The assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services responds to Jonah Goldberg:
All good conservatives want smaller government. To achieve that end, we need a plan. Merely wishing it were so is not a plan. The fact is that children (and adults) living in healthy and stable marriages are less in need of government services. By offering marriage-education services — on a purely voluntary basis — to interested couples whereby they can develop the knowledge and skills necessary to form and sustain healthy marriages, we will help reduce the need for more intrusive government interventions later on.
Granted, this is new work. Nobody knows for sure whether it will succeed. But one thing is certain: Unless we can reverse the decline of marriage, demand for an ever-expanding welfare state will continue. The president’s Healthy Marriage Initiative is no panacea, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Here’s a safe prediction: no matter how much money is spent on the Healthy Marriage Initiative, marriage will continue to decline and the welfare state will continue to expand. This initiative is rampant idiocy. Rampant, I tell you! Rampant! You can’t cure cancer with cancer, you don’t treat a patient with a bullet wound by shooting him in the head, and you can’t solve government-created problems with more government!