Stimulating the Economy with Gay Marriage
In 2011, a year of slow national economic growth and high unemployment, how did New York City manage to inject $259 million into their economy without a bailout or stimulus bill? How is Maine predicted to add $15.5 million, Maryland $62.6 million, and Washington $88.5 million into their economies within the next three years, all without the government having to raise taxes or pass a stimulus bill? If the United States could take the same single action nationally as these four states, and generate an estimated $1 billion per year for the federal budget and push $16 billion annually into local economies would Americans take the opportunity? What if that single action was legalizing gay marriage?
Within the year after legalizing gay marriage, New York City issued 8,200 marriage licenses to same sex couples. The fee for that marriage license within the city is $35. Thus, in a single year, New York City managed to raise an additional $287,000 in taxes without voting to raise taxes. Additionally, same sex couples spent an average of $9,039 on their weddings and had more than 200,000 guests who visited New York City for their weddings. The money that they and their guests spent on their weddings went directly into the local economy. Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that, “Marriage equality… helped to create jobs and support our local economy.”
A 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office showed that legalizing gay marriage on a national level was predicted to generate $1 billion per year for the federal budget over the next 10 years. The study “took into account lower income and estate tax revenues and well as increased spending for social security and health-care benefits”. Perhaps more significant, is that legalizing gay marriage on a national level is also predicted to add $16 billion annually to the wedding industry, money that largely goes to local economies and small businesses.
If legalizing gay marriage on a national level would raise $1 billion annually for the federal government, without raising taxes, and boost the economy by $16 billion annually, without a stimulus bill, why wouldn’t we embrace gay marriage as an economic windfall?