Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, December 09, 2011

What's Wrong With Flat Tax Plans?

It was landmark legislation when Congress passed the joint income tax return for husband and wife back in 1948 over President Truman's veto. As originally designed, the joint return recognized a husband and wife as two equal partners, even if the husband earned all the family's income. Each tax bracket, deduction and exemption was equal to twice that of a single person. For more than 60 years, the federal income tax treated the family as an economic unit. Husband and wife could pool their income in a joint return and get larger deductions and lower rates.

However, later income tax laws reduced the value of a joint return to only about 1.6 persons, while increasing the tax benefit of an unmarried "head of household" to about 1.4 persons. Simple arithmetic shows that this allowed a single parent with an unmarried live-in "partner" to get more favorable tax treatment than respectable married couples struggling to support their own children.

Unfortunately, the flat tax plans now offered by several Republican presidential candidates would eliminate all tax advantages for married couples in which one spouse is the primary breadwinner. They would replace the pooling of husband-wife income with a system in which each individual, regardless of marital status, would owe federal taxes on his or her separate income. It matters greatly that these so-called flat tax plans, which are not really flat, offers the same standard allowances to married couples as to two unrelated adults living with children.

The definition of marriage is one of the biggest issues confronting Americans today. Most candidates for national office say they are pro-traditional marriage. But they are really not if they support a federal income tax system that gives live-in partners the same tax benefits as married couples.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

1 comment:

RDCushing said...

I have no problem with state or local governments offering tax benefits to married couples. It may even be in their interest to do so. However, the federal government should be NEUTRAL with regard to the matter of religion and marriage is, first and foremost, a religious institution.

I speak this as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and confident that it is in our own best interest. If we--as Christians--do NOT want the federal government interfering in other issues of a moral and religious nature (e.g., abortion, homosexual marriage), then we should NOT ask the federal government for favors with regard to our institutions and practices.

In fact, I believe it was the Christian Right's efforts at the federal level that induced the Left to its hyper-activity in seeking action by the legislature and the courts to favor its causes of a general anti-Christian nature. If we want to be left alone--to live at peace for the gospel's sake--then we must cease asking the federal government for interventions which we deem "favorable" and ask for a federal government that, indeed, neither "establishes religion nor prohibits the free exercise thereof"--that is, a federal government that is NEUTRAL in ALL MATTERS of a religious and purely personal moral nature.

Otherwise, we are simply asking for trouble (as we have seen).

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