Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?
A Slate columnist argues that childless Americans should pony up some more cash for taxes and that parents should get a bigger break.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Nonparents should pay higher taxes so that lower- and middle-income parents can receive a much-deserved tax break. That's the proposal of conservative Slate.com columnist Reihan Salam.
"The willingness of parents to bear and nurture children saves us from becoming an economically moribund nation of hateful curmudgeons. The least we can do is offer them a bigger tax break," Salam, who is childless, said.
Not surprisingly, Salam's proposal has ignited a fiery debate, as you can see on WNYC.org.
"Childless by Choice" from New York City said, "How about couples who have more than two children pay MORE taxes, given that they've now foisted upon a dying planet yet another mouth to feed, another consumer of resources, and another generator of waste and pollution."
It appears that many people, like me, who think Salam's proposal is ludicrous, were surprised and saddened by the anti-child vitriol expressed by many people online. "Dan from New York" spoke up for those with kids:
Social Security, Medicare, etc. All these program are designed with the concept that there are replacement people to continue funding it. Most studies show people who grow past 80 will easily take out more than they put in. If you haven't produced kids, then you are relying on other people to subsidize you. … Who do you think will be paying for the hospitals, roads, your benefits when you are 80 -- your dog? Or my kids?
U.S. parents already receive some tax breaks -- about $171 billion annually, CNN Money said. The breaks include the earned income tax credit, child tax credit, child and dependent care tax credit, and the dependent exemption and head of household filing status for single parents.
But with the cost of raising a child until they're 18 estimated at $241,080 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and that doesn't include secondary education, Salam thinks parents are entitled to a more substantial tax break.
Personally, I share the opinion of John Seager of Population Connection. In The New York Times, Seager said, "We should refrain from punishing or rewarding personal decisions about the size and shape of our families."
As I write this, my 11-month-old is crawling around my feet, and pulling himself up on my chair, trying to reach my laptop. My almost 4-year-old is eating a snack and watching "Frozen." My husband and I can afford to have two children. We discussed the affordability issue before we started our family.
I don't view children as a drain on the Earth's limited resources, but rather the very future of our planet. That said, I do not agree with having childless taxpayers foot a bigger portion of the tax bill so I can pay less.
What do you think? Should childless people pay higher taxes?
More on Money Talks News:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Much of my property tax goes to public education and feeding them breakfast and lunch. That isn't enough? And to top it off, by the looks of it, the high school parking lot looks like a car dealership lot with most cars newer than mine.
''Can't afford'em? Don't have'em.''
Mr. Salam and "Dan from New York".... So, you're saying that since I am unable to have children that I should foot an even bigger share of the taxes? How ridiculous! I am not childless by choice, and I nearly killed myself with medical treatments trying to be able to have just one child. I most likely will not live to the age of 80 (or even 65, lol), so don't worry about my becoming a "drain" on resources, Social Security, etc.. I pay my property taxes, income taxes, etc., so that other people's kids can go to a supposedly free school, only to have those same kids vandalize my home & vehicle. I, for one, am tired of subsidizing other people's children, and then shell out even more money to repair what those children destroy.
IMHO, don't have kids unless you can afford them! There are things a person can do, other than abstinence, to avoid having a house full of kids that you can't afford & properly supervise. And you can do those things without breaking the bank.
Dear people who think your vagina is a clown car,
My younger brother with 4 kids gets more back in taxes than he pays in during the year. I don't have kids and paid about $20k to the feds last year.
If you're thinking about making the system more fair, how about taking away some of the deductions for the people who have kids by the litter?
This is obviously headed in the wrong direction. People without children have a responsibility to prepare for their own old age care instead of having children to depend on to care for them when they get older. This article is advocating that people without children sherk this responsibility to pay for the raising of someone elses child. A child that they didn't participate in the creation of, a child that they didn't participate in the raising of, and a child that will have no obligation to care for them when they get older.
Not only should all the deductions and credit be eliminated for having children but the burden of supporting a school system should be born by those that elect to have children.
If you haven't noticed it's usually the poor that pumps kids out left and right, so giving them more of an incentive to have more kids is ludicrous. They can't afford the kids they have now and If you can afford to have 6+ kids then you don't need a tax break to begin with.
Social security is dead anyways because politicians can't keep their hands off the money, people should take responsibility for themselves and start 401k's and IRA's and just end social security. The money they take out of my pay check each week would be more then enough to find my own retirement.
What B.S. The world is growing exponentially in humans (the most wasteful of the species on earth), but the resources available to sustain all those people are not. Many children are born into families lacking one or more of the three things necessary to raise an adult 1) financial resources to feed, clothe & shelter them 2) the intellectual capacity to help them learn so they complete at least a H.S. diploma 3) the ability to instill a moral compass to discern right from wrong.
Fewer people means less competition for jobs and higher wages (because the supply of people doesn't meet the demand). Higher wages would enable me to builder a larger retirement investment portfolio and rely less on a government system. I'm not sure I'm going to get all I've been promised from that system that I was forced to pay into. Plus, unlike my investment portfolio, people or causes I care about cannot inherit my Social (In)Security.
I bet Huggies, Pampers, and Gerber are some of Salam's biggest donors.
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