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Rick Santorum realizes better welfare is good for marriage. Nice catch, Rick!

At the Presidential Family Forum in Iowa this past weekend, Santorum and other GOP presidential hopefuls got down to business (in a conversational and relatable way!) about the state of the American family. As usual, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was at the ready to blame the “breakdown of the family” for everything from problems in the economy to failing schools to overall national malaise.

Of course, poor people got special billing in Santorum’s list of familial complaints. The former senator claimed that more babies are being born out of wedlock to poor mothers who choose not to get married because they want to take advantage of better SNAP benefits for the unwed. Santorum then suggested a phase-out period for benefits to the married, which would decrease the welfare penalty on marriage. 

A phase-out would still signal the eventual end of benefits due to marriage, though, so perhaps Santorum should consider something like a universal child benefit to avoid discouraging marriage with shoddy benefit designs. Just a thought.