Santorum’s Plan To End Poverty: More Marriage

Rick Santorum, the GOP 2012 presidential hopeful who has seen his support triple in Iowa, laid out a plan to end poverty at a campaign stop yesterday. As the Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel noted, one of the plan’s two components is more marriage:

“Do you know if you do two things in your life — if you do two things in your life, you’re guaranteed never to be in poverty in this country? What two things, that if you do, will guarantee that you will not be in poverty in America?” he asked the crowd.

Number one, graduate from high school. Number two, get married. Before you have children,” he said. “If you do those two things, you will be successful economically. What does that mean to a society if everybody did that? What that would mean is that poverty would be no more. If you want to have a strong economy, there are two basic things we can do.”

An Economic Policy Institute report from September explained that poverty is “is a jobs
and employment problem, not a marriage problem.” But Santorum’s stance is not surprising considering that he considers “huge moral failings” — among them “letting the family break down” — to be the “root” cause of the nation’s economic woes. And as Terkel pointed out, Santorum “is virulently against same-sex marriage, even though it would increase the number of marriages in the country and theoretically lower the nation’s poverty rate, according to his logic.”

Santorum said earlier this month that he is “for income inequality,” even as he rails against slowing economic mobility as he travels the campaign trail. And though equalizing marriage treatment would, according to his theory, lower the poverty rate, it’s not likely that Santorum is going to be changing his tune on that subject anytime soon.