As you've probably heard, Obama's Department of Justice issued a legal brief to a federal judge defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which Obama previously derided as "abhorrent." I finally got around to reading it (late as always). This paragraph jumped out at me.
DOMA maintains federal policies that have long sought to promote the traditional and uniformly-recognized form of marriage, recognizes the right of each State to expand the traditional definition if it so chooses, but declines to obligate federal taxpayers in other States to subsidize a form of marriage their own States do not recognize. This policy of neutrality maximizes state autonomy and democratic self-governance in an area of traditional state concern, and preserves scarce government resources. It is thus entirely rational.
Does DOMA really preserve "scarce government resources"? Would repealing it really "obligate federal taxpayers" to subsidize gay marriage? No. This is factually incorrect.
At least, it is factually incorrect according to the federal government itself. Five years ago the Congressional Budget Office did an analysis (pdf) of the potential budgetary effects of recognizing same-sex marriages. (The CBO is a truly wonderful place.) That analysis concluded:
The potential effects on the federal budget of recognizing same-sex marriages are numerous. [...] In some cases, recognizing same sex marriages would increase outlays and revenues; in other cases, it would have the opposite effect. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that on net, those impacts would improve the budget's bottom line to a small extent: by less than $1 billion in each of the next 10 years (CBO's usual estimating period). That result assumes that same-sex marriages are legalized in all 50 states and recognized by the federal government.
think the Defense of Marriage Act is a terrible law for many reasons --
equality before the law is where I'd start -- so I'm not desperately
concerned about a 0.1% increase in federal revenue. Nonetheless, I
think it is worth pointing out a pretty clear error in the DOJ's brief.
Federal recognition of gay marriage will save the federal government
hundreds of millions of dollars.
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