In the first week of February, Mitt Romney introduced the Family Security Act, which would send every married couple earning less than $400,000, and every single-parent earning less than $200,000, $350 a month for every child they are raising under the age of 5, and $250 a month for every child between 5 and 17. The bill has set off a heated debate on the American right about the best way to honor family values in the 21st century.
Scott Winship and Samuel Hammond are two of the most influential voices in this intra-right debate. Winship, the Director of Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, argues Romney’s child allowance would help children at the expense of marriage, work, and the long-term good of the children themselves. Hammond, Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy at the Niskanen Center, argues that America’s twin challenges of declining working-class marriage and declining fertility ought to be understood as harmful byproducts of our free market system, which demand an active response from the government. It is a debate at once technical and philosophical.
Please join us on February 26 for a debate between Winship and Hammond moderated by MI president Reihan Salam. We will cover the merits of the Family Security Act, the long legacy of the 1990s welfare reform debates, and the political economy of social conservatism.