Lost in the hubbub over Herman Cain’s love affair with the number nine during last week’s Republican debate were some compelling observations by Rick Santorum about “the breakdown of the American family” and its relationship to poverty. His comments deserved more attention than a wacky tax plan or Newt Gingrich’s proposal to jail two Democratic foes.

“You want to look at the poverty rate among families that have . . . a husband and wife working in them?” Santorum asked. “It’s 5 percent today. A family that’s headed by one person? It’s 30 percent today. We need to do something.”

Noting that “the word ‘home’ in Greek is the basis of the word ‘economy,’ ” the former Pennsylvania senator argued for “a policy that supports families, that encourages marriage, that has fathers take responsibility for their children.” He added: “You can’t have a wealthy society if the family breaks down.”

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