### Author Topic: Social Insecurity and New Parents  (Read 3573 times)

#### maizeman

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #50 on: August 05, 2018, 08:05:47 PM »
You were comparing a single person to a family of four with the same income (which confounds tax benefits for marrying a nonworking spouse and tax benefits for having children) before anyone brought single parents into the discussion. The history is right here in the thread.

So yes, it is a problem with your original post.

But if you put it into context, I included schools in that as well.

If A = 2 and B = 0 and you say "A + B = 5" that statement is false. You cannot turn around and say "well I was right about the value of A, but I decided to pretend the value of B was 3, so in context the statement was true."

#### DreamFIRE

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #51 on: August 05, 2018, 08:11:14 PM »
I find this statement implausible (at least among members of this forum).

Even >30X per household member comparing the two households in the example with \$70K/yr income??  I find it very plausible, even among forum members who didn't specifically do the math or see it posted previously.

Well if you are correct, wouldn't you expect many people who be horrified and outraged when you present them with this number? How many supportive/surprised responses have you gotten in all the places you've posted your implausible math* around the forum?
On this forum, how often do you see people admit to not knowing something like that?  I think people have a general idea due to things like child tax credits, but I think most people are surprised by the magnitude.  I doubt many people would take the time to double-check it and may just choose to disbelieve it if it doesn't fit their narrative.

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*Using "taxes paid per household member" as your metric implies that you think the default fair breakdown is for a family of four to pay 4x as much income as a single person with the same income.

In reality, I've posted this a few times in the past where I have included both the absolute household tax differences without breaking it down per household member.  I only latee added the "per household member" metric to make a point because I don't think people would normally think about it that way, which makes the difference even more remarkable.  That's not to say I think the family of four should pay 4X the property tax or other taxes.  But, if both households were simply taxed based on total household income using the same tax bracket, I think that would be most fair.  Perhaps leave at least part of the child tax credit for low income families.  I wouldn't recommend taking it all away right away - maybe a gradual phase-out over some number of years, similarly to how I think SS phase-in/outs should be done.  I like to be fair.  :)

#### DreamFIRE

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2018, 08:17:24 PM »
You were comparing a single person to a family of four with the same income (which confounds tax benefits for marrying a nonworking spouse and tax benefits for having children) before anyone brought single parents into the discussion. The history is right here in the thread.

Ummm.... I explained why I compared singles to families here:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/social-insecurity-and-new-parents/msg2094999/#msg2094999

Someone else brought up single parents vs. married parents.  I had not mentioned them at all prior to that.

There is no problem with my original post.

But if you put it into context, I included schools in that as well.

Quote
If A = 2 and B = 0 and you say "A + B = 5" that statement is false.

That is a straw man argument.  You take one thing out of context because you happen to use a park from time to time as if that disproves my point, which actually includes much more than that.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 08:22:07 PM by DreamFIRE »

#### maizeman

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2018, 08:19:05 PM »
But, if both households were simply taxed based on total household income using the same tax bracket, I think that would be most fair.

Okay, if that is your baseline, then the appropriate comparison is either the percent or dollar difference in taxes paid between the two households. And since you're focused only on the effect of children, you should either compare a single person +/- kids, or a married couple +/- kids.

Using taxes paid per household member only works if you are arguing that either children should pay taxes even though they have no income, or that we should tax parents more than non-parents in order to make up for the taxes their children aren't paying. Since you now say you don't hold this position, using the "taxes paid per person within the household" comparison is both misleading and intellectually dishonest.

On this forum, how often do you see people admit to not knowing something like that?

One of the things I really like about this forum is how open (most) members are to acknowledging when they didn't know something or realize they were mistaken.

.... there are, of course, occasional exceptions....

#### maizeman

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2018, 08:24:49 PM »
That is a straw man argument.  You take one thing out of context because you happen to use a park from time to time as if they proves my point, which includes much more than that, to be wrong.

There are two ways a piece of reasoning is wrong. One is when there is one big fatal flaw that, once you find it, the entire argument unravels. The other is lots and lots of small mistakes and biases and intentionally misleading ways of presenting data that, when put together end up with a strikingly false conclusion.

So far we've showing you're either incorrect or being intentionally misleading in the following ways:

-Using per capita taxes paid instead of per household taxes paid.
-Confounding tax breaks for getting married (which is off topic for the subject of this thread and can sometimes be quite large) with tax breaks for having children (relatively limited).
-Thinking adults without children don't derive significant benefit from parks and other public goods supported by property taxes.
-Thinking paying multiple thousands in property taxes makes you exceptional among homeowners.

#### maizeman

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2018, 08:27:03 PM »
Well this has been fun and all, but it's starting to get late for me. I'm happy to drop back in tomorrow and address any other concerns you might have. In the meantime, since you've reiterated many times that you're not losing sleep over the tax code, I'll wish you a good night.

#### DreamFIRE

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2018, 08:34:04 PM »
But, if both households were simply taxed based on total household income using the same tax bracket, I think that would be most fair.

Okay, if that is your baseline, then the appropriate comparison is either the percent or dollar difference in taxes paid between the two households. And since you're focused only on the effect of children, you should either compare a single person +/- kids, or a married couple +/- kids.

Someone else brought this up, but it was not the basis of my discussion or for the example that I did the math on.  In my last post, I linked to the post where I expanded on my reasoning for comparing childless singles to families.

Quote
Using taxes paid per household member only works if you are arguing that either children should pay taxes even though they have no income

I disagree.  I included that info because a family of four will use more taxpayer funded resources, so I simply provided a datapoint as to what the tax burden is when broken down per household member.  This is strictly for informative purposes, which may open up eyes on the issue for those that don't simply discount it because it doesn't fit their narrative.  But I've never stated that the family of four should actually pay 4X as much tax.  I think equal tax would be fine, and I have made the >7X tax burden in various previous posts on this matter in other threads, which is bad enough, so it's not like I'm hiding this information.  Simply providing more datapoints to show this unfair taxation isn't misleading or intellectually dishonest as I think I've been pretty clear by stating "per household member" or such when I've mentioned the 30X figure vs the 7X figure.  A misleading comment would simply have said the single household pays 30X as much taxes.

On this forum, how often do you see people admit to not knowing something like that?

Quote
One of the things I really like about this forum is how open (most) members are to acknowledging when they didn't know something or realize they were mistaken.

.... there are, of course, occasional exceptions....

Oh sure, sometimes that happens, but can you imagine if everyone posted to confirm that they didn't know something or hadn't heard a particular fact before?  Like I said, I think many people know in general that families have a lesser tax burden, but I happened to throw an example out there that shows just how significant it is.

#### DreamFIRE

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2018, 08:36:49 PM »
Well this has been fun and all, but it's starting to get late for me. I'm happy to drop back in tomorrow and address any other concerns you might have. In the meantime, since you've reiterated many times that you're not losing sleep over the tax code, I'll wish you a good night.

I already responded before I saw this post.  But sure thing.  I think we've beat this horse to death though, and some of the previous posters will probably want to rehash the same thing, so I think it's time to end this part of the overall discussion.  Good evening.

#### J Boogie

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2018, 08:48:56 AM »
I'm not sure why so many child free people here hate on people who have children.

How much of this is people on the MMM forums in general and how much is specifically DreamFire?

therethere and J Boogie were doing a decent job before DreamFire showed up!!

:)

I actually have a 2 year old and we're probably going to have 1 or 2 more.

I am all for families big and small, parks & schools and so on.

But I am all for budgeting items being kept in their appropriate buckets. Disability/illness does not belong with paid family leave.

I am in favor of both but the (usually) elective nature of having a child puts it in a different category.

To get back on the topic of pulling from individual SS early for parental leave, I have a question for those who argue this is simply to accommodate greedy corporations who should be footing this bill.

Is this argument driven more by disgust and contempt for greedy corporations, or a desire for all to have good parental leave?

I would repeat my argument that this is the wrong approach because it leaves contractors, freelancers, and small business employees once again screwed. They're already screwed on health insurance. It just reinforces the notion that to raise a family in America you have to work for a large bureaucracy.

Also, forcing employers to do things that cost them a lot of money per employee can seem like a viable solution when the economy is stellar. But it just increases the amount of layoffs during a recession.

#### Gin1984

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2018, 09:06:51 AM »
I don't see any reason why people should have to pull from their future social security benefits to fund their parental leave. In California and other states, paid family leave is paid for through the state's short term disability fund. Employers do not pay for it. It is entirely funded by employees. As a worker, a portion of your taxes from your paycheck are already going toward short term disability insurance (SDI) anyway, whether you ever use it or not. With paid family leave, you can access short term disability benefits for up to six weeks to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. It seems to work well in the states that have implemented this approach. Why not just make it a nation-wide policy?

Based on the fact that this only exists in 4 states, I would imagine there might not be enough support for a nation-wide policy.

I'll go further and argue that using the disability fund is inappropriate.  Relative to injury or illness, parenthood is often a choice, one that you are able to prepare for.  I'm happy to have less of my paycheck so that those who become sick or injured don't have deal with as harsh of a financial hardship. I'm happy also because that might be me or my loved ones at some point, so it gives me peace of mind. I don't see the justification, especially under this umbrella, for someone who chooses to have children.

I think it might make sense for the govt to financially incentivize having children if they are in a Japan like demographic crisis, but otherwise they should just let citizens do what they choose to do and like Rubio proposes give them the option to tap their social security early for special situations like this.
Giving birth is a medical event and causes a woman to need time off to recover, just like any other injury (except that we expect women to care for another while recovering and normally give care to others that are injured).  When my grandmother broke her hip, my mother took time off under FMLA to care for her.  That was a choice.  She still got FMLA time.  Giving birth put restrictions on me, including driving restrictions because it was major surgery.  The idea that it should not be treated as any other medical event flabbergasts me.

#### J Boogie

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2018, 09:45:17 AM »
I don't see any reason why people should have to pull from their future social security benefits to fund their parental leave. In California and other states, paid family leave is paid for through the state's short term disability fund. Employers do not pay for it. It is entirely funded by employees. As a worker, a portion of your taxes from your paycheck are already going toward short term disability insurance (SDI) anyway, whether you ever use it or not. With paid family leave, you can access short term disability benefits for up to six weeks to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. It seems to work well in the states that have implemented this approach. Why not just make it a nation-wide policy?

Based on the fact that this only exists in 4 states, I would imagine there might not be enough support for a nation-wide policy.

I'll go further and argue that using the disability fund is inappropriate.  Relative to injury or illness, parenthood is often a choice, one that you are able to prepare for.  I'm happy to have less of my paycheck so that those who become sick or injured don't have deal with as harsh of a financial hardship. I'm happy also because that might be me or my loved ones at some point, so it gives me peace of mind. I don't see the justification, especially under this umbrella, for someone who chooses to have children.

I think it might make sense for the govt to financially incentivize having children if they are in a Japan like demographic crisis, but otherwise they should just let citizens do what they choose to do and like Rubio proposes give them the option to tap their social security early for special situations like this.
Giving birth is a medical event and causes a woman to need time off to recover, just like any other injury (except that we expect women to care for another while recovering and normally give care to others that are injured).  When my grandmother broke her hip, my mother took time off under FMLA to care for her.  That was a choice.  She still got FMLA time.  Giving birth put restrictions on me, including driving restrictions because it was major surgery.  The idea that it should not be treated as any other medical event flabbergasts me.

Sorry, I should clarify. Postpartum recovery should be covered using disability/illness funds. My wife had a C section as well so I am in complete agreement that a significant amount of time is required to recover. Even a best case scenario childbirth requires a decent amount of time.

Parental leave is different though in that fathers & adopting & lesbian parents can/should be able to partake, in many ways to be around for their partner who is both recovering and dealing the demands of caring for an infant. And the time period would ideally be longer than it takes to physically recover.

#### Paul der Krake

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2018, 10:21:36 AM »
I was curious to see where they got their "only 1 in 10 workers has paid parental leave" bit, and it's hard to get good data on this. Every employer does their thing, has different policies for employee class, gender, adoption, source of income, etc.

Paid can mean as little as 3 days at 50% normal income, or a cushy 3 month fully paid income replacement for both parents with counseling services, or anything in between.

#### GreenGrapes

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #62 on: August 06, 2018, 10:26:20 AM »
What about government employees who aren't covered under SS?  I work for a government and am covered under FMLA, but I have no access to paid leave.  If my SS retirement benefit will be 0, would I be SOL under this plan?  There must be a better way to deal with this issue.

#### Paul der Krake

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #63 on: August 06, 2018, 10:29:40 AM »
What about government employees who aren't covered under SS?  I work for a government and am covered under FMLA, but I have no access to paid leave.  If my SS retirement benefit will be 0, would I be SOL under this plan?  There must be a better way to deal with this issue.
Get your union on the case?

#### therethere

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #64 on: August 06, 2018, 10:31:26 AM »
Since I'm getting called out... No, I don't hate people who have kids. I'm don't have the pull to have one and parent them. I'm simply pointing out that it is a choice to have children or not. Presumably, the majority of children are a planned life change. I understand the need to bond. I empathize with those having to navigate taking care of a newborn at a time while they themselves are recovering. But right now there is already FMLA to cover that. It's not perfect but it is what it is. Should we as the US have something better? Sure. But personally I don't think encouraging people to delay SS to pay for a few weeks of time to me is a full answer. I also think that any solution that only covers "parental leave" is too specific. At the very least the requirements should be backed out to cover other FMLA events such as taking care of elderly family members.

#### mm1970

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #65 on: August 06, 2018, 11:41:29 AM »
Paying several thousand dollars a year in property taxes is nothing particularly exceptional for someone who owns a home. I own only a small house in a relatively low cost of living part of the country and even I can honestly claim to pay several thousand dollars a year in property taxes.

The ironic thing is that I live in a LCOL area as far as home prices, but the property taxes are among the highest compared to the home value, which makes it a little more exceptional.  But the other point to the property tax comment is that a family of four living in my home would pay the same property tax.  It's not just about the parks, a large amount goes toward the schools as well.  Divide the property tax per home resident, and factor in who takes advantage of those taxpayer funded resources that most, and you should see where I'm coming from.  I'm not saying I shouldn't pay any property taxes, but this was just one piece of the total tax pie.

EDIT:  Corrected "owner" to "resident".

Some math, as it applies to my location.

Current \$ spent to educate a child per year in our school district: \$7500 (it's below median)
Multiply that times 13 years = \$97,500

So that's a good baseline, on today's dollars, on how much was spent educating the typical adult today.

Now, let's assume that you own a home and pay property tax for 40 years.
That comes to \$2437.50 per year, approximately - that would go towards repaying your K-12 education.

Now, approximately 48% of property taxes actually go to the schools (the rest are used elsewhere).  Therefore, a single individual, in order to fully repay society for their education, would need to pay property taxes of \$5078 per year, for 40 years.

(for the record, our property taxes are between \$6500-8500 a year, depending on how the market is doing).

Another way of looking at it locally is that the typical older homeowner, thanks to prop 13, pays much less than that.  So they would only repay society after about 50 years.  I suppose I'm happy to give them a discount after.

In general, I'm pretty fascinated by the "I got mine fuck you" attitude that some people have.  As long as you don't expect my children to subsidize your retirement (Medicare, SS)...

#### Hargrove

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #66 on: August 06, 2018, 05:48:37 PM »
To get back on the topic of pulling from individual SS early for parental leave, I have a question for those who argue this is simply to accommodate greedy corporations who should be footing this bill.

Is this argument driven more by disgust and contempt for greedy corporations, or a desire for all to have good parental leave?

Lack of leave is a problem solved by generating leave, not by cannibalizing another (not especially extravagant) benefit.

Businesses may very well lay-off more employees, who have better benefits, during a downturn. In that sense, they can "pass along the costs," so to speak. This argument is usually, for some reason, expected to stand on its own. But workers in that scenario can probably get rehired later with some benefits, in the world where that's something businesses are supposed to be offering.

However, workers HAVE to pass on their costs. They stop buying things. They go bankrupt. It's not magically better for the economy to screw the worker and spare the business (or vice versa).

These scenarios aren't just about a survey on "evil megacorp or entitled citizen?" Both groups have plenty of self-interest. Society needs an equilibrium of those interests. It doesn't take a PhD to see a problem with the current equilibrium. One side winning IS the nightmare scenario. We can either fix the equilibrium because it's better policy, or we can fix it because eventually the pendulum swings too far and snaps back in the other direction. Rubio's proposal is not the "better policy" road.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 05:56:53 PM by Hargrove »

#### Prairie Stash

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2018, 09:15:47 AM »
If I understand correctly, the Canadian system has no loss for the primary caregiver, and the American proposal does.
The American system is starting out where ours was many years ago. The system has evolved, it didn't start with all the bells and whistles. The largest hurdle is getting started, achieving perfection from the start is impossible. I think its better then the current mess you have, if you follow Canada it will also get better with time.

I get what you're saying. You may be right. But I'm less confident about incremental improvement. Incremental improvement sometimes cements weird or terrible decisions long-term, or just gets reversed every 4-8 years. Healthcare here is for rich people, and the incremental improvement got a hatchet job instead of continued improvement. Now rates and access to care are back to awful, and there's even less political will to do anything about it.
Valid concerns, in the real world the powers that be don't always adopt the best policies. I sometimes forget that myself, I still like to believe the world is led by rational people, sadly, thats hardly true.

Thats not to say that the USA might not take a different and better tact; something else Canada could import. With regards to healthcare, I like reading the American debates on it. On our side of the border, we use the evil USA system as a reason to keep our healthcare public; on your side our system is vilified. HIts a great set of opposing viewpoints.

The biggest obstacle Canada faced when Medicare was adopted provincially in the 60's was from the medical profession. They spent more on opposing it then the politicians did on their entire campaign to get elected. The reason; they feared they wouldn't earn as much as their American counterparts, the reining in of costs had to be stopped! Ultimately the propaganda failed and eventually Canada had Healthcare for all.

"The crudeness of the propaganda appears to have been based on the assumption that the Saskatchewan electorate was as unsophisticated as their American counterparts."

The same can be said for any issue, often propaganda isn't in your own best interest. I'm sure I've been fooled in my lifetime as well.

#### robartsd

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2018, 12:24:32 PM »
I share the concern that the people who are most likely to use this benefit are the same people who are already under saving for retirement. Still, I think it is better than the status quo.

What about government employees who aren't covered under SS?  I work for a government and am covered under FMLA, but I have no access to paid leave.  If my SS retirement benefit will be 0, would I be SOL under this plan?  There must be a better way to deal with this issue.
I imagine that government workers who aren't covered by SS could probably negotiate a contract that works similarly against their government pension plan. Perhaps there should be a loophole that allows you to withdraw penalty free from other qualified retirement plans for family leave as well.

The law only requires unpaid leave. Employers can elect to allow employees to (or require them to) use accumulated paid leave/sick leave if the employer offers either of those benefits.

Since it's "elect" presumably an employer is not under a legal obligation to do so, no? But this is not my area of expertise.
I believe the employer is required to allow employees to use leave credits you may have available (and may elect to require employees to use them if they wish).

Another way of looking at it locally is that the typical older homeowner, thanks to prop 13, pays much less than that.  So they would only repay society after about 50 years.  I suppose I'm happy to give them a discount after.
I believe Prop 13 is unique to California.

That's another issue.  A two earner household, or even a single earner household of a married couple, while MFJ, not only gets double the standard deduction of a single filer, the couple also pays taxes at a lower percentage up to a much higher income where the single person's tax increases to the next tax bracket at a much lower threshold.  So, there's a double benefit that.
Divide the property tax per home resident, and factor in who takes advantage of those taxpayer funded resources that most, and you should see where I'm coming from.

Married filing joint has basically no benefit to a couple that each have equal incomes. Sure the standard deduction and tax bracket limits are double (except that the income limit for the second to highest bracket is significantly less than double) - but it's for two taxpayers not one. The primary advantage of married filling joint is that they can attribute half of all income to each spouse even when they have drastically different income levels - it's also nice to only have to file one return. There is a tax break for single parents (filing as head of household adds about 50% more space to the lower tax brackets) in addition to the tax benefits of having dependents.

You keep harping on "per person" taxes. If a family of four had a per person income has high as yours, they would be paying much more taxes per person than you would. For income tax it would be slightly more fair to compare the taxes per adult household member if you want to emphasize the difference between taxes paid by single people and taxes paid by families.

I know of no tax breaks for families regarding property taxes - everywhere I am aware property taxes are a pretty straightforward calculation based on the property itself, not the characteristics of the household that owns it. If you enjoy the luxury of a more expensive property than the average family of four in your area, I don't want to hear you whine about property taxes. Why don't you get yourself 3 roommates so your per person property tax will be more fair? (I apologize if the property tax structure in your area actually does give a break to households with children.)

Also, I neither have children nor am I currently a child, yet I find I still visit and enjoy both city and state parks on a regular basis. I thus reject your assertion that the portion of my property taxes which go to maintain these amenities is a subsidy only for families with children.
As someone without kids, I do sometimes resent playgrounds that prohibit adults who are not supervising children from playing on them.

#### DreamFIRE

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2018, 03:57:28 PM »
You keep harping on "per person" taxes.

I thought we were through with this discussion, but since you responded and apparently missed my earlier clarification, I will provide a more concise follow-up, which I hope clears it up.

First, I'm framing this as a single childless woman and a family of four with the SAME HOUSEHOLD income and the federal income taxes paid using the standard 2018 tax tables.  That's the starting point.  If you're wanting to compare different household incomes or single parents (you mentioned both), that's a completely different argument that I am not interested in.  You can also DISREGARD the "per person tax" to show the same problem.  I have provided total tax as well as "per person" previously in this thread and others, but it appears some may have only noticed the "per person" amounts, so here again is the full comparison with only the "household" incomes and "household" federal income taxes.

Household income of single woman with no kids \$70,000
Total federal income tax \$8700

Household income of married couple with 2 kids \$70,000
Total federal income tax \$1139

The single woman household pays over 7 1/2 times as much tax in this example.  She is subsidizing the family with kids by paying many more times in federal income taxes despite the family utilizing far more \$ in public resources.

In this example, you will note that I didn't even bother to include the even lower amount of tax when divided out per household member.  Simply look at the total tax paid per household with the SAME household income.

Hopefully that clears up any confusion.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 05:22:30 PM by DreamFIRE »

#### robartsd

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2018, 08:53:03 AM »
You keep harping on "per person" taxes.
In this example, you will note that I didn't even bother to include the even lower amount of tax when divided out per household member.
I'm not arguing that there are major flaws with your last example. A family of four pays quite a bit less taxes than a single person with the same household income. Your insistence that it is somehow fair to compare household income and per person taxes (that you still imply in your last post) is what I have a problem with. I could just as easily make an argument about after tax money per person to make a silly argument that single people aren't taxed nearly enough: per person the single person keeps \$61,300, while the family only has \$17,215.25 per person - so the single person gets to keep 3.5 times as much of her income. The point is if you want to compare household incomes, you really ought to keep it to household taxes instead of your silly "per person" tax.

The reality is that our tax structure is such that people with high "per person" income pay the largest amount of taxes. Many people feel this is fair (even many of those highly taxed individuals).

Married without kids, \$70,000 income: federal income tax \$5,139 (the couple with kids in your example only had a tax reduction of \$2,000 per kid).

Married without kids, \$140,000 income: federal income tax \$17,399 (rounding error causes the single person to pay \$0.50 more per person than married couple with equal per person income).

Married with 2 kids, \$140,000 income: federal income tax \$13,399 (still just \$2000 per kid reduction).

Married with 2 kids: \$280,000 income: federal income tax \$46,289. (same per-person income as a single person with \$70,000 income, 33% more per-person taxes).

Bottom like is that you subsidize just about everyone who has lower per person income with your taxes regardless of how their household is made up (thank you). Your high taxes are not primarily about subsidizing families.

#### CindyBS

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##### Re: Social Insecurity and New Parents
« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2018, 04:29:48 PM »
I don't see any reason why people should have to pull from their future social security benefits to fund their parental leave. In California and other states, paid family leave is paid for through the state's short term disability fund. Employers do not pay for it. It is entirely funded by employees. As a worker, a portion of your taxes from your paycheck are already going toward short term disability insurance (SDI) anyway, whether you ever use it or not. With paid family leave, you can access short term disability benefits for up to six weeks to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. It seems to work well in the states that have implemented this approach. Why not just make it a nation-wide policy?

Based on the fact that this only exists in 4 states, I would imagine there might not be enough support for a nation-wide policy.

I'll go further and argue that using the disability fund is inappropriate.  Relative to injury or illness, parenthood is often a choice, one that you are able to prepare for.  I'm happy to have less of my paycheck so that those who become sick or injured don't have deal with as harsh of a financial hardship. I'm happy also because that might be me or my loved ones at some point, so it gives me peace of mind. I don't see the justification, especially under this umbrella, for someone who chooses to have children.

I think it might make sense for the govt to financially incentivize having children if they are in a Japan like demographic crisis, but otherwise they should just let citizens do what they choose to do and like Rubio proposes give them the option to tap their social security early for special situations like this.
Giving birth is a medical event and causes a woman to need time off to recover, just like any other injury (except that we expect women to care for another while recovering and normally give care to others that are injured).  When my grandmother broke her hip, my mother took time off under FMLA to care for her.  That was a choice.  She still got FMLA time.  Giving birth put restrictions on me, including driving restrictions because it was major surgery.  The idea that it should not be treated as any other medical event flabbergasts me.

Sorry, I should clarify. Postpartum recovery should be covered using disability/illness funds. My wife had a C section as well so I am in complete agreement that a significant amount of time is required to recover. Even a best case scenario childbirth requires a decent amount of time.

Parental leave is different though in that fathers & adopting & lesbian parents can/should be able to partake, in many ways to be around for their partner who is both recovering and dealing the demands of caring for an infant. And the time period would ideally be longer than it takes to physically recover.

Parental leave is not just for having a baby or being a dad home to care for infants.  Two years ago, my 13 year old got cancer - definitely not planned or a choice.  I was not eligible for FMLA because I was short 100 hours of the number of hours you have to had worked in the previous 12 months.  I did get 1 year unpaid leave, though, b/c of a union contract.  My DH went on intermittent FMLA and has been for the past few years.

I would argue that parental leave should be expanded to mean all the categories that FMLA covers - parents, siblings, etc. As seniors are living longer, short leaves from work to care for elderly parents will become more common.  Most civilized industrialized countries pay for this out of a fund similar to the unemployment system in the US and it could be implemented here to cover all workers.  It is funny that in the US we have no problem covering some of your income through federal programs if you are disabled, you get laid off, you retire, you die before your children are adults, but if you lost your income because you are caring for someone who is sick or disabled - nothing.  (some SSI in limited circumstances)