Should people without children be taxed more? It pains me that someone thinks this is a great idea. But since it’s being put out out there — hell no. The author of the Slate article, Reihan Salam, wants those who make above the median income, who don’t have children, to be taxed more.
He calls himself a “childless professional,” clearly ready to take one for the team. And he thinks others should too:
I believe this even though I also believe a not inconsiderable share of my tax dollars are essentially being set on fire by our frighteningly incompetent government. Leviathan is here to stay, whether I like it or not, and someone has to pay for it. That someone should be me, and people like me.
Read: Even though the government is incompetent, I still want them to milk me dry because I’m such a glutton for punishment.
Sorry Salam, but I disagree.
Many people WANT to have children, even knowing the trade-offs. They consider having children to be a higher value than climbing up the career ladder or splurging on luxury vacations. They know that children are expensive. Parents certainly don’t need extra incentives to have children. Yes, I know parenting can be hard work (and not every parent should be one). But it’s patronizing to those who work their butt off to make lots of money AND raise children. Maybe they don’t want your handouts or stolen money. And what about those who are unable to have children? Talk about a kick to the face. And to assume we somehow owe parents for those decisions is bizarre.
This sort of thinking only feeds the entitlement monster that both liberals and conservatives sometimes have — that they are entitled to someone else’s money.
We all benefit from the work of parents. Each new generation reinvigorates our society with its youthful vim and vigor. As my childless friends and I grow crankier and more decrepit, a steady stream of barely postpubescent brainiacs writes catchy tunes and invents breakthrough technologies that keep us entertained and make us more productive. The willingness of parents to bear and nurture children saves us from becoming an economically moribund nation of hateful curmudgeons.
It’s not parents who deserve the breaks, it’s those “barely postpubescent brainiacs” who write the tunes and create new technology. We all benefit from the hard work of producers and workers. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to have the products and services I currently enjoy. Children will grow up, hopefully, to become producers and workers. Making babies might keep the human race going, but children are only the beginning. Children don’t inherently improve the quality of life of Americans—workers and producers do.
But it’s the workers and producers that are punished the most by taxes that Salam wants to raise. And the post-pubescent brainiacs are the ones that would be hurt the most by the childless tax Salam proposes.
It’s also insulting to those who work very hard, and don’t have children, to have their hard-earned money taken away because … hey, they “don’t need it as much.” It is an oversimplification that assumes people who earn more than the median income take lavish vacations and spend, spend, spend. Because, you know, they have no other responsibilities. They just might have parents or other relatives to take care of, student loans or other financial obligations. Maybe they work 80 hours a week to earn that much money.
This is what annoys me about busybodies, people with good intentions and people who want to make the world a better place using the government. Someone always gets screwed. There is nothing smart about this idea.
I’m sorry, no one deserves the hard-earned money of another person — I don’t care the reason. I value things that are a good investment for myself and those I care for. And since it’s my money, I should be able to choose what I want to do with it. And I certainly don’t want to see more of my tax dollars going to a twisted fantasy.
Oh, and here is a better idea: Let’s give everyone a tax break! In fact, let’s start by getting rid of the social security tax and the income tax. That will put money back in almost everyone’s pocket — certainly more fair than what Salam suggests.