Steele’s OBVIOUSLY Stupid Argument Against Marriage

Timothy Kincaid

May 16th, 2009

Michael Steele, the Chairman of the GOP, is trying to repackage the party’s social conservatism in a less abrasive wrap. He’s not wanting to give up opposition to gay marriage, for example, but come up with arguments that are not based on outright hostility, bigotry, and animus.

Republicans can reach a broader base by recasting gay marriage as an issue that could dent pocketbooks as small businesses spend more on health care and other benefits, GOP Chairman Michael Steele said Saturday.

Steele said that was just an example of how the party can retool its message to appeal to young voters and minorities without sacrificing core conservative principles. Steele said he used the argument weeks ago while chatting on a flight with a college student who described herself as fiscally conservative but socially liberal on issues like gay marriage.

“Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for,” Steele told Republicans at the state convention in traditionally conservative Georgia. “So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.”

To which any thinking person would say, “doesn’t heterosexual marriage also increase costs to small businesses?” Or is Steele suggesting that small businesses in states where marriage is already banned should save money by hiring gay people instead of straight people so they can avoid spousal costs?

OK, I’ll give Steele some points for trying to get the party away from outright bald-faced bigotry. But that’s just stupid.

The problem with anti-gay-marriage arguments that look for basis other than anti-gay animus is that they just don’t seem to hold up to even the most casual inspection.

Brian Torwelle

May 16th, 2009

Yeah. That’s really stretching it, especially when you consider that gay people are at most about 5% of the country’s population. Only a percentage of those people will get married, and only a certain percentage of those people will work for a small business and not all of them would even offer insurance.


May 16th, 2009

Umm that doesn’t work even from a cold-hearted economic analysis.

So you don’t cover the same sex spouse. Guess what? You’re going to have to pay more in taxes to take care of them with government programs anyway. Lose-lose. There’s no weaseling out of taking care of people.


May 16th, 2009

Forgot to add.. Heterosexual couples have kids. Kids cost WAY more..

Jason D

May 16th, 2009

Does Steele work in some magical fantasy world where two people can live off (and get insurance off of) one job?

I know married straight couples and at least part of them don’t use the spousal benefits at work because the spouse has their own benefits through their own job.

Bill Ware

May 16th, 2009

Steele is blowing smoke out his ears.

Anywhere I’ve been, in a business that offers family coverage, the employee adds the spouse and / or minor children living at home to the policy, then has the premium deducted from their paycheck.

This is a benefit because the group insurance policy that covers the spouse is likely to be less than half the premium of insurance available to the spouse as an individual.

The only costs to the business are administrative costs associated with maintaining the plan. That’s my experience, anyway.


May 16th, 2009

Perhaps Mr. Steele just isn’t very bright

Richard Rush

May 16th, 2009

I thought the anti-gay crowd wanted us to become straight. But if we truly became straight, then most of us would get married, and the same expenses would apply. And it would appear that Steele is now against ex-gays, since many of them enter into fake straight marriages.

So Steele is saying we should remain gay and unmarried, and that ex-gays should go back to being gay. All to save expenses for business and government.

Okay, now I get it: Many moderate Republicans want their party to go back to focusing mainly on economic issues, and so Steele’s plan is an example of that.


May 16th, 2009

Steele is too dumb to earn any kind of points for anything.


May 16th, 2009

Augh, this flavor of argument has always annoyed me.

Any excuse that allowing a few more marriages will be too expensive or harmful to businesses is based on the unspoken assumption that ANY increase in the number of marriages would be too expensive, and therefore by logical extension, we should be working to REDUCE the number of marriages in order to help small businesses.

Why, oh why, is the Republican Party so intent on trying to undermine the institution of marriage?!


May 16th, 2009

I have a better idea:

Let’s ban ALL marriages. That will make things cheaper.


May 16th, 2009

You’d think the last thing Michael Steele would want to do is call attention to the burdens caused by American-style private health care.

Emily K

May 16th, 2009



Timothy (TRiG)

May 17th, 2009

Completely off topic:

The sidebar ad I’m seeing is “Muslim Girls in the UK for Dating and Marriage”.

Methinks the algorithms are slightly out of whack.


Bruce Garrett

May 17th, 2009

There’s a bigger problem with those kinds of arguments: They’re not made in good faith. If you say you oppose X for reason Y, but in reality you oppose it for reason Z, then you are being deceitful. You are not trying to clarify, but to mislead. There’s a reason why arguments like these always seem like they’re not carefully thought through: they’re not reasons, they’re rationalizations. Sometimes flimsy, sometimes carefully constructed, but always more about appearance then fact. They have no integrity. That is why they make no sense as arguments. They have no integrity. And the person uttering them is rapidly loosing theirs.

It’s corrosive. You see yourself looking someone in the face and telling them things you either know to be untrue or don’t really care if they’re true or not, in the name of morality no less, and it becomes simple, unremarkable, to associate being a moral person with being deceptive. More then any other thing in my opinion, this is what has rotted the souls of the anti-gay opposition, the religious right, American social conservatives. You can’t fight for right over wrong when you no longer care what right is anymore.

All those earnest little public relations lies. All those pretty little slogans meant not to enlighten but persuade. I stopped wondering long ago why they don’t die of shame to hear so much dishonest trash coming out of their mouths. My baptist Sunday school teachers were right about how the first steps down the road to perdition were oh so easy. And then one day you find yourself so very many miles down that road, and you can’t stop yourself.


May 17th, 2009

Why doesn’t Steele just demand that all homosexuals be denied benefits? That would save companies even more money, wouldn’t it? Truly, the Republican party has no soul.

Connie Gore

May 17th, 2009

So what is actually being said is that marriage is going to be a consideration of employment. That employers would prefer to hire single people to save on health care costs, especially in government positions because they frequently provide health care through retirement. Does anyone else see how this would help college graduates find a job, therefore boosting the economy?


May 17th, 2009

I am 58 and self-employed. I have a health insurance policy that doesn’t pay for doctor office visits and a $2,500 deductible. My premium has ballooned to $670 per month ………….. frankly, I don’t know if I can keep my policy until I turn 65.


May 17th, 2009

I actually find the new argument considerably more offensive than the old one.

I would much rather someone tell me that they oppose letting me marry because they mistakenly believe that CIVIL marriage is a matter of religious belief than to hear someone say that I, a tax paying, wage earning citizen should not be eligible to receive some of the benefits that my work and taxes paid for because doing so might cost those who already have access to ALL the benefits another dime or two. Especially when he is trying to cut costs by denying 1% – 2% of the population (the likely percentage of the general population that is gay and interested in marrying) access to the benefits that they pay equally to fund while not even considering cutting costs by addressing the segment of the population who account for 99.9% of the actual current costs of these benefits.

I much prefer the old, cynical, “for the Bible tells me so” argument.


May 17th, 2009

The stupidity of our system is that we feel that we have to get health insurance through our employer and the premiums increase radically as you age. And, yes, Steele’s argument is insulting.


May 17th, 2009

The REAL republican argument should be…
The more tools we give people to take care of themselves, the less government has to do it.
f**king moron. Doesn’t even know his own party “principles”.


May 18th, 2009

Actually anshiii, he knows his party principles very well. Specifically the part about demonizing the opposition.

I agree with the limited government principle wholeheartedly, but trust me- the belief in “limited government” got thrown out by the GOP (“God’s Own Party” as I now call them) a long time ago. Don’t be fooled by the politicians who are oh-so-conveniently remembering what it means just because there’s a Democrat in the White House all of a sudden (and who will conveniently forget again if/when they win the WH back).

Richard Rush

May 19th, 2009

Keith Olbermann’s WTF!?! helps to nail it.


May 19th, 2009

““Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for,”

This is such a bogus argument on several levels. Namely:

1) Single employees get married, thus costing you more.

2) Most employer based insurance now does not cover the cost of spouses. The employee pays a huge premium over single employees to have coverage for spouses.

3) If gays and lesbians really make up the very small percentage of the population conservatives claim (as little as 1% by their claims) the effect of gay marriage will be extremely negligible. Is this a tacit admission that those lowball numbers are bogus?

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