Seriously. I mean that. Nineteen years of marriage is BHO’s best accomplishment, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to congratulate the couple. (How Barack and Michelle chose to celebrate this past weekend, however, might have been a little over the top.)
In honor of the day, a few reasons to rejoice about successful marriages, in general:
Marriage not only pays emotional dividends as men and women commit themselves to each other, focus on their children, and face the challenges of life together. The institution that forges unique personalities and lives together in the hearth of loving commitment can also provide notable economic benefits. Married couples tend to have a higher average income, more assets and a greater likelihood of owning their own home than families led by single adults.
Men and women aren’t the only ones to benefit from lifelong, married love. Children raised in families headed by a married couple have a greater chance of experiencing economic stability, high academic performance and emotional maturity. Children living under the promise of marital commitment are six times less likely to experience poverty and can display the positive social effects of having both parents in the home, potentially avoiding the many hindrances to social mobility that tend to plague children raised in single-parent households.
But, ironically, for all that Obama has experienced the benefits of married life himself, he’s been complicit in the creation of policies that discourage marriage. His signature legislature of Obamacare, for example, imposes certain penalties on marriage and could cost some married couples upwards of $10,000 a year. Nor has Obama done anything to reduce or eliminate policies that punish low-income welfare recipients for choosing to marry.
The Congressional Black Caucus is also hypocritical in this matter. The CBC has cried foul at Obama’s seeming lack of concern for the high black unemployment rate — but they haven’t made much noise about the decline of marriage in the black community. Nor have they made a point to tout Obama’s marriage as an example to follow. But African-Americans are the least married people in the nation — the least likely to marry and the most likely to divorce. Three-quarters of African-American children are born outside of wedlock. African-Americans are voluntarily cutting themselves off from the poverty-reducing and life-enhancing effects of marriage.
If social and economic issues weren’t two sides of the same coin — and if Obama himself didn’t demonstrate the advantages of marriage, none of this would matter. But because Obama and the CBC profess to care about poverty in America — and because Obama evidently believes in traditional marriage enough to live it out himself, the lack of action — or even rhetoric — to shore up that traditional marriage is especially striking.