Should childless Americans pay more taxes?

posted at 5:21 pm on April 1, 2014 by Allahpundit

I’m surprised by some of the upset in Headlines to Reihan Salam’s proposal. Granted, the phrase “more taxes” rarely induces happy thoughts among conservatives, but I thought there’d be more support for beefing up the incentives for having children within a movement that (a) laments the breakdown of the nuclear family, (b) frets about declining birth rates and what they mean for the entitlement state (see, e.g., Mark Steyn and Jonathan Last), and (c) would probably benefit electorally if more Americans had children. I can’t find any data about voters with kids from the 2012 exit poll but Romney won 56 percent of married voters while Obama won 62 percent of singles. If Salam tweaked his idea to limit the tax breaks to parents who are married and reside in the same household, with lesser supplements for single parents, would that change people’s minds? What I’m asking, in other words, is whether the problem here is that we’re using the tax code to do too much social engineering or not quite enough.

And before you say “the answer is to cut spending, not to increase anyone’s tax burden,” Salam agrees with you on that. He just insists on living in reality. We tried to starve the beast and failed; turns out the beast doesn’t starve, it simply borrows and keeps feeding. If we’re doomed to run deficits until a debt crisis brings about a reckoning, who should bear the burden of extra taxes in the meantime in the name of reducing that deficit as much as possible?

Yet it is also true that we’ve stacked the deck against parents in all kinds of ways. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that raising a child born in 2012 will cost a middle-income family a cumulative total of $301,970 over 18 years. As high as this number sounds, it is actually a massive understatement, as it fails to take into account the cost of postsecondary education. It also fails to factor in the value of forgone earnings and career opportunities. While nonparents can focus on their jobs in laserlike fashion, parents are rarely in a position to do the same. Every time a sick child keeps a parent home from work, her earnings suffer, either directly, because she’s taking an unpaid leave of absence, or indirectly, because she’s missing out on opportunities to climb the corporate ladder.

Even when we compare a nonparent and a parent who are working exactly the same hours and earning exactly the same income, the nonparent has a clear leg up. Most obviously, the nonparent has far more disposable income to play with, which she can save, to become much richer than her parent counterpart over time, or spend, to travel to exotic locales, to eat out constantly, to wear awesome clothes, or to live as I do in a conveniently located shoebox in a great American metropolis. Raising taxes on nonparents could even the score a bit, tilting the balance ever so slightly in favor of those who toil on behalf of America’s future workforce by wiping their butts and painstakingly removing their head lice.

He wants to adopt Mike Lee’s tax plan, which would increase the child tax credit, while also lowering the income threshold for various marginal tax brackets. Result: You’d pay more taxes unless you have a kid, in which case you’d get a big chunk back to apply to his/her upbringing. But I think that’s actually a secondary goal. Here’s what Salam is really after:

These millions of nonparents are not good political enemies to have. But does this mean those of us who favor a more parent-friendly tax code should give up? Not quite. Tax reform along these lines could awaken a sleeping giant in American politics, namely the 36 percent of American voters who have a child under 18 in their household. Unlike the retirees and near-retirees who fight tooth and nail to protect Medicare and Social Security, we don’t have a well-funded political pressure group that defends the child credit. It can’t help that parents are too busy raising children to plot and scheme their way to more favorable tax treatment. But if parents were to flex their political muscles, we might have a revolution on our hands.

He wants parents to coalesce as a voting bloc the same way seniors have. Lower taxes for families is the potential catalyst to raising their political consciousness. Once you’ve got parents voting as parents rather than as Democrats/Republicans, whites/blacks/Latinos, urbanites/suburbanites, etc, all sorts of policy consequences potentially flow from that, and all of them have to do with making American law more family-friendly. I thought there’d be more support among conservatives for that. His problem, though, is chicken-and-egg: He wants something dramatic, like a bigger child credit, to kickstart this process and get parents voting together but right now there’s little support on either side to make it happen. Democrats will be loath to touch it for fear of angering the many childless single liberals in their base; Republicans are loath to touch it because righties blanch at the thought of having anyone (including/especially childless conservatives) see their tax bill go up and, I think, of further coercing one part of the population into subsidizing the choices of the other. Singles already help pay for other people’s kids in various ways, after all, starting with property taxes to fund public schools. (And yes, I know, in a perfect world all education would be privatized. Again, Salam’s writing from the real world.)

Explain to me: What’s the issue here? Remember, all Salam’s really doing is fine-tuning a proposal from Mike Lee to favor parents a bit more. If this is RINOism, someone had better tell the tea-party senator from Utah.


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Should childless Americans pay more taxes?

No!

Childless Americans are already paying taxes for our children to attend school.

b1jetmech on April 1, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Childless should pay less tax.

Bike Riders should pay more tax.

portlandon on April 1, 2014 at 5:27 PM

NO! Childless Americans are already subsidizing those with kids.

In reality, the entire tax code should be eliminated and replaced with a flat rate, say 10%-15% with NO deductions allowed.

nazo311 on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

b1jetmech on April 1, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Thank you!

bazil9 on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

…sure!…so should people with red hair…blue eyes…and those with one testicle…and those with different size boobs…and…and…and!
…we need more taxes!

KOOLAID2 on April 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

I thought people without children already pay more taxes because the do not get the dependent child deductions.

Kaffa on April 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

It depends on why they are childless, with same sex marriage the Happy people will complain they are being discriminated against because they can’t have kids (naturally).

Sven on April 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Parents get a nice big tax credit every year for every kid they have. They get this until they are 18.

portlandon on April 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Dump the income tax in favor a consumption tax.

rbj on April 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Having to listen to other people’s screaming young’uns is taxing enough.

backwoods conservative on April 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

In reality, the entire tax code should be eliminated and replaced with a flat rate, say 10%-15% with NO deductions allowed.

nazo311 on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Agreed.

Kaffa on April 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

nazo311

What he said

jephthah on April 1, 2014 at 5:31 PM

I think they already do pay more tax, given that they don’t get to claim kids as exemptions. And they pay school taxes (if they’re property owners).

I dunno; I have kids, and I’m not sure this is a good approach (yes, I’m suggesting we spare the other guy’s ox, I guess).

I’m a bit concerned at the “we’ve tried to starve the beast, so have to try something else” line of thought – no, we *haven’t* actually tried to starve the beast at all.

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:31 PM

And before you say “the answer is to cut spending, not to increase anyone’s tax burden,” Salam agrees with you on that. He just insists on living in reality. We tried to starve the beast and failed; turns out the beast doesn’t starve, it simply borrows and keeps feeding. If we’re doomed to run deficits until a debt crisis brings about a reckoning, who should bear the burden of extra taxes in the meantime in the name of reducing that deficit as much as possible?

AP — You are my favorite HotAir writer, based on this clear-eyed statement alone.

As for the tax situation… it would really depend on exactly how the proposal were written (I confess I have not read it). The child tax credit is great, but I also think it’s part of the reason members of the free shit army (FSA) choose to become baby-factories. Increasing that credit would only serve to increase that risk. What I could get behind is a credit (or increased secondary-credit) that only applies to Married couples with children. Most of the FSA are not married, therefore it would exclude them.

But a proposal like that would immediately be met with WAR ON WOMEN! Because of ‘hardworking single moms’ AKA charter members of the FSA.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:33 PM

NO!

They should expect less benefits.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:33 PM

No, I think I’m going to be consistent here and say I’m not in favor of raising taxes on anyone, even if they are in a category that isn’t ‘me’.

And if the beast won’t starve (though we haven’t actually tried that yet) because it will simply borrow, then you address *that* issue directly – not by coming up with other gimmick crackpottery that is antithetical to our conservative principles (certainly seems that way to me).

Otherwise, why not just say, ‘yeah, we really need to tax the rich more’. Hell, we *know* factually that you can utterly *consume* the rich and it’s not enough – raising taxes on childless people would somehow work, though?

Insane.

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

I’m a bit concerned at the “we’ve tried to starve the beast, so have to try something else” line of thought – no, we *haven’t* actually tried to starve the beast at all.

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:31 PM

You’re right, because every time we run on that idea, we lose, therefore we’ve never had a real opportunity to try (and will never get one, either).

In short, AP is right.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Flat tax. No credits, no deductions.

tdarrington on April 1, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Having children is a choice with its own set of rewards and consequences. You shouldn’t have kids if you can’t afford them, period. Do we really need the goverment trying to tax and subsidize things to modify all our behaviors?

As others pointed out, there’s no difference between taxing people without kids more and the current practice of giving parents deductions… and the whole property tax thing for schools which makes no sense at all.

Capricio on April 1, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Hear, hear. :)

Seriously — far more socially damaging than any other behavior is the abdication of raising the next generation. Those most capable of doing so are also (apparently) the most selfish about not shouldering that load.

Yes, selfish. Egotistical. Self-focused. Unwilling to sacrifice for the common good. Materialistic.

The wave is already rising, and the crest and crash will be horrendous. Enjoy!

Better still — retirements garnished to pay for the damage poorly raised children cause. Incentivize better parenting now!

Imagine the bureaucracy that would entail. Dayum.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Flat tax for all!

Schadenfreude on April 1, 2014 at 5:38 PM

He wants to adopt Mike Lee’s tax plan, which would increase the child tax credit, while also lowering the income threshold for various marginal tax brackets.

We need to eliminate the child tax credit. People should not be forced to subsidize other peoples’ children.

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 5:38 PM

You’re right, because every time we run on that idea, we lose, therefore we’ve never had a real opportunity to try (and will never get one, either).

In short, AP is right.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

If AP is right, and we’re doomed to deficits until catastrophe, then increasing taxes on anyone is the last thing we should do – we should cut taxes, increase spending, make the deficit skyrocket faster, and bring the inevitable catastrophe as quickly as possible.

Or, you know, we could actually behave sensibly instead of continually partaking in the insanity of the left.

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Childless couples use less resources derived from taxation than couples with children. And they already pay more based on not having child deductions. Is this supposed to be the conservative brain trust? We are screwed.

WitchDoctor on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Those who don’t pay taxes (don’t name the sales taxes, pls.) should not be allowed to vote.

Schadenfreude on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Should childless Americans pay more taxes?

No!

Childless Americans are already paying taxes for our children to attend school.

b1jetmech on April 1, 2014 at 5:24 PM

And for cat food. Don’t forget the cat food!

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Excuse me but some of us wanted kids but were unable to have kids for health reasons so I think we were punished enough. So whoever came up with this stupid idea can go F themselves.

bbinfl on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

We need to eliminate the child tax credit. People should not be forced to subsidize other peoples’ children.

MJBrutus on April 1, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Ok by me – let’s remove *all* subsidization of other peoples’ stuff, shall we?

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Flat tax.

albill on April 1, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Those who don’t pay taxes (don’t name the sales taxes, pls.) should not be allowed to vote.

Schadenfreude on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Better yet, let’s go back to the original rule: land ownership.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Bike Riders should pay more tax.

portlandon on April 1, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Pedestrians should pay more taxes. Our sidewalks in downtown L.A. are abominable!

In reality, the entire tax code should be eliminated and replaced with a flat rate, say 10%-15% with NO deductions allowed.

nazo311 on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Agreed.

Kaffa on April 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Yup. And think how many tax preparers could be freed to find more productive jobs.

hawkeye54 on April 1, 2014 at 5:42 PM

It depends on your principles. If you see using laws to hurt your political opponents, this is potentially a great idea for the GOP. If there was a budget impasse and the dems demanded the GOP agree to some tax hike, this could be at the top of my list. Especially if done as a tax rate for married filing jointly.
His proposal also helps (though not completely) the issue of taxing newly weds just starting out. By putting the tax at a higher income level it would move the target away from them.
But if we are going to social engineer our tax code, why stop here. Why non-married with children. Lots of social science show that growing up with a single parent isn’t beneficial. But consider the unintended consequences. Dems in control could raise taxes on married with children because they use up more of societies resources. Tax single parents would likely increase abortions. Of course tax advantages for having children would likely decrease abortions. The main stream media would saturate the news about how this tax was against gays, urban professionals, etc.

If we are going to dream, how about a flat tax where the household income is divided by the number of people in the family. It accomplishes the same idea as the “tax raise” and makes a certain economic sense. If you want to be very neutral about it, let people register what they consider a “family”. That would create a market for those making less to be “paired” with those making more (presumably for a fee). If you said a flat 10% tax on anything over $24,000, then the max that would be worth is $2,399. If you have a two tiered flat tax, say 10% on anything between $24,001 to $99,999 and 15% on anything above $100,000, then the “family pairing” market would go up to $7,399 max.

yetanotherjohn on April 1, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Singles are already paying more, given the return in terms of benefits. Singles pay the costs of public schools for instance through property taxes and what not. Just like parents who send their kids to parochial schools and still pay to support public schools (can anyone say v-o-u-c-h-e-r?)

Just another ill=thought out case of oral diarhia.

parke on April 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM

In reality, the entire tax code should be eliminated and replaced with a flat rate, say 10%-15% with NO deductions allowed.

nazo311 on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Agreed.

Kaffa on April 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Yup. And think how many tax preparers could be freed to find more productive jobs.

hawkeye54 on April 1, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Indeed. No withholding, either – everyone pays monthly, just like every other bill – and they are then intimately aware of exactly how much is being taken from them.

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Absolutely not. Unless I seriously misjudged conservatism, it’s not about forcing people into a specific action with taxes. If people want to have children, they should. If people don’t, they shouldn’t be forced, sorry, “incentivised” to. Damn right conservatives should be against this, and any other kind of social engineering. And what about the people who can’t afford children and make the responsible choice to wait? They now have to pay higher taxes for making a smart decision? What happens when they pump out a few kids to get a tax break. What happens to those kids? Neglect? Abuse? Poverty? The exact same things that happen to kids who are born so their mother can stay on welfare? I’d rather the entire country collapse than have another party that punishes people for making the right choice for them.

Cyhort on April 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Childless couples use less resources derived from taxation than couples with children. And they already pay more based on not having child deductions. Is this supposed to be the conservative brain trust? We are screwed.

WitchDoctor on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

You’re not thinking long-term in any politically feasible system. Parents are subsidizing the continuation of the country. There’s an enormous buried investment inherent in every raised adult.

Those who neglect this fundamental part of being human out of self-centered shortsightedness… well, there’s not much good to be said of them.

Not talking about the infertile or the unmarried or sexually damaged… that’s another thing. It’s the “I wouldn’t be a good parent” claptrap, or “It doesn’t fit my lifestyle” balderdash, or the “Kids make me barf and are annoying” whinging.

None of us are good enough at it. It’s irritating for everyone at some point or other. It means the third Mustang may not grace your driveway for a couple more years.

Deal with it. Be part of humanity, not a drone.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Singles are already paying more, given the return in terms of benefits. Singles pay the costs of public schools for instance through property taxes and what not. Just like parents who send their kids to parochial schools and still pay to support public schools (can anyone say v-o-u-c-h-e-r?)

Just another ill=thought out case of oral diarhia.

parke on April 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM

They do if they own property; has nothing to do with being ‘single’ (this isn’t about ‘singles’), single with kids, married without kids, married with kids, etc.

Schools are funded by property taxes, which means property owners only, regardless of married status, kids or not.

Beyond that, I agree. This is a stupid idea, whether it’s Mike Lee’s idea or not.

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Tax single parents would likely increase abortions. Of course tax advantages for having children would likely decrease abortions.

I highly doubt either of those scenarios are accurate. Or if they are, they would represent only a very small sliver of very affluent pregnant women.

Can you really see Shaniqua/BillyJoe factoring in her tax liability before choosing to have an abortion? Cuz I can’t.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

No, the breeders should be paying more for inflicting children on our society. Starting with a “birth tax” of a few thousand dollars to cover the first two or three years of life.

We’ve always had a private notion of children, your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. Which means that the breeders need to pay up just as they would for owning a house, car, or boat. In short, children should be treated as a sort of property tax.

Alternatively, We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Which means that the whole community should have a say in how the children are raised since they are paying the bill.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Excuse me but some of us wanted kids but were unable to have kids for health reasons so I think we were punished enough. So whoever came up with this stupid idea can go F themselves.

bbinfl on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Well, no, go F yourself. I am truly sorry you couldn’t have kids. But I am paying 300k to raise each of my 3 kids (latest “estimate”, I make ‘em work). My middle just got into MIT. You want to live off him when you get to be 70? Until you’re 90?

Go F yourself.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

No, I think I’m going to be consistent here and say I’m not in favor of raising taxes on anyone, even if they are in a category that isn’t ‘me’.

Midas on April 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Absolutely!

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Should childless Americans pay more taxes?

MissLamar and I have been paying for your children most of our lives. Hows that worked out for your kids? From the looks of those SAT scores, not too pinchy good. No to any tax increase of any sort. Flat tax. Abolish the IRS and all it has done to ruin your children.

Bmore on April 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Deal with it. Be part of humanity, not a drone.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM

I consider having kids just because “everyone has to” a pretty drone-like attitude.

I don’t want kids. I’m never having kids. I would be a neglectful parent because I don’t have it in me to put a child above myself. Why should I have to pay higher taxes for sparing myself and a child from a live that neither of us would benefit from? To keep the population up? That’s BS.

Cyhort on April 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Singles are already paying more, given the return in terms of benefits. Singles pay the costs of public schools for instance through property taxes and what not. Just like parents who send their kids to parochial schools and still pay to support public schools (can anyone say v-o-u-c-h-e-r?)

Just another ill=thought out case of oral diarhia.

parke on April 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Math much? Singles pay much smaller amounts than families in homes via property tax. That’s a rounding error compared to the other costs incurred.

And the long-term singles will be feeding at a trough provided by the kids of the responsible long after they cease to earn a wage.

In the meantime, all of the experience and good training they could have passed along to another generation? Flushed. Gone. No kids, no grandkids, just empty hedonism down to the grave. Dollar cost to that? Hard to measure — but more important than school, in any case. As we have proven to our cost.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I’m 44, I’ve been married once. My ex wife already had 2 kids and had to get a hysterectomy not long into our marriage. I greatly regret that I have never had any children for a number of reasons, and I regret that I never found a suitable partner with whom to have a lifetime commitment in which to responsibly raise a child (I have been sexually active since 18, but I’ve been *responsibly* active and not caused any pregnancies). So you want to penalize me because life didn’t deal me the cards I frankly would have liked to have been dealt? Penalize me for the kids I wanted but never got to have?! Go f*** yourself. And I mean that in the worst possible way.

quikstrike98 on April 1, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I fail to see the political benefit of raising taxes on people who already don’t vote for the right.

But, by all means, let’s give them another reason to vote Democrat. Brilliant. /

drewwerd on April 1, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I consider having kids just because “everyone has to” a pretty drone-like attitude.

I don’t want kids. I’m never having kids. I would be a neglectful parent because I don’t have it in me to put a child above myself. Why should I have to pay higher taxes for sparing myself and a child from a live that neither of us would benefit from? To keep the population up? That’s BS.

Cyhort on April 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Baloney. Foolishness. Am I being inflammatory? Yeah.

You are selfish. You tell yourself a story that this is a life choice. You would neglect the kid because you are too much of a kid yourself.

Perhaps you are indeed a sociopath or far out on the autism spectrum. Otherwise? You learn by doing, putz. Man (or woman) up.

You LEARN to put others ahead of yourself. Parents are made, not born.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:50 PM

It’s difficult to take anyone seriously when their answer is “Forget more cowbell, what we really need is more taxes!!”.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 5:50 PM

You’re not thinking long-term in any politically feasible system. Parents are subsidizing the continuation of the country. There’s an enormous buried investment inherent in every raised adult.

Those who neglect this fundamental part of being human out of self-centered shortsightedness… well, there’s not much good to be said of them.

Not talking about the infertile or the unmarried or sexually damaged… that’s another thing. It’s the “I wouldn’t be a good parent” claptrap, or “It doesn’t fit my lifestyle” balderdash, or the “Kids make me barf and are annoying” whinging.

None of us are good enough at it. It’s irritating for everyone at some point or other. It means the third Mustang may not grace your driveway for a couple more years.

Deal with it. Be part of humanity, not a drone.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM

I like this response. I had a child in probably the most accidental, unplanned, unmarried way possible at 24 while I was still in college. If anything, it supercharged my drive to succeed — I haven’t had to sacrifice anything that I can think of since then. His expenses just became a part of my life, and because of it, I went out and was even more ambitious than I would have been without him.

It’s also true what you say about the externalities of raising a child to be a productive member of society. Anyone ever wonder why we subsidize college with Pell Grants? Same idea. We believe they’ll make better citizens, and economists would tell you that they (the student) can’t fully capture the value he’s bringing society by being educated (paycheck alone), thus society (taxpayers) owe him the Pell Grant. The same idea could easily apply here to children raised in 2-parent households.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Here’s a thought return the Federal government to the days when there was no income tax. Put those responsibilities that were the states where they rightfully belong. Then we can fight it out more locally.

CW on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Quite a bit of F-ing going on in this thread. No worries though, it likely won’t lead to anymore children being born, so……….less taxes?

Bmore on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

This is called The Pundit Welfare System. A pundit writes something stupid and what they believe is edgy so they can sell it.

Blake on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

NO! Childless Americans are already subsidizing those with kids.

In reality, the entire tax code should be eliminated and replaced with a flat rate, say 10%-15% with NO deductions allowed.

nazo311 on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Please do. But don’t beach when my kids can afford to take care of me.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Well, no, go F yourself. I am truly sorry you couldn’t have kids. But I am paying 300k to raise each of my 3 kids (latest “estimate”, I make ‘em work). My middle just got into MIT. You want to live off him when you get to be 70? Until you’re 90?

Go F yourself.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

You sound like you feel entitled to more tax deductions because you made a personal choice to have children.

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Parents get a nice big tax credit every year for every kid they have. They get this until they are 18.

portlandon on April 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Yeah. If you make 25k

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Not a flat tax, but a tax system that has two, maybe three rates (the lowest at 1% that everyone must pay), no deductions, exclusions, exceptions … broaden the base, lower the rates, make everyone have skin in the game.

Similar with the corporate tax rate … lower it, but include everyone and get rid of exceptions, subsidies, etc.

I don’t have kids, but I pay a lot in property taxes, which mostly go to fund schools. I’m OK with that. Kids are our future. Schools must be funded and via property taxes, the source of the tax and where it’s spent remain closely connected.

But … if you justify using the Federal tax code for things you prefer, then why not for things you don’t prefer, how do you justify saying no?

I’d much rather the government get out of the social engineering business via the tax code. Strip out all the various exceptions and you reduce the strength of various lobbyists to sway Senators and Representatives. Simplify it enough and you could mostly get rid of the IRS … at least greatly scale it back … which in and of itself would save some money.

As far as the argument of starve or feed the beast … tax collections set a record this year … we will have a huge deficit, when compared to historical norms … feeding the beast (appeasing the beast?) doesn’t seem to do any good, it just grows more hungry.

Grinch on April 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Funny story. I told my graduate advisor that I was having my second child. The response?

“Why do you bring children into this world to suffer?”

My advisor found out about my third child 9 months after she was born.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

You sound like you feel entitled to more tax deductions because you made a personal choice to have children.

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

And you sound like you are entitled to my kids future earnings.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Please do. But don’t b!tch when my kids can afford to take care of me.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

++

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

You’re not thinking long-term in any politically feasible system. Parents are subsidizing the continuation of the country. There’s an enormous buried investment inherent in every raised adult.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM

I think taxpayers should be able to designate how their tax dollars are spent at the local and state level. My local library sucks but the schools are mini-palaces. The roads suck but the facility where all the county vehicles are stored is very nice. Our police force is underpaid but the teachers drive BMWs.

In short, my priorities are different than the politicians. I think oftentimes the childless (young, old, DINK, or single) spend way too much money on services and stuff they don’t need so the breeders get a break on taxes. The needs of the childless are most times only considered after the breeders needs have been addressed.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Here’s a thought return the Federal government to the days when there was no income tax. Put those responsibilities that were the states where they rightfully belong. Then we can fight it out more locally.

CW on April 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

++

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Singles pay much smaller amounts than families in homes via property tax.
Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Even if that were so (at least where I live taxes are determined by the value of the property) it seems the desire should be for decreasing, if not eliminating, property tax for both families and individuals. Not on for adding on more taxes for anyone.

whatcat on April 1, 2014 at 5:57 PM

The government has no right to encourage any behavior such as reproduction. You want to know what will cause people to have babies? Do away with entitlements, and children will once again become the retirement plan they have always been.

DFCtomm on April 1, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Funny story. I told my graduate advisor that I was having my second child. The response?

“Why do you bring children into this world to suffer?”

My advisor found out about my third child 9 months after she was born.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

I unfortunately have to somewhat agree with your advisor. I would certainly think twice before bringing another child into this crumbling world (or at least country) we’re facing.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:57 PM

The needs of the childless are most times only considered after the breeders needs have been addressed.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I’ll suggest that this is a good thing. The childless are inherently worse at gauging and implementing working long-term solutions — they simply fail to grasp the parameters that are obvious to the responsible adults.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:58 PM

No withholding, either – everyone pays monthly, just like every other bill – and they are then intimately aware of exactly how much is being taken from them.

It was originally that way.

“Before World War II individuals who owed federal tax on their income earned in a particular year paid the tax during the following year in quarterly installments. In those days relatively few people paid income taxes. As late as 1939 fewer than four million individual returns were filed, and the filers’ total tax bill came to less than $1 billion, or less than 4 percent of their net taxable income. When so few people paid income tax and the amounts due in most cases were so small, the system of deferred payment imposed no great burden and gave rise to few taxpayer complaints.”

Blame WWII for withholding stemming from huge wartime spending needs, a wartime industrial boom, and a significantly larger and higher paid workforce with incomes hitting minimum taxation levels and a the need for a better way for government to get those tax dollars in its hands faster and more conveniently from all the millions of new taxpayers, IIRC.

hawkeye54 on April 1, 2014 at 5:58 PM

I am against this proposal because we are no better than the liberals if we use the income tax system to try and effect social change. Even if its social change we agree with.

Get rid of the income tax. Stop trying to use it to produce outcomes.

BURN

IT

DOWN.

Defenestratus on April 1, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Right, who in their right mind is going to take on a $200,000 expense just to save a few bucks in tax?

It will always be cheaper not to have kids than to have them to get a tax break.

HugoDrax on April 1, 2014 at 5:59 PM

We should not support wealth redistribution through the tax code just because it may insensitivize things we support any more than we should support redistributive policies that benefit the things we oppose. Ultimately the tax system should not be used to create winners and losers. It should be fair, simple, low rate, broad based, and policy neutral.

But then, I dream.

Texas Zombie on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM

And you sound like you are entitled to my kids future earnings.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Where did you come up with that? Bad assumption, remember us without kids (by choice or not) have a leg up in their jobs, savings, etc. We will fund ourselves in retirement.

Amazing how people quickly stray from fiscal conservatism when the topic comes to getting their hands on somebody else’s income. If non-parents have more money let’s go ahead and redistribute that wealth!

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM

If you want to have kids then you pay for them. If you don’t want to pay for them then don’t have them. But, don’t have kids then expect someone else to pay for them.

Flat tax hits people with kids the same as those without. A much better system IMO.

Kaffa on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I unfortunately have to somewhat agree with your advisor. I would certainly think twice before bringing another child into this crumbling world (or at least country) we’re facing.

nullrouted on April 1, 2014 at 5:57 PM

My children could live in an African shack, die of starvation after losing all of their teeth at the age of 40, and never have seen a paved road — and be fulfilled, worthwhile, exemplary people.

The world is not crumbling — luxury is sliding backward. How quickly unimaginable wealth becomes the very most basic baseline.

This is what I mean — if you can’t have a Lexus, life is not worth living!

*Baloney*!

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Singles pay much smaller amounts than families in homes via property tax.
Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

That’s weapons-grade stupid right there.

Property tax is based on the property not the number of residents. You don’t think the childless live in the same neighborhoods as the breeders?

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Childless adults already pay sky high taxes in the form of school and property taxes, not to mention the federal taxes. We get NO deductions not to mention ZERO benefits!

I am SICK of throwing my money into the bottomless pot of the American miseducation system. I am sick of the nasty smug bratty kids raised by equally smug nasty parents who think everyone owes them something.

I am sick of paying for these kids’ college. Let them go to work and pay for their post high school training, like I and millions of others did.

(Rant over. I’m especially sensitive about this issue today because I just forked over thousands to the IRS. Plus, having worked in the miseducation system I know all too well how the money is wasted)

wyntre9 on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Funny story. I told my graduate advisor that I was having my second child. The response?

“Why do you bring children into this world to suffer?”

My advisor found out about my third child 9 months after she was born.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Be nice to my kids, ok?

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Since it has already been proven that raising taxes to 100% on high income earners will do nothing to reduce the deficit, why is raising taxes on the table at all. At best they can only be punitive. Are conservatives for punitive taxation, now?

Flat tax. 10% from $0 to infinity. I’d prefer NO personal income tax, but it’s a start.

tdarrington on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

We should just get rid of welfare, particularly the end of life multi decades long one. Then the point would be moot.

If you are not going to contribute to the society that which will make paying for your end of life welfare vacation possible, I simply do not think you should be given that welfare check.

But if you insist on still getting it, I think you should be contributing significantly more so you do have a personal savings level in an account to pay for your own retirement.

astonerii on April 1, 2014 at 6:03 PM

That’s weapons-grade stupid right there.

Property tax is based on the property not the number of residents. You don’t think the childless live in the same neighborhoods as the breeders?

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Ummm, no.

People with bigger families tend to live in bigger houses. In the suburbs.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Where did you come up with that? Bad assumption, remember us without kids (by choice or not) have a leg up in their jobs, savings, etc. We will fund ourselves in retirement.

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Sure you will.

One word: Enron.

You are one disaster away from cat food, and your assumption that singles are prepared… well, there’s nothing that replaces the loving care of a child or grandchild. They can work long after a kleptocrat has appropriated your savings because the state’s finances are collapsing.

Think it doesn’t happen? Wake up.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Where did you come up with that? Bad assumption, remember us without kids (by choice or not) have a leg up in their jobs, savings, etc. We will fund ourselves in retirement.

Amazing how people quickly stray from fiscal conservatism when the topic comes to getting their hands on somebody else’s income. If non-parents have more money let’s go ahead and redistribute that wealth!

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Nice try. You, individually, maybe. Biggest investment for most people, their house. Who’s gonna buy it? Try again.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 6:04 PM

The government has no right to encourage any behavior such as reproduction.

DFCtomm on April 1, 2014 at 5:57 PM

They do it in China!

Which is why I use the term breeders on this thread. If you make a public policy where you penalize individuals for not having children then you’re setting up a situation where they will breed for the tax break.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Where did you come up with that? Bad assumption, remember us without kids (by choice or not) have a leg up in their jobs, savings, etc. We will fund ourselves in retirement.

Amazing how people quickly stray from fiscal conservatism when the topic comes to getting their hands on somebody else’s income. If non-parents have more money let’s go ahead and redistribute that wealth!

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM

By the way. How did you get that “leg up on savings?” By not spending it now on notebooks and pencils?

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

That’s weapons-grade stupid right there.

Property tax is based on the property not the number of residents. You don’t think the childless live in the same neighborhoods as the breeders?

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Math much? Perhaps a family with six kids buys a bigger place if at all possible?

Some singles do live in family neighborhoods. Most don’t. Young, single urbanites live in apartments. Period. Raising a family in such places is suboptimal.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

…so, we need a two-prong approach to bolster our social security pyramid scheme, amnesty AND child inscentives.

Capricio on April 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Should childless Americans pay more taxes?

No!

Childless Americans are already paying taxes for our children to attend school.

b1jetmech on April 1, 2014 at 5:24 PM

On a utilitarian basis, it makes perfect sense. Parents have higher expenses, therefore less disposable income. And with socialism embedded into the government like it is, our future prosperity depends on having enough children to bear the burden in the future. Besides, it’s well known that if you want less of something, you tax it, but if you want more, you offer a tax break.

But I’m not a utilitarian.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 1, 2014 at 6:08 PM

“Yes!!! Childless people are dirty communist moochers who want to enslave my children and my children’s children and my children’s children’s children!! also they’re potheads!” – astonerii

Armin Tamzarian on April 1, 2014 at 6:08 PM

tdarrington on April 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Single rate tax. Pay it to earn the right to vote in federal elections. Call it a poll tax. Allow people to have their vote auctioned at a federal auction site (proceeds pay for the government). The tax would equal federal spending / number of citizens of voting age. Since it is auctioned, the starting price is the tax and can go up from there for those who desperately want lots of votes. The excess money goes straight to reducing the debt. Along with this comes an amendment prohibiting the Federal Government from issuing new debt or reclaiming old debt paid off. Exception allowed for war expenses which must then be repaid over the following 5 years with increased taxes for each of those years.

astonerii on April 1, 2014 at 6:09 PM

oops. wife who worked a 14 hour day just got home.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 6:09 PM

And it’s awesome to be lectured by a single on how family economics, when I carry a PhD in a mathematical field. :) Thanks, Happy.

Weapons-grade stupid indeed. And as if school taxes were more than a rounding error in most family budgets. It costs less than your booze.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Sure you will.

One word: Enron.

You are one disaster away from cat food, and your assumption that singles are prepared… well, there’s nothing that replaces the loving care of a child or grandchild. They can work long after a kleptocrat has appropriated your savings because the state’s finances are collapsing.

Think it doesn’t happen? Wake up.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Can’t argue the bolded point, you are spot on, that is the major deficit a non-parent will have to live with.

As for your ending statement, you realize you are referring to a kleptocrat in a situation much like the topic of this article? Do we just throw our hands up and continue the cycle?

deuce on April 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

And you sound like you are entitled to my kids future earnings.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Seriously? Do you not pay into SS? Do you think the rest of us don’t. You sound like you expect your children to support you.
Why don’t YOU GFY.

katy the mean old lady on April 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

“Yes!!! Childless people are dirty communist moochers who want to enslave my children and my children’s children and my children’s children’s children!! also they’re potheads!” – astonerii

Armin Tamzarian on April 1, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Generally speaking the childless are Democrat voters on average. They demand that other people pay for their lifestyle.
Your hyperventilating does nothing to argue against this.

astonerii on April 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Ummm, no.

People with bigger families tend to live in bigger houses. In the suburbs.

WryTrvllr on April 1, 2014 at 6:03 PM

So there are no childless individuals or couples in the suburbs living in large homes. Good to know, I would have thought otherwise.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Seriously? Do you not pay into SS? Do you think the rest of us don’t. You sound like you expect your children to support you.
Why don’t YOU GFY.

katy the mean old lady on April 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Your payments go to pay for current retirees. You have no bank account with your payments waiting for you. The only place that money is coming from is other people’s children’s hard work.

astonerii on April 1, 2014 at 6:12 PM

I never thought my infertility would be taxed.

Hat Trick on April 1, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Let’s float the idea of taxing homosexuals exclusively, and see how that goes.

Dongemaharu on April 1, 2014 at 6:12 PM

So there are no childless individuals or couples in the suburbs living in large homes. Good to know, I would have thought otherwise.

Happy Nomad on April 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Le sigh. Yeah, find one childless couple in a suburban household and the whole argument collapses! (My great neighbors are a childless couple).

Think statistics and populations. Revise thoughts. Come back chastened.

This isn’t hard.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Funny story. I told my graduate advisor that I was having my second child. The response?

“Why do you bring children into this world to suffer?”

My advisor found out about my third child 9 months after she was born.

Prufrock on April 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

There are plenty of stupid liberals that think like that, especially in academia.

slickwillie2001 on April 1, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I don’t have a kid that attends school so I get credited for that?

terryannonline on April 1, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Okay-what if your kids are now grown up? We had kids-but now were(more or less) empty nesters. would we be considered singles-even though we did have kids?
No-don’t raise taxes on singles.
Implement the flat tax and get rid of the deductions for ALL citizens.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 1, 2014 at 6:14 PM

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