$700K a year on a marriage program seems mind boggling until you understand
where taxpayer dollars go to rectify the problems that occur when marriage
relationships are unhealthy or terminate.Division of child and
family services spends a lot of money handling the mental, physical, and
emotional challenges that occur with troubled marriages. Children are more at
risk for mental and emotional problems when their parents divorce in addition to
the damage that occurs during the years of conflict leading up to the divorce.
You can include foster care services, court proceedings, civil investigations
etc. -- All footed by the taxpayer.Don't forget about all of
the taxpayer dollars going to handle the actual processing of a divorce.
Between estate breakup, alimony, legal proceedings, and verifying those legal
proceedings are followed. The dollars add up.Now forecast the risk
factors of these kids into the future and you find increased criminal activity,
school misbehavior and apathy, mental health issues, amongst many others. More
costs.We can attempt to solve these problems by investing our money
into more prisons, police force, mental health professionals, etc, or we can try
to solve the problem by promoting healthier, more stable marriages.
I am sure this is a wonderful program, and that participants benefit greatly.
But I doubt if there is any evidence it produces $700,000 in benefits to
taxpayer every year.But, why the heck should taxpayers be spending
$700,000 a year on a marriage program at all? It does not matter if it is
federal money (that grows on trees and we have too much of) or dollars
confiscated from hard working Utah families.Why does the state need
a fund program similar to what USU already offers, what many churches offer
their members, or are open to members of all denominations?The key
point of the story is:""We were faced with a situation where we
don't have enough ... funds to necessarily run all the things we'd
like to," Now, if we can just convince 536 people in
Washington, DC of the absolute truth of that statement, we will all be better
Healthy Marriage Initiative?--Who thinks up these programs?