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.
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