This moment truly could be nation-defining, and if passed with an effective mechanism, could very well revive the social fabric our nation has been damaged by for decades of political division.
His bill going forward will hopefully be talked about seriously, and has the potential of truly bringing the unity so much of America’s political leadership has called for, yet fall far short of.
Love him, or hate him, Romney has brought to the stage legislation that has the potential to impact society for decades to come.
*Cover Image: (2008 Campaign trail) Brian Rawson-Ketchum, CC BY-SA 2.0