Op-ed pick: Tax the childless

A recent op-ed piece in Slate argues that we should raise taxes on childless working professionals in order to give working parents a break. Author Reihan Salam, childless himself, says the financial burden of raising a child is staggering.

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.

And beyond the cost, Salam argues that raising America’s future generations of workers is reason enough to cut these parents a break.

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.

So what do you think? Does raising a child entitle you to lower taxes, or would we simply be punishing people who choose not to reproduce?

  • April Fool

    Perfect on April Fool’s Day!!

  • theoacme

    I would tax all people who have ever had:

    a) gross annual income of more than $109,000, disallowing all deductions, at any time within the past 20 years, and
    b) aggregate lifetime political contributions of any kind of more than $4,999.99 (including in-kind aid, for instance, a glass of water counts as a $1.79 contribution, at retail prices for a 20 ounce bottle of brand-name purified water).

    by adding a retrospective 20% tax on all of their gross income over the past 20 years.

    Adding suing every diocese of the Roman Catholic Church for $1 billion, under RICO and antitrust laws (9 x damages), and we would have enough to solve the working parents problem. (Pay-per-view broadcast executions of rapist priests and archbishops would help, too – I would pay $500 to see Archbishop Nienstedt in an auto-da-fe.)

    Now, if we taxed political campaign commercial costs at 100%, payable by the political parties and candidates, as well, we could solve poverty, until the corporations economically raped us all some more.

  • davehoug

    Actually this is WHY society has always cut married folk a break in so many ways. The gays have already tallied up all the benefits of marriage.

    • Joe

      Those welfare queens!

      • http://www.fark.com/ Onan

        I see what you did there…

  • AndyBriebart

    The insatiable beast called government must be fed.

    “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of someone else’s money”

    M Thatcher

  • suzanne

    Punish us for having the wherewithal to not add to the Earth’s vast overpopulation? Good one.

  • Joe

    Does that mean the public gets a sharehodler’s interest in the children?

  • jim

    those kids will be paying our social security. we need more of them. by the way i don’t have children.

  • Cathy

    People should think about the cost of raising children if they want to have them. Even though most children are “accidents,” there’s always adoption if you know you cannot afford one. Something else that we should consider, children have NEVER IN HISTORY been exponentially expensive to raise in relative to one’s livelihood. They were always an asset, but now are more or less a burden upon families when it comes to the money involved in raising one. There’s a lot more going on in this society that has created this problem than what meets the eye. Punishing those without children is a huge slap in the face to those who have tried for years to have children of their own, but cannot afford to adopt or IVF. My brother is having that problem, why should him and his wife suffer more?

  • Joe

    Tax the barren, call it Rachel’s Law to make it cute.

  • http://imabmusing.blogspot.com/ Ima B. Musing

    Absolutely NOT! I am childless because I can not physically give birth (due to a genetic condition) and didn’t want to adopt on my own.

  • rev

    Having children is your choice. Don’t punish me for my choice NOT to have children. Taxes should be based on income, with higher earners paying more. Period.

  • annoymous

    Another example why progressives shouldn’t be trusted on ANYTHING! They hate the poor, the hate middle class workers and their families, and they don’t like anything related to community small businesses. They just want to tax you to the point that you are being treated like a convicted criminal on the FBI most wanted list.

    • Ecliptic Serenity

      Reihan Salan is a conservative posting on March 31st. You know, before you broad brush a whole group of people who are not taking this particular position on that particular day to fit it into your own personal narrative about how other people think about everything.

  • Jack goldman

    Eighty per cent of all black children in America are on welfare. Why can’t I get a check for my kids too?

  • howker

    I made a choice not to have children that I regard as being good for society. Apparently, I should be punished for that.

    Proposing that the government take from some and bestow on others on the basis of behavior pretty much invalidates Salam’s conservative credentials.

  • Bill

    Actually, I think the people with children already get many benefits that single people do not. There are many tax deductions for people with children (albeit, it most likely does not make up the cost for having the child, however, should that be the taxpayer’s issue?). Also, single individuals pay taxes for school districts which they will never use (you can argue that an educated population affects everyone, which I suppose is true). I think if anyone is getting ripped off, its the people that choose not to have children. This doesn’t even include the tax benefits for being married, which to me, is just another rip off for single people.

    The reason gay marriage was an issue, was for the tax benefits and other unrecognized benefits…I personally don’t think it’s the government’s business whether anyone chooses to get married or not (or their business what sex you choose your partner to be).

    So, we went from a British society of Classes (the royalty and such) and what did we end up doing? We just made more classes – Individuals, Married Couples, Married Couples with Children – Then add the rich, middle class, and poor.

    I personally think that until we can take care of those children we already have as a society; why make more? (most likely because its all unsustainable, may as well keep on trying to catch up).

  • Cat

    Really, I’m already paying taxes for schools when I don’t have any children and a host of other programs for children. Plus all the tax breaks for having a child. Yet society assumes I have more? Guess again.

  • Ecliptic Serenity

    Having children is usually a personal choice and the government should probably not be in the habit of favoring or penalizing particular lifestyle decisions (otherwise “I can solve all budget problems by breeding taxpayers!”), but the “I pay for other people’s children to attend school” is not really in the same area. Much like roads benefit people who don’t have cars by providing a means of commerce, and police benefit people who don’t personally commit crimes, a literate population with a basic education who can largely fend for themselves benefits everyone, so this is not some handout to parents paid for by the childless, who themselves hopefully benefitted from their own education once upon a time.