Gay marriage, taxes, and the law of unintended consequences

Gay-flowerLast year was a triumphant year for gay marriage in California.  That means that this year, for many newly wed gay couples, April 15 was the first time they filed their taxes as married couples.  I have it on very good authority that many of these newly nuptialed couples are extremely unhappy now that they’re dealing with the infamous marriage penalty.

Considering how politically powerful gay men have become, could gay marriage lead to lower taxes?

And while we’re talking about taxes, Bill Whittle offers a sensible tax policy, one that would give all citizens a stake in America, while ending the current policy of taxing the producers right out of existence:

Flat taxes, once I understood how they worked, were one of the stepping stones on my way to conservativism. Twenty years ago, a brilliant conservative managed to explain to me how an across the board 10% sales tax would work. When he first told me about it, I got ruffled, pointing out that this was regressive tax that would hurt poor people. He shook his head sadly at my ignorance and explained that the most that poor people would get taxed, if they spent every penny they had, would be 10%, which is a reasonable amount to pay to have a stake in this country. (This was 20 years ago, before 51% of Americans paid nothing at all.) Moreover, he said, the bulk of taxes would come from those who aren’t poor, because middle class and rich people buy more. Everyone buys staples, but it’s the classes above the poverty line who have always — as a practical matter — bought into the American dream.

A 10% tax wouldn’t be high enough to deter high income spending, especially if there were no other taxes, so middle and upper class Americans would have an incentive to invest in the economy through purchasing goods. In the meantime, a 10% sales tax might be high enough to encourage a poor person to save more, rather than to buy inessential products, helping the poor person to stay solvent.

Certainly, a flat sales tax (or any flat tax) would be cheaper to administer than our current tax system. If it unleashed a rising tide of prosperity, it would bring in more revenue. On the other hand, if it brought in less revenue, it would stop rampant government spending (this was also before debt ceiling wars).

Bottom line:  Anything more simple and more fair than what we have now is a better tax system.

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  • Ymarsakar

    The fairest flat tax would be to reduce all taxes to zero, and then just keep printing money. That way, everyone suffers equally.

  • Ron19

    The tax form that fits on a postcard:
    How much did you make last year?___________________
    How much do you have left?________________________
    Send it in:

  • Ron19

    The income tax form that fits on a business card:
    How much did you make last year?______________________
    Send it in or else!  We know where you live.

  • Ymarsakar

    One of the strange myths the poor and welfare class believe is that the 1% are rotten rich, but that it is okay to use their money to pay for childcare and other goodies. They don’t seem to understand that when other people pay for your survival, you aren’t free. You’re just another slave stock they own and can do as they wish with. Certainly the top 1% will use their wealth and have a greater voice in government than the bottom 50% that pay little to none of the money the politicians use to buy votes with.
    Inevitably, people’s oh so cherished “democracy” turns out to be nothing more than an oligarchy. A true democracy, over time, allows the 1% to rule the 99% via a neat trick. 51% of the vote determines for 100% what happens. 26% of the 51% determines for the 51% what happens. 14% of the 26% determines what the 26% does. Based on that neat little trick, a tyrant can segment off a population via enough layers that a democracy inevitably ends up with 1% voting, and trickle down into the 99%.
    You’ve already seen it happen once, Book, with the American voter vs non voter population. And it’ll happen again with so called “at large elections”.

  • Charles Martel

    It is ironic that a sexual movement that has disdained straight sexual mores for so long decided that pursuing the ultimate straight affirmation of sexuality, marriage, would finally bring legitimacy and acceptance. But because the whole thing was, at best, a wistful charade, it doesn’t surprise me that when the actual adult aspects of being married emerge, the Holy Grail doesn’t look so enticing anymore.