Rep. Steve King: "Social Moderation" Is The Cause Of Our Economic Troubles

March 25, 2011 11:22 am ET — Kate Conway

Rep. Steve King

In a Politico op-ed today, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) explains what he views as the real reason for the economic tribulations facing America: "social moderation." Apparently, King thinks, if we write legislation that conforms to the conservative viewpoint on "life, marriage, home schooling and any other social issue," the economy will pretty much get itself back on track.

Though Iowans have been vetting potential candidates for months, it is not inappropriate for the "official" opening of the campaign to be at a faith-based foundation of their political vision. Before any potential candidates spoke, I addressed the audience. "If we get the culture right," I stated, "the economy will be right eventually."

While America's staggering job loss, spending and debt are crucial components of any candidate's platform, it does not mean that their position on family issues and freedom are inconsequential - or even separate. In fact, social moderation has certainly contributed to the $14 trillion in national debt.

That's right. "Social moderation," meaning, presumably, America's growing support for marriage equality, along with immigrants and other things Steve King fears. King's ability to cavalierly speculate that social issues are a primary cause of the national debt while ignoring the worldwide recession, the Bush tax cuts, and two wars would be impressive if it weren't so astonishingly deluded.

The rest of the op-ed is no more founded in fact, with King claiming that the government's authorities to tax and define marriage (as heterosexual marriage) "is derived from the same source":

In debating the moral standards of American culture, we start with the basic premise that government must possess the moral authority to institute all manner of laws and regulations. In the minds of most Iowa caucus-goers, there is little difference between the ultimate power to tax and the power to define marriage.

The authority to do either is derived from the same source. ...

Of course, the power to tax is literally written into the Constitution. The power to define marriage is not. However, you might be able to find both of those things in the same place if you looked hard enough in the Bible — at least, in the Bible as interpreted by Steve King. And that's exactly what King means. His morals are derived from his religion, and he makes no secret about the fact that he thinks yours should be, too.