MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 28, 2013

Help needy, don’t offer love advice


— Oklahoma legislators should spend more time helping low-income single parents make ends meet than playing matchmaker.

House Bill 1908, authored by House Speaker T.W. Shannon, would take money designated to help needy families and divert it to a campaign promoting marriage.

The bill passed the House and was sent to the Senate this week. The Senate sent it to the Appropriations Committee for discussion.

The bill, if it becomes law, would create a public service campaign as part of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative and utilize federal TANF funds, to promote marriage as a tool against poverty.

TANF — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — was designed to help low-income families on a temporary basis.

The bill would take much-needed funds from families and put it into advertising telling single parents the benefits of marriage.

Legislators are incredibly arrogant to believe they know best how people should live their lives.

Politicians have more pressing needs to attend to than dishing out advice on love and marriage.

The idea, apparently, is that a two-income family would be less likely to be on any kind of assistance.

That’s probably true.

And there are benefits to children growing up in a two-parent household.

But marriage is not a financial decision.

It is not a decision that government should be advocating with taxpayer money.

TANF should be used to help people survive, not lecture them on how to live their lives.