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Colorado State Representative Has The Moral Courage To State The Obvious

February 13, 2010

Incredibly, a Colorado state representative had the moral courage and common sense to stand up in our House of Representatives and state what is common knowledge and common sense to everyone but a politician. Of course, the socialists got their panties in a knot when told that single mothers don't do so well even though nothing was also said about the well-documented problems of delinquency, drug use, teenage pregnancy, crime and imprisonment of their children, etc.

And while the data doesn't seem to exist, the probable reason only one-third of children of single-mothers live in poverty is that half of the remaining women are living with their parents, or at least their kids are living with their grandparents.

Times are getting tougher and the historic refuge of family in troubled times has been sorely diluted by misguided feminist ideology and their puppet legislators and judges. And the public funding to subsidize feminist ideology has disappeared.

Rep. Swain's remarks in the Colorado House were reported in an editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette reproduced below. But obviously it will be some time before sanity enters this chamber.

Chuck Corry


"Don't have kids out of wedlock" scandalizes Colorado Democrats

Colorado Springs Gazette


It's a sensible message people need to hear

February 12, 2010 — Colorado Democrats, including House Speaker Terrance Carroll, were dismayed and offended Monday when Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, told a simple truth. Swalm said those wanting to avoid poverty should steer away from single parenthood and toward functional marriages.

"Don't have kids out of wedlock," Swalm said during House debate on a bill to ease tax burdens for low-income families. "If you're married, if at all possible, try to stay married. Those are ways to lift families out of poverty."

He emphasized to the media that he was speaking specifically of functional marriages, insisting he would never advise anyone to remain in an abusive relationship.

Thank you, Rep. Swalm, for stating an important message too few teens and young adults ever hear. In a culture that glamorizes unwed pregnancy, even with TV shows and movies that celebrate teenaged motherhood, Swalm had the courage to state the facts.

House Speaker Carroll took offense for a curious reason. Carroll explained that he took umbrage because he was born to an unwed mother and lived in poverty throughout most of his childhood.

So why would Carroll take offense? His story merely strengthen's Swalm's point. It's hard to imagine Carroll would wish poverty on other single mothers or their children.

If poverty isn't something he wants families to avoid, then why did his party debate the topic?

Swalm didn't criticize poor people. He merely pointed out the indisputable fact that two adults typically have an easier time than one, in providing the energy and income required by children. He urged unwed women and girls to avoid pregnancy until married to a loving and responsible man. He told boys and men to avoid impregnating girls and women outside of a functional marriage.

"His comments are an insult to every single person who lives in poverty, who works their butt off every single day just to keep their head above water," Carroll said, as quoted in the Post.

How so, Mr. Speaker? You say it's an insult and then acknowledge that a single adult has to "work their butt off" just to survive. You've said the same thing as Swalm: Single parents struggle with poverty.

It's not theory. It's fact. A 2008 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau found one-third of all children in single-parent homes live in poverty. Only 8.6 percent of children in homes headed by married couples live in poverty.

Common sense tells us that two average people are more capable than one at providing food, clothing, shelter and attention. A single parent who works must pay for day care with a single income. A couple has the option to pay for day care with a double income. Or one parent can stay home in order to avoid day care costs entirely. On down the list, parenting is easier for a functional couple than for a single person.

It can't be "offensive" to state this obvious and important fact of life.

After the floor debate, Swalm also said this: "Intact families do better than dysfunctional or broken families."

Of course they do. Dysfunctional, broken families are the root of most divorce, misery, poverty and abuse. It's a great idea to avoid having a family disintegrate into dysfunction. It's great advice to suggest we choose our spouses wisely, and make our marriages work.

Speaker Carroll seems like a man of good character. He's obviously an American success story — a minority, born into poverty, who became a cop, then a lawyer, then one of the highest-ranking leaders in state government. Democrats used Carroll's success to argue that Swalm's comments were somehow off base.

Again, how so? Swalm didn't say children brought up in poverty cannot succeed. He conveyed an important and indisputable fact: For most single adults, children present an extraordinary financial challenge. Carroll, like other children of single parents, knows full well this is true. He saw his own single parent struggle to feed, clothe, shelter and educate a child. A functional marriage provides the best environment for children.

At best, Democrats feigned scandal for the sake of partisan political posturing. At worst, their reaction reveals a desire to bandage poverty with a state program that's devoid of passion for helping the poor achieve independence and prosperity.

Either way, their reaction is shameful. Swalm's truthful message warrants bipartisan support, if state leaders genuinely care about improving the lives of kids.

Wayne Laugesen, editorial page editor, for the editorial board of the Gazette



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Issues The Equal Justice Foundation Deals With

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