THE BLOG
07/20/2010 06:14 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

For Families, And...?

Someone should tell President Obama about Unmarried and Single Americans Week, coming up Sept. 19-25.

USA Week doesn't get much attention, and the third week of September is a crowded one; last year it featured National School Internet Safety Week, National Childcare Week, National Flower Week, Deaf Awareness Week, Women in Construction Week, National Dog Week, National Farm Animals Awareness Week, and National Farm Safety Week.

But maybe this year is a good time for his refresher. Wall Street reform, of all things, brought this out in him. He said of his proposal, "This reform is good for families; it's good for businesses; it's good for the entire economy." That followed up on his early declaration that it was "good for families and ... those fair and honest credit providers who play by the rules and can now face a level playing field."

That was after health care reform was intended to "give families and businesses more control over their health care," and the stimulus package brought "relief for families and businesses" during tax season.

As the Census Bureau reports, there are about 100 million unmarried adults, and 32 million people living alone; one-in-four households is just a person living alone, up from 17% in 1970. Since 1880, depending on how you slice it, non-family households are the fastest growing type -- including people living alone, and groups that are not related by marriage, birth or adoption (some are cohabiting partners or married homogamous couples, still not officially "families," though that could change).

Source: My analysis of U.S. Census data from IPUMS.

This is just rhetorical, naturally. In fairness, the priorities are not so narrow. For example, the most recent budget sought to assist a long list of good Americans, including:
  • Middle Class Families
  • Military Families
  • Cities and Metropolitan Areas
  • The LGBT Community
  • Every Child
  • Rural America
  • Our Nation's Seniors
  • All Americans
  • America's Workers
That includes everyone good except the poor and minorities, who have no one else to vote for, so they can be expected to read between the lines (e.g., "cities").

And maybe the president's focus is understandable, as his corporate critics have always called his policies "bad for families," as in, "The Administration's tax plan puts the economic burden on hard-working Americans and their families."

Wouldn't it be nice if more of the burden fell on people who don't work as hard?

Cross posted from Family Inequality blog?