Palmetto Family Confronts Presidential Candidates
Palmetto Family issued a comprehensive report today on the well-being of the family in South Carolina and challenged presidential candidates to make family a centerpiece of their campaigns.
Palmetto Family's South Carolina Cultural Indicators, a study of 37 trends in population, crime, health, welfare, business, and government, shows that family failure is a crisis that has broad implications for the fiscal health of the state and nation. Family 2012 demands that candidates make family a policy priority. Among the findings:
- Since 1992, South Carolina's crime rate has exceeded the national average by over 20%.
- Since 1960, female-headed households have doubled in South Carolina while male-headed households have risen 165% in South Carolina.
- The state marriage rate is the lowest since before 1950.
- Between 1966 and 1979, South Carolina's divorce rate increased 292 percent.
- In 2008, 74.7 percent of all children born to non-white females were born out of wedlock, compared to 25.8 percent in 1960, a 189 percent increase.
- In 1960, 91 percent of all families with children were married couples. In 2009, only 64 percent of families with children were married couples.
- Since 1970, Medicaid spending in South Carolina has increased 523 percent. At the same time, the number of Medicaid recipients increased more than 206 percent.
- In 2008 South Carolina had the ninth highest rate of syphilis in the nation.
- Since 1970, South Carolina's population has increased by about 76 percent. The numbers of state and local government employees, however, has increased by 127 percent and 269 percent respectively.
- Since 1992, South Carolina's total state and local expenditures have increased 179 percent (82 percent after adjusting for inflation).
"Crime, welfare dependency, out of wedlock births, and even unemployment and higher government spending can be traced directly to a breakdown in the home," said Dr. Oran Smith, Palmetto Family President.
"In the spirit of ED in '08 that called for better schools, and the ONE campaign that raised awareness to African poverty, in family '12, we are today calling on the candidates for president of the United States to address the family crisis in America and to make the restoration of the family a permanent part of their campaigns," he said.
"Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Barack Obama, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, what will you do as president to help us rebuild our families? We need your help and leadership."
Copies of the report and the challenge issued by Palmetto Family will be communicated to the candidates for President.
The complete 50-page study can be accessed here. News coverage can be found here and here.
Commerce Committee Chairman Hal Stevenson and Dr. Oran Smith at news conference announcing the family '12 campaign.