Author Topic: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!  (Read 60528 times)

rosaz

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #150 on: April 10, 2014, 11:55:13 AM »
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No.  Those children, IF they grow up to be productive adults, will be paying for the services they use as adults, PLUS (if they choose to remain child-free) an additional amount that subsidizes their contemporaries who will choose to have children.  Simple math, which shouldn't be difficult to understand, IF you want to understand it :-)

So, by that logic, when you were a child, you were subsidized by your parents' contemporaries. So those subsidies you're paying now are just paying back society for the freebies your parents got. As a parent, my contribution to society is to raise productive adults, at least some of whom (if not in the next generation, then the ones following it) will likely be childless, and who will hence pay back any subsidies I received.

Or you can just think of it as paying for the services you consumed as a child, because it makes a lot more sense.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #151 on: April 10, 2014, 01:06:43 PM »
Regardless, it is all the cost of being part of a society.  It is impossible to be equal.  It is the value that society places as a majority that will dictate what the rules are - or in some cases that the rules will not change.

True, to a degree.  But if the people who're forced to sit in the back of the bus just keep on meekly accepting their situation, the rules won't change.

So, by that logic, when you were a child, you were subsidized by your parents' contemporaries. So those subsidies you're paying now are just paying back society for the freebies your parents got.

So because the childfree of the sixties had to sit in the back of the metaphorical bus, the childfree of today should feel happy when people suggest we should move even further back?

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As a parent, my contribution to society is to raise productive adults...

Sorry, but I find it hard to believe that you set out on the road to parenthood with the goal of contributing to society.  Even if you did, if you give someone a gift that they don't want, and which will cost them a lot of money to maintain, should you really expect them to feel gratitude?

whitewaterchica

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #152 on: April 10, 2014, 01:25:12 PM »
Tax code? How about mandatory parental leave like the rest of the "civilized" world?

Only if those without children get the same amount of "personal growth" time . .  you choose to have a kid, maybe we want that same amount of time to choose to climb a mountain, etc.  or tackle some other life goal outside the office.   I'm all for expanded mandatory minimums on paid time off, but not if it is under the guise of "parental leave" where companies can discriminate the childless because it's not "for the kids".

If by "personal growth time" you mean "time to recover from 9 months of giving your body over to completely supporting another human and possibly recovering from a nasty surgery which will most likely leave you anemic for months".  Sorry, but you're trying to make it seem like parental leave is just time for people to take a vacation and it's not.  Besides which, if we actually had sane parental leave policies which gave, at the very least, mothers 6 months off from work without having to worry about their job disappearing or earning money, it could prevent a whole shit TON of medical costs because they (we) could actually heal and focus on getting kids off to the healthiest start possible by doing things such as breastfeeding.  (Yes, mothers are now allowed to pump at work but that's really just second best, since breastmilk loses a lot by being outside of the body that way.  And, most mothers choose not to pump because it's such a pain in the ass.)

FTR, I couldn't even finish the article because it was so insanely stupid.  I just didn't want someone else talking about parental leave as if it's a freaking vacation.


I have never said or insinuated that parental leave is a vacation.  I did however, suggest that every employee should have the right to time off of work without risking losing their jobs, not limited to recovery from childbirth or family care.   I don't care whether they use the six weeks to recover from child birth, help a sick friend with no relatives, do a six week volunteer stint overseas, or just lounge at home recovering from job/life stress.  All are valid reasons to want to take off of work, which if a law to require paid time off is being proposed I think should be covered.  Unpaid time off as covered in the FMLA does a shitty job for everyone - parents included.   Do you disagree?  Should parents be the only ones worth giving legally protected time off?

As a parent, if I wanted free time to travel the world, or navel gaze, or "discover myself", I would expect to not get paid to do so.  Why should childless people be allowed to get paid time off for that?  As others have pointed out, in aggregate, having children benefits society.  And, it's completely unlike anything else in the history of ever.  You're trying to compare apples to oranges when you compare the act of GIVING BIRTH TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING to anything else.  The physical impacts, financial, emotional, etc., are completely different than anything else you will encounter.  Perhaps the "childfree" should just suck it up and admit that it's a special circumstance?  You chose not to have kids.  Good for you!  I actually appreciate when other people choose not to have children because, A) I'm in the camp that thinks world population is too high and B) it means you've actually thought about your choice rather than just "oops"ing your way into a family you don't actually want.  You're avoiding a hell of a lot that's good and probably just as much that's bad. 
But the situation between childed and childless is never going to be "fair" in the way that you want and whining about it is just silly.  If you want the damn paid time off, have your own little rugrats and get the paid time off.  If you really don't want to have kids, fine, but don't begrudge parents getting a benefit or two that you don't.  There are plenty of things you get that we don't and I don't begrudge you those benefits. 
I sort of think that some of this argument is because some people can be rough with people who don't have kids by a certain age.  I get that.  Those people are assholes and you should remind yourself of that.  The rest of us will support you no matter what reproductive decision you make.  If you're truly at peace with your decision not to have kids, I don't think you should need to bring down the "breeders" to make yourself feel better, IMHO.

Sorry for quoting everything when I'm really only asking about one bit, "If you really don't want to have kids, fine, but don't begrudge parents getting a benefit or two that you don't.  There are plenty of things you get that we don't and I don't begrudge you those benefits."

Would you mind expanding on the things child-free individuals (whether by choice or circumstance) get that parents don't? I am not trying to start an argument, rather I am genuinely curious because I am having trouble thinking of any examples and wish to be more informed. Thanks!

whitewaterchica

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #153 on: April 10, 2014, 01:34:19 PM »
Sorry for quoting everything when I'm really only asking about one bit, "If you really don't want to have kids, fine, but don't begrudge parents getting a benefit or two that you don't.  There are plenty of things you get that we don't and I don't begrudge you those benefits."

Would you mind expanding on the things child-free individuals (whether by choice or circumstance) get that parents don't? I am not trying to start an argument, rather I am genuinely curious because I am having trouble thinking of any examples and wish to be more informed. Thanks!
Um, freedom to go out without planning ahead. A quiet house. Cheaper travel since there are less people traveling. More flexibility in just about everything since you don't have to worry about what to do with this little human you are completely responsible for. More money since even at the most frugal parenting kids cost money. More sleep. I could keep going...there's a lot of reason I choose to be child free :)

Um, yes, these are all nice but I am referring to things like tax breaks and the like. Presumably when one chooses to have children they recognize trips may cost more, the house may not always be quiet, etc...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 01:36:04 PM by whitewaterchica »

Insanity

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #154 on: April 10, 2014, 01:35:30 PM »
Regardless, it is all the cost of being part of a society.  It is impossible to be equal.  It is the value that society places as a majority that will dictate what the rules are - or in some cases that the rules will not change.

True, to a degree.  But if the people who're forced to sit in the back of the bus just keep on meekly accepting their situation, the rules won't change.

I sincerely hate when that argument is made.  Not because it is accurate but because it takes things way to the extreme.  This isn't a civil rights case.  No one is preventing you from doing anything.   

warfreak2

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #155 on: April 10, 2014, 01:47:41 PM »
No.  Those children, IF they grow up to be productive adults, will be paying for the services they use as adults, PLUS (if they choose to remain child-free) an additional amount that subsidizes their contemporaries who will choose to have children.  Simple math, which shouldn't be difficult to understand, IF you want to understand it :-)
There's a concert in town, and Alice and Bob go together, Charlie goes alone, and Denise & Elaine and Fred & George go on a double-date. (It's my story, so they're gay.)

The group of four arrive first, they pay $40, and go in to stand as close to the stage as possible.
Charlie is next in line, he pays $10, and heads to the bar.
Alice and Bob arrive last, they pay $20.

Now, Charlie is thinking to himself, "hey, that was cheap, I only paid $2.50 each for the four tickets of the people in front of me!". And Alice and Bob are thinking, "woah, what a rip-off, it cost us $20 for just one guy in front of us!".

-- fin --

Obviously, everything is going to look stupid and unfair if, according to your accounting practices, every group pays for the group in front of them, instead of for themselves. You will pay one lifetime of taxes, and you will use one lifetime of public services; that is fair.

whitewaterchica

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #156 on: April 10, 2014, 01:50:57 PM »
Sorry for quoting everything when I'm really only asking about one bit, "If you really don't want to have kids, fine, but don't begrudge parents getting a benefit or two that you don't.  There are plenty of things you get that we don't and I don't begrudge you those benefits."

Would you mind expanding on the things child-free individuals (whether by choice or circumstance) get that parents don't? I am not trying to start an argument, rather I am genuinely curious because I am having trouble thinking of any examples and wish to be more informed. Thanks!
Um, freedom to go out without planning ahead. A quiet house. Cheaper travel since there are less people traveling. More flexibility in just about everything since you don't have to worry about what to do with this little human you are completely responsible for. More money since even at the most frugal parenting kids cost money. More sleep. I could keep going...there's a lot of reason I choose to be child free :)

Um, yes, these are all nice but I am referring to things like tax breaks and the like. Presumably when one choses to have children they recognize trips may cost more, the house may not always be quiet, etc...
I don't think they were talking about tax breaks and the like. There aren't any for child free people. It's all the other benefits of not having kids that the tax breaks for kids are trying to help offset

Yes, I am aware that no such tax breaks exist which is why I am especially curious. Hopefully the original poster will reply as I try not to make assumptions.

Just reading through the posts on this thread it's easy to see how much variation could exist in what any one person might describe as a *benefit* (different strokes and all that). Looking forward to the response.

CommonCents

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #157 on: April 10, 2014, 02:08:08 PM »
Sorry for quoting everything when I'm really only asking about one bit, "If you really don't want to have kids, fine, but don't begrudge parents getting a benefit or two that you don't.  There are plenty of things you get that we don't and I don't begrudge you those benefits."

Would you mind expanding on the things child-free individuals (whether by choice or circumstance) get that parents don't? I am not trying to start an argument, rather I am genuinely curious because I am having trouble thinking of any examples and wish to be more informed. Thanks!
Um, freedom to go out without planning ahead. A quiet house. Cheaper travel since there are less people traveling. More flexibility in just about everything since you don't have to worry about what to do with this little human you are completely responsible for. More money since even at the most frugal parenting kids cost money. More sleep. I could keep going...there's a lot of reason I choose to be child free :)

Um, yes, these are all nice but I am referring to things like tax breaks and the like. Presumably when one choses to have children they recognize trips may cost more, the house may not always be quiet, etc...
I don't think they were talking about tax breaks and the like. There aren't any for child free people. It's all the other benefits of not having kids that the tax breaks for kids are trying to help offset

Yes, I am aware that no such tax breaks exist which is why I am especially curious. Hopefully the original poster will reply as I try not to make assumptions.

Just reading through the posts on this thread it's easy to see how much variation could exist in what any one person might describe as a *benefit* (different strokes and all that). Looking forward to the response.

I'm curious too, because I too, took your question to be "what societal benefits" you get for being childfree.  Again, it's a choice to be childfree or kids, but the quieter house, travel, going out - that's all individual based.  (It's also totally avoidable.  Teach your kids to be quiet.  Bike to a camp rather than fly to a hotel for vacation.  Trade off going out with your husband.  Heck, trade off with friends.)

While raising kids may be in society's best interest, I know of no one that had kids because it's in society's best interests.  They always choose because they wanted kids.  At the time we are looking at a realistic potential crisis due to lack of sufficient children, I would support increased tax benefits to parents.  Until then - why?  It's not needed to change behavior. 

Angelfishtitan

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #158 on: April 10, 2014, 02:30:50 PM »
I don't think they were talking about tax breaks and the like. There aren't any for child free people. It's all the other benefits of not having kids that the tax breaks for kids are trying to help offset

Say what? There is plenty of things that can be used for deductions on your taxes; student loans, mortgage interest, medical bills, donations/charity mileage, etc. Most of this is covered by the standard deduction (or in addtion to) for the average person and itemized for those with higher amounts. Hence anyone under the standard deduction is subsidized by those closer to it then them since they both get the same benefit while one has less actual deductible expenses. Do the people arguing against a dependant deduction have an issue with this, which is most likely for a simpler tax code?

Let's just change what we call the items currently in the tax code:
Single Standard Deduction: $6,200
Joint Standard Deduction: $12,400
Child Standard Deduction: $3,000

Without EITC, the standard deduction for a child is half an adult. I think this is a pretty good approximation of what "deductible" items would fall under. Hell I would imagine more than 1/5 of a couple with one child's "deductible" items ($3,000 out of $15,400) would fall under the child, particularly in the healthcare department.

Disclaimer: I have no children. I just find the past few pages of arguments pretty bad overall. When you can take your tax/public works arguements and can substitute "childed" and "childfree" with "poor" and "wealthy" without changing the message maybe your arguement isn't about child deductions its about the tax code in general.

CommonCents

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #159 on: April 10, 2014, 02:36:52 PM »
[Hence anyone under the standard deduction is subsidized by those closer to it then them since they both get the same benefit while one has less actual deductible expenses. Do the people arguing against a dependant deduction have an issue with this, which is most likely for a simpler tax code?

I think most aren't arguing against a dependent deduction, but rather an increase to the dependent deduction, particularly under the substantial terms suggested by the article.

Also, I agree with you the tax code sucks.

SisterX

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #160 on: April 10, 2014, 03:28:46 PM »
Sorry for quoting everything when I'm really only asking about one bit, "If you really don't want to have kids, fine, but don't begrudge parents getting a benefit or two that you don't.  There are plenty of things you get that we don't and I don't begrudge you those benefits."

Would you mind expanding on the things child-free individuals (whether by choice or circumstance) get that parents don't? I am not trying to start an argument, rather I am genuinely curious because I am having trouble thinking of any examples and wish to be more informed. Thanks!
Um, freedom to go out without planning ahead. A quiet house. Cheaper travel since there are less people traveling. More flexibility in just about everything since you don't have to worry about what to do with this little human you are completely responsible for. More money since even at the most frugal parenting kids cost money. More sleep. I could keep going...there's a lot of reason I choose to be child free :)

Um, yes, these are all nice but I am referring to things like tax breaks and the like. Presumably when one choses to have children they recognize trips may cost more, the house may not always be quiet, etc...
I don't think they were talking about tax breaks and the like. There aren't any for child free people. It's all the other benefits of not having kids that the tax breaks for kids are trying to help offset

Yes, I am aware that no such tax breaks exist which is why I am especially curious. Hopefully the original poster will reply as I try not to make assumptions.

Just reading through the posts on this thread it's easy to see how much variation could exist in what any one person might describe as a *benefit* (different strokes and all that). Looking forward to the response.

I'm curious too, because I too, took your question to be "what societal benefits" you get for being childfree.  Again, it's a choice to be childfree or kids, but the quieter house, travel, going out - that's all individual based.  (It's also totally avoidable.  Teach your kids to be quiet.  Bike to a camp rather than fly to a hotel for vacation.  Trade off going out with your husband.  Heck, trade off with friends.)

While raising kids may be in society's best interest, I know of no one that had kids because it's in society's best interests.  They always choose because they wanted kids.  At the time we are looking at a realistic potential crisis due to lack of sufficient children, I would support increased tax benefits to parents.  Until then - why?  It's not needed to change behavior.

Um, the "mommy track"?  A lot of people here seem to think that people with kids have a really easy time just taking off work and dumping our workload on the poor childfree people.  ???  I don't get it.  If nothing else, if you do that you'll be labeled as a certain kind of employee in your boss's mind and it'll come around to bite you in the ass come promotion and bonus time.  Mothers don't get promoted as much and don't earn as much.  From wikipedia: "Across different pay levels and socioeconomic groups, women’s earnings tend to plateau after giving birth.[6] Even when controlling for variables, on average mothers in all groups earn lower wages than non-mothers.[7] Beyond this general drop in earnings, though, there are significant differences in mothers’ wage gaps between high-earning women and low-earning women."  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mommy_track)
Oddly enough, the only reports for "daddy track" that I could find were about men who choose to be SAHD, not about any economic losses for those with jobs.
I won't bring up social benefits because I do understand that there's also a social cost for childfree people.  I don't think it's a small thing to be sort of left out of certain social activities because you don't have kids, or to have people pressuring you to have kids, etc.  Neither is it a small thing to have childfree people judging your parenting if your kid throws a tantrum in a crowded area, or whining because your filthy little devil's spawn is going to get its grubby little mitts all over THEIR tax dollars!  (Sorry, I'm kinda laughing about the second one, not really poking fun.)  A little more compassion for both sides, please?
And you say that no one ever thinks of society's best interests when choosing to have kids.  Sure, I had a kid because I think kids are hilarious and awesome.  But, that's not to say that the social costs/benefits has never been part of my reproductive decisions.  I'm limiting the number of children I have not even for economic or social reasons but ecological ones.  Am I just a crazy outlier in that?

libertarian4321

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #161 on: April 10, 2014, 06:17:18 PM »
Simple logic will tell you that, on average, a family of 8 (Bob, wife, and 6 kids) is going to use a heck of a lot more services than a family of two.

That doesn't mean "Joe is a hermit" or that Bob's brood use more than a normal amount of services.  There are just MORE OF THEM, so they will use more services. 

This concept should be neither controversial nor difficult to understand.

The difficult to understand part is where you make the leap to this being unfair.  Those children will grow up, and eventually pay much more in taxes to fund the services that they once used.  This concept should be neither controversial, nor difficult to understand.


Yes, Joe uses the road to go to work.  So does Bob.  But Joe ain't going to be humping his kids off to ballet practice, doctor visits, baseball games, school plays, and out of town road trips to see Bob Jr, Sally, Jilly May, Tommy,  Bubba, and cute little Susie Q play soccer (or whatever).

A family of 8, on average, is going to drive more than a family of 2. 

BTW, the family of 8 is likely to not only drive more miles, but own more vehicles, and LARGER vehicles, than a child free couple.  You won't see nearly as many child free couples driving mini-vans and SUVs.

I don't accept your claim that having a child makes you drive more than being single.  Can you provide and data supporting your claim that amount of driving and vehicle size is a direct result of being a parent?  I know plenty of single people who drive full sized pickup trucks or large SUVs.  There are many families who drive very little.


Here, every household gets one big garbage bin (one of the ones that an automated garbage truck arm can pick up), that gets picked up once a week.

It takes my wife and myself weeks to fill the thing, so we probably put out the bin, only partially full, every 3 weeks or so.  A large family 3 doors down (2 parents, 5 kids) seems to fill theirs to the bursting point every week.

Again, more people means more waste produced.

Again, I don't accept your claim that having a child makes you produce more garbage.  There are wasteful people, and people who aren't wasteful.  A wasteful parent will produce a ton of garbage.  So will a wasteful single person.  It sucks that the place you live has a poor waste management system, but misplacing your anger over that on parents is unfounded.




Okay, so you have chosen to simply deny what should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent human being- that a group of 8 human beings, ON AVERAGE is going to use more city services than a family of 2.

I'm not sure if you are being intentionally obtuse (trolling) or are just a bit slow.

On the off chance that you are just a bit slow, I'll try to give a few examples that will, hopefully, smack you upside the head with what, to most people, would be a blindingly obvious fact.

A group of 8 people, ON AVERAGE,  consume more than 2 people.  More food, more clothes, more toys, more paper, more electricity, more Christmas presents, more water, and yes, more gas.

That does not mean that you can't find one anecdotal example of a really low usage group of 8 that consumes less than a high consumption group of 2, but ON AVERAGE (notice how I typed that in caps, because it matters), a group of 2 people will consume less of everything than a group of 8.

Still dazed and confused by this concept?  Lets try this.  NY City has more garbage men, more police, more firefighters, more road construction crews, more sewage system employees, more government bureaucrats, more teachers, more everything than Scarsdale, NY, despite the fact that Scarsdale folks are a lot wealthier. 

Why do you think that is?  Could it be a large group of people is going to use a lot more services than a small group of people?

Mull these points over for a while.  See if a light flashes in your brain.

If not, there is no point in continuing this discussion, because I can't think for you.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #162 on: April 10, 2014, 10:39:01 PM »

True, to a degree.  But if the people who're forced to sit in the back of the bus just keep on meekly accepting their situation, the rules won't change.

I sincerely hate when that argument is made.  Not because it is accurate but because it takes things way to the extreme.  This isn't a civil rights case.  No one is preventing you from doing anything.

Yes, they are: they are preventing me from spending money I earn on things that I value.

By your logic, having to sit in the back of the bus really isn't preventing you from doing anything.  You still ride the bus.

I think most aren't arguing against a dependent deduction, but rather an increase to the dependent deduction, particularly under the substantial terms suggested by the article.

Some of us aren't even arguing against the deduction, or school taxes &c.  We're just trying to get the people who have children to admit that 1) They did it for themselves, not for society; and 2) The extra money the child-free pay damned well IS a subsidy to parents.

Quote
Also, I agree with you the tax code sucks.

No argument there.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 10:45:21 PM by Jamesqf »

brewer12345

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #163 on: April 10, 2014, 11:26:23 PM »
The milk of human kindness sure flows freely around here.

fixer-upper

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #164 on: April 11, 2014, 03:31:48 AM »
The milk of human kindness sure flows freely around here.

For a community of people looking to live cheap and retire early, it's amazing how many want increase their tax bill (forever) to support the chidren (expenses) they want today.




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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #165 on: April 11, 2014, 03:48:18 AM »
It is absolute nonsense that parents can't save money. The constant stream of articles asserting that life is too expensive so people can't save money, the economy is too terrible so people can't save money, etc. are getting really old, and this is just one more iteration.

Using myself as anecdotal evidence...we have four children. I have been at home with three of them since day one (two decades ago), so we've always lived on one income, and it's never been a "high earner" income, either. One of our children required residential treatment that wasn't covered by insurance and cost $100,000 out of pocket over two years. The same child was the subject of a custody battle with DH's ex to the tune of $80,000 over seven years. As homeschoolers, our children haven't taken back out of the education system the tax dollars we've put into it, so we're akin to childfree people in that regard. We also qualified for WIC for a few years but didn't take it, so our tax dollars "subsidized" those who were on it, while not receiving benefits - just like if we'd been a child-free couple, who of course pay for WIC and can't use it. And we've STILL managed to get to a networth closing in on $300K, so far. It's not anything like what DINKs would have stashed away by now, but it's nothing to sneeze at, either. It just took a whole lot of separating wants from needs and being halfway intelligent with the money that passed through our hands.

And I do mean HALFWAY intelligent, because we've made some really boneheaded financial mistakes along the way. And still...not poverty stricken here!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 03:51:16 AM by Bookworm »

warfreak2

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #166 on: April 11, 2014, 03:58:12 AM »
Okay, so you have chosen to simply deny what should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent human being- that a group of 8 human beings, ON AVERAGE is going to use more city services than a family of 2.
A group of 8 people is 8 people. Of course they use more in total. They don't use more per person. They will together use 8 lifetimes of public services, and also pay 8 lifetimes of tax. The family of 2 will use 2 lifetimes of public services and pay 2 lifetimes of tax. None of them gets more or less than their fair share simply by living in a house with more or fewer people in it.

Angelfishtitan

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #167 on: April 11, 2014, 06:21:09 AM »
The milk of human kindness sure flows freely around here.

For a community of people looking to live cheap and retire early, it's amazing how many want increase their tax bill (forever) to support the chidren (expenses) they want today.

First, most people are not saying that the child tax credit should be increased however I think a majority do not have an issue with the current one.

Second, as I explained in my post why shouldn't children be counted like adults in the deduction category of taxes? The standard deduction is just there as a simplified version of itemizing it.

Third, my wife and I make over $100K yet payed only 12% in combined federal and state taxes. The current tax code barely makes it harder to retire early.

Fouth, some people in this thread need to accept that if you want to live in a modern society you don't get to spend every last penny that goes to the government on what YOU want.

Fifth, I like lists.

LalsConstant

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #168 on: April 11, 2014, 07:35:00 AM »
Wow, I just checked back, ya'll took this thing from mocking an article that makes some ridiculous financial and social assumptions to all sorts of places.  XD

I will just reiterate:

1. Again, I used to be a child myself.  I realize in a society that has children that isn't some weird hateful anti child regime, there have to be some accomadations made for them that are going to affect the general public.  What those are and how far they go is a matter of considerable debate, and this reasoning can lead to some very silly initiatives ("It's for the children!"), but the point is, kids exist.  Even if you don't have any of your own you have to deal with that fact.  I certainly think there's a need for people without children to be socially conscious and voluntarily contribute to the welfare of kids in ways they agree with.

2. I for one support the idea that parents should be the ones who have legal rights over their children (while acknowledging children are not property).  But it's quid pro quo: if you have power over something, you must also have responsibility over that thing in any sane society.  Look, if I were to have a child, I'd want certain guaranteed rights over how that child was raised/schooled/etc.  But that means I don't get to ask other people to contribute to my choice to have the child.  Now if they want to contribute voluntarily, that's different.

You get what I'm saying?  There's not a perfect analogy for this, but it's like if we don't tax your church in the interest of freedom of religion, we also can't use tax dollars to donate to that church.  That's not a direct comparison but it's the best one I can rattle off.

Maybe it's more like if you have the right to say any thing you want and you say something stupid and people roundly mock you for it, that's the price of being able to speak freely.  Not quite the right analogy either.

3. I don't think it's good to use the tax code to pick winners and losers and subsidize certain life choices over others.  The thing is cutting parents a break on taxes and not treating people preferentially for federal income tax purposes are not mutually exclusive.  If I were king and I chose to keep income tax, I wouldn't have child related deductions or credits, however I'd also institute much, much lower base tax rates so you'd still be better off even without them.  That's my solution, it's not one that will ever come to pass but there you go.

4. I do agree generally that the status quo is people without children do subsidize people with children overall, unless you're just openly hostile to children you're bound to have special laws, etc. covering them).  I personally am not against that as a general notion, it's the form it currently takes that I don't like. 

I'm not saying there needs to be no government spending concerning children specifically either, I'm generally for smaller government and privatization of the education system but even I acknowledge we're still going to have to have special agencies, incarceration facilities, etc. for juveniles for various reasons.  I hate to focus on the bad eggs like that but if someone else's kids are damaging the property of myself and others, we're going to have to do something about that.  But that in my view isn't subsidizing parents, that's just keeping public order.  The point being we can have reasonable government spending on child related services that isn't a backdoor wealth transfer.

5.  Someone made the very good point that no society of any size is going to spend all your tax money as you wish it would.  I agree with that, but I also want to point out when the vast majority of money is going to things an individual does not support or think are reasonable, you disenfrachise that person.  That's not good; people who have absolutely no voice for their ideas in government, who also aren't allowed to "opt out" of the systems that government creates, have no incentive to be civic minded and the more you marginalize them the more problems you are creating for yourself no matter how much you disagree with that person's desires, ideas, etc.

It's my opinion that no good can come of telling people "you don't like it, tough".  I'm not saying this was anyone's attitude here in the forum, it's just something I see in real life sometimes that bugs me; it seems anyone who isn't a SWPL or something close to it is being more and more marginalized sometimes.  I wish we were moving toward a more voluntary society overall rather than one that insists that using the government to force everyone to pay for things a plurality wants is the only legitimate means of accomplishing things, that's all I am saying.

As far as what childless or child free or whatever you care to call it people can do for children, I'll list some examples of things I've done:

1.  Support the organizations that do activities you think are appropriate or good for kids.
2.  Think about local solutions that benefit all parties.  For example, my apartment complex wanted to demolish the playground.  I actually joined the protest because without the playground there isn't a designated safe area for the kids in the complex to play in, and that's not beneficial to anyone.  Also while it's true I'm paying for the playground with my rent checks, I've also got to think about the community I live in, do I really want it to be a place that's not accomadating to children at all?

I could go on but those are all the points I wanted to throw in to this interesting discussion about... a lot.  XD

CommonCents

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #169 on: April 11, 2014, 07:44:29 AM »
And you say that no one ever thinks of society's best interests when choosing to have kids.  Sure, I had a kid because I think kids are hilarious and awesome.  But, that's not to say that the social costs/benefits has never been part of my reproductive decisions.  I'm limiting the number of children I have not even for economic or social reasons but ecological ones.  Am I just a crazy outlier in that?

You're talking about thinking about society (environment at least) when choosing NOT to have kids.  That's not uncommon, particularly in more educated/wealthier couple to consider not just their personal resources to properly raise a child, but also the greater impact on the world.  However, that's different from thinking about society and making society's best interests the reason TO have kids, which was my point.

Insanity

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #170 on: April 11, 2014, 07:45:33 AM »

True, to a degree.  But if the people who're forced to sit in the back of the bus just keep on meekly accepting their situation, the rules won't change.

I sincerely hate when that argument is made.  Not because it is accurate but because it takes things way to the extreme.  This isn't a civil rights case.  No one is preventing you from doing anything.

Yes, they are: they are preventing me from spending money I earn on things that I value.

By your logic, having to sit in the back of the bus really isn't preventing you from doing anything.  You still ride the bus.


Buy that logic,  there shouldn't be a cost to anything because if I don't make enough then I can't buy the things that I value.

What necessities are you being prevented form buying that are affecting your right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness?  That is why the back of the bus thing was illegal.  It was discrimination.  Not even remotely the same. 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 07:47:36 AM by Insanity »

GuitarStv

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #171 on: April 11, 2014, 09:58:16 AM »
Okay, so you have chosen to simply deny what should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent human being- that a group of 8 human beings, ON AVERAGE is going to use more city services than a family of 2.

I'm not sure if you are being intentionally obtuse (trolling) or are just a bit slow.

On the off chance that you are just a bit slow, I'll try to give a few examples that will, hopefully, smack you upside the head with what, to most people, would be a blindingly obvious fact.

A group of 8 people, ON AVERAGE,  consume more than 2 people.  More food, more clothes, more toys, more paper, more electricity, more Christmas presents, more water, and yes, more gas.

That does not mean that you can't find one anecdotal example of a really low usage group of 8 that consumes less than a high consumption group of 2, but ON AVERAGE (notice how I typed that in caps, because it matters), a group of 2 people will consume less of everything than a group of 8.

Still dazed and confused by this concept?  Lets try this.  NY City has more garbage men, more police, more firefighters, more road construction crews, more sewage system employees, more government bureaucrats, more teachers, more everything than Scarsdale, NY, despite the fact that Scarsdale folks are a lot wealthier. 

Why do you think that is?  Could it be a large group of people is going to use a lot more services than a small group of people?

Mull these points over for a while.  See if a light flashes in your brain.

If not, there is no point in continuing this discussion, because I can't think for you.

Sure, if you take two identical people they will tend to use more resources on average than one person.  If you take a thousand people, they'll probably use more resources than a single person.  (For your given example, I'd say that it's more likely that NY City has fewer garbage men/police/firefighters per capita than a smaller city as they're likely more efficient at running them, but that's neither here nor there.)  That was never under debate, but kudos for figuring that out.

Your theory that there is a significant negative net effect of children using the services provided for them still doesn't really make any sense though.  Any children enjoying a park today, will be working and paying taxes to support the park tomorrow.  When you look at the system as a whole, single people aren't actually losing out on money paying for children to use services . . . since they themselves made use of these services.  What they're actually doing is paying back society in a very small way.  Some of them seem to grow up to be quite ungrateful for the many benefits that they took advantage of as children though . . .

I can only speak for my own scenario here . . .  We are a one car family.  We were before the birth of my son, and we are afterwards.  My wife is taking a year off of work to look after our son so our net income has been significantly cut.  We don't drive more because of the baby.  Actually, we're driving less as I'm figuring out other ways to commute several days a week.  About 95% of the stuff that we use with our kid has been picked up used . . . because we don't have huge amounts of money to drop on new crap.  We produce less garbage that we did before having the kid because we're buying less now as money is a little tighter.  When the three of us go to a park we don't take up significantly more space, or deprive anyone of enjoyment of the park more than we would have as two people without kids.  When the three of us drive somewhere to visit family we take the same car that we would have if it was just two people without kids vising family and do the same damage to the road.

Adding a kid to a couple doesn't necessarily increase consumption because of the behaviour and financial changes that usually come along with parenting.  I'm sure that if you were to have ten kids consumption would increase, but large families like that are not really the norm.

The anger that you appear to harbour towards people with kids is unwarranted.  If you are upset that other people put out more garbage than you do without paying more for it, then you should be railing against the unfairness of the way your collection system works and trying to get it changed.  If you ever do find yourself being asked to work extra because you don't have kids, sue your employer and work to make a change . . . because that's unfair.  If you just want to hate on someone though, maybe set your sights on someone more deserving of it.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #172 on: April 11, 2014, 09:59:30 AM »
This is just silly. There is zero question that children benefit everyone economically. You can argue about the precise numbers of children you want as compared to adults for an optimal output, but just consider your precious Vanguard funds, for example. All those companies rely on at least a continued base of consumers/customers to exist 10 or 20 or 40 years from now. A stable base would be good. A growing base will be good in some ways (financially) and bad in others (arguably environmentally.) A quickly shrinking base will mean you don't get your precious dividends after a few years, and a few years after that your FIRE comes to a screeching halt as your entire portfolio is worth zero with nobody buying/selling anything.

So if you want society and industry and commerce to continue, you need kids. If you want it to continue optimally, you probably need to provide some incentives and help for those who have them. The kids you are subsidizing through public education and tax breaks and all that other stuff are the reason you can become FI at all.

Society and the economy are not zero sum games. Taking money from you to pay for my kids might seem unfair on it's face, but it's arguably beneficial to BOTH of us in actuality.

-W

The fallacy here is that it would be cheaper for everyone if we just imported full-grown immigrants for the purpose of continuing our commerce and society. Why is it so important that our population growth is fuelled by our own children? There's nothing special about the North American gene pool that necessitates we breed for the benefit of human kind.

One day, when overall world population starts declining, maybe then future generations need to talk about extra tax incentives for people who grace us with their spawn. But for now, the policy of educating the current output of children and importing acceptable immigrants satisfies all economic and social requirements of continued civilization.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #173 on: April 11, 2014, 10:28:54 AM »
What necessities are you being prevented form buying that are affecting your right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness?  That is why the back of the bus thing was illegal.  It was discrimination.  Not even remotely the same.

I just can't see this.  If you have to ride in the back of the bus, you still get to ride the bus, getting the same benefit of transportation, for the same price.  (And you may well be safer doing so: see news reports of that bus crash in California.)  And the point is that the back of the bus thing wasn't illegal, back then.  Just the opposite: it was the law in those places, until people started resisting, changed a bunch of minds (or at least made people aware that it was an issue), and eventually changed the laws.

Not much different, really, from gay marriage.  Even 20 years ago, only about a quarter of the public would accept the idea - for many, it wasn't even on the radar - while today over half either support or are neutral.  Opinions change.

And why should it matter whether I would otherwise spend the money that goes to subsidizing parenthood on necessities, or on wine, women, and song?  (At least one of which might increase my happiness.)  Or even, conceiveably, that I might want to spend some of my money on e.g. childhood education.  That's not even at issue.  The issue is that child-free people are subsidizing parenthood, but the parents refuse to admit that fact.

Insanity

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #174 on: April 11, 2014, 12:53:47 PM »
The issue is that child-free people are subsidizing parenthood, but the parents refuse to admit that fact.

Hmm..  I wonder how many of those "child free" are going to state or community colleges that are funded by taxes by those who will not use that system?  I wonder how many of those child free are going to work using interstate highways funded by parents who don't use those interstate highways.  I wonder how many use public transportation that are funded by taxes by those who don't use public transportation.   Or if you want to be really serious about it -  Why do I have to subsidize the military when I don't agree with it? (I do agree with it, but there are plenty who don't).

If you want to remove all taxes and go to a use tax, I'm all for that, I don't have a problem with it.  But at some point all of us are paying for services that we may or may not use.  It's called being part of society - like I said.

That is extremely different then having laws or discriminatory practices.

whitewaterchica

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #175 on: April 11, 2014, 12:56:40 PM »
I don't think they were talking about tax breaks and the like. There aren't any for child free people that parent's don't get. It's all the other benefits of not having kids that the tax breaks for kids are trying to help offset

Say what? There is plenty of things that can be used for deductions on your taxes; student loans, mortgage interest, medical bills, donations/charity mileage, etc.
There, fixed it. Whitewaterchica seemed to be asking what benefits child free people get that parents don't and didn't like my answer of "no hassles of kids :)"

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply I disliked your response. Rather, I was just thinking of a different type of benefits (e.g. specific tax breaks for those without children, which we've already touched upon).

SisterX

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #176 on: April 11, 2014, 01:08:48 PM »
This is just silly. There is zero question that children benefit everyone economically. You can argue about the precise numbers of children you want as compared to adults for an optimal output, but just consider your precious Vanguard funds, for example. All those companies rely on at least a continued base of consumers/customers to exist 10 or 20 or 40 years from now. A stable base would be good. A growing base will be good in some ways (financially) and bad in others (arguably environmentally.) A quickly shrinking base will mean you don't get your precious dividends after a few years, and a few years after that your FIRE comes to a screeching halt as your entire portfolio is worth zero with nobody buying/selling anything.

So if you want society and industry and commerce to continue, you need kids. If you want it to continue optimally, you probably need to provide some incentives and help for those who have them. The kids you are subsidizing through public education and tax breaks and all that other stuff are the reason you can become FI at all.

Society and the economy are not zero sum games. Taking money from you to pay for my kids might seem unfair on it's face, but it's arguably beneficial to BOTH of us in actuality.

-W

The fallacy here is that it would be cheaper for everyone if we just imported full-grown immigrants for the purpose of continuing our commerce and society. Why is it so important that our population growth is fuelled by our own children? There's nothing special about the North American gene pool that necessitates we breed for the benefit of human kind.

One day, when overall world population starts declining, maybe then future generations need to talk about extra tax incentives for people who grace us with their spawn. But for now, the policy of educating the current output of children and importing acceptable immigrants satisfies all economic and social requirements of continued civilization.

As other people in this thread have pointed out, our population IS only growing due to immigration. 
From Wikipedia:  "The total fertility rate in the United States estimated for 2012 is 1.88 children per woman,[8] which is below the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.1. Compared to other Western countries, in 2011, U.S. fertility rate was lower than that of France (2.02) and the United Kingdom (1.97).[9] However, U.S. population growth is among the highest in industrialized countries,[10] because the differences in fertility rates are less than the differences in immigration levels, which are higher in the U.S."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States

Are you actually arguing anything here?  (See bolded section.)  If I'm reading it correctly, that's what most people on this thread are saying....
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 01:12:02 PM by SisterX »

NumberCruncher

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #177 on: April 11, 2014, 01:11:47 PM »
This is just silly. There is zero question that children benefit everyone economically. You can argue about the precise numbers of children you want as compared to adults for an optimal output, but just consider your precious Vanguard funds, for example. All those companies rely on at least a continued base of consumers/customers to exist 10 or 20 or 40 years from now. A stable base would be good. A growing base will be good in some ways (financially) and bad in others (arguably environmentally.) A quickly shrinking base will mean you don't get your precious dividends after a few years, and a few years after that your FIRE comes to a screeching halt as your entire portfolio is worth zero with nobody buying/selling anything.

So if you want society and industry and commerce to continue, you need kids. If you want it to continue optimally, you probably need to provide some incentives and help for those who have them. The kids you are subsidizing through public education and tax breaks and all that other stuff are the reason you can become FI at all.

Society and the economy are not zero sum games. Taking money from you to pay for my kids might seem unfair on it's face, but it's arguably beneficial to BOTH of us in actuality.

-W

The fallacy here is that it would be cheaper for everyone if we just imported full-grown immigrants for the purpose of continuing our commerce and society. Why is it so important that our population growth is fuelled by our own children? There's nothing special about the North American gene pool that necessitates we breed for the benefit of human kind.

One day, when overall world population starts declining, maybe then future generations need to talk about extra tax incentives for people who grace us with their spawn. But for now, the policy of educating the current output of children and importing acceptable immigrants satisfies all economic and social requirements of continued civilization.

As other people in this thread have pointed out, our population IS only growing due to immigration. 
From Wikipedia:  "The total fertility rate in the United States estimated for 2012 is 1.88 children per woman,[8] which is below the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.1. Compared to other Western countries, in 2011, U.S. fertility rate was lower than that of France (2.02) and the United Kingdom (1.97).[9] However, U.S. population growth is among the highest in industrialized countries,[10] because the differences in fertility rates are less than the differences in immigration levels, which are higher in the U.S."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States


They're talking about the world population, not the US population (or any other country in particular).

Jamesqf

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #178 on: April 11, 2014, 02:07:46 PM »
If you want to remove all taxes and go to a use tax, I'm all for that, I don't have a problem with it.  But at some point all of us are paying for services that we may or may not use.  It's called being part of society - like I said.

That's a good example of the point I'm trying to make.  If I drive a lot on highways, I AM receiving a subsidy from those who don't drive (or take the bus &c).  If I attend a (state funded) college, I AM receiving a tuition subsidy from those who'll never attend.   This is exactly the same as parents receiving a child-bearing subsidy from the rest of us: the problem all along has been that the great majority of parents either don't recognize or won't admit that they ARE being subsidized.

Insanity

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #179 on: April 11, 2014, 02:13:24 PM »
If you want to remove all taxes and go to a use tax, I'm all for that, I don't have a problem with it.  But at some point all of us are paying for services that we may or may not use.  It's called being part of society - like I said.

That's a good example of the point I'm trying to make.  If I drive a lot on highways, I AM receiving a subsidy from those who don't drive (or take the bus &c).  If I attend a (state funded) college, I AM receiving a tuition subsidy from those who'll never attend.   This is exactly the same as parents receiving a child-bearing subsidy from the rest of us: the problem all along has been that the great majority of parents either don't recognize or won't admit that they ARE being subsidized.

So your real beef is that parents aren't realizing public schooling is a "subsidy"?

Okay, then I misunderstood.  I thought you were complaining that they are getting the subsidy.

Hell, yes.  Everyone gets one of some kind or another. 

SisterX

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #180 on: April 11, 2014, 04:16:35 PM »

They're talking about the world population, not the US population (or any other country in particular).

"The fallacy here is that it would be cheaper for everyone if we just imported full-grown immigrants for the purpose of continuing our commerce and society."  - I was referring to that statement.  As pretty much everyone in this thread (to my knowledge) is in the U.S., the parents here aren't really contributing to a rise in U.S. population, which seems to be the gist of that to me.  It seemed like what was being complained about is actually already happening, as in the complaint is that too many people are having too many kids so the U.S. is subsidizing a growing population.  That's not happening at all.  We're subsidizing fewer and fewer people to have kids.
Now, if you want to complain about people who have 18 kids and get subsidized for all of them, go for it.  I could also complain about the people who bought ridiculous McMansions at the height of the mortgage bubble and get a subsidy for it, while I rent a reasonable place and don't get the subsidy.  But, there would be plenty of people who would (in effect) tell me to pipe down and save up for my own house if I wanted that subsidy.  We all make choices, to not have kids can be one of yours.  It does mean that you won't get the (slight) tax break, but I assume that if you're not having kids for economic reasons then you factored that into your calculations.  If you did, then you realized that no one has kids for a tax break because it's not enough to offset all the money you'll be putting into the economy (and therefore, money which will get taxed) on behalf of that child.
If I can reiterate, not one of the parents on this thread has said that the original article's author was making a good or worthy point.  (That I can remember.)  If you don't like the current tax structure, go into politics and try to change it.  Don't whinge on the internet and, essentially, call parents social freeloaders.  Yep, I took the tax deduction.  I've also set an economic rollercoaster in motion by producing a child.  I could whine that the money I had to spend on my child (just in healthcare costs) is subsidizing at least one or two mortgage deductions.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #181 on: April 11, 2014, 04:29:35 PM »
So your real beef is that parents aren't realizing public schooling is a "subsidy"?

Okay, then I misunderstood.  I thought you were complaining that they are getting the subsidy.

Hell, yes.  Everyone gets one of some kind or another.

Either aren't realizing it, or aren't admitting it, and are then going on about how hard/expensive parenthood is.  Which is like - to use your highway analogy - the folks who chose to purchase gargantuan (& expensive) SUVs complaining about how they can't afford to drive them.  (While I have no problems, driving my 70 mpg hybrid :-))

Cpa Cat

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #182 on: April 11, 2014, 06:18:34 PM »
But for now, the policy of educating the current output of children and importing acceptable immigrants satisfies all economic and social requirements of continued civilization.

As other people in this thread have pointed out, our population IS only growing due to immigration. 
...
Are you actually arguing anything here?  (See bolded section.)  If I'm reading it correctly, that's what most people on this thread are saying....

My point is that there is no ONLY. Growing due to immigration is perfectly satisfactory. There is no reason to subsidize baby-making. Plenty of people have argued that we should subsidize baby-making because our population is ONLY growing due to immigration.

As though immigration is a deficient way to sustain society.

It seems like a better way to me. Maybe we should take subsidies away from parents and use the money to recruit educated immigrants with the skills that are in demand in our society.

Gin1984

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #183 on: April 11, 2014, 07:20:49 PM »
So your real beef is that parents aren't realizing public schooling is a "subsidy"?

Okay, then I misunderstood.  I thought you were complaining that they are getting the subsidy.

Hell, yes.  Everyone gets one of some kind or another.

Either aren't realizing it, or aren't admitting it, and are then going on about how hard/expensive parenthood is.  Which is like - to use your highway analogy - the folks who chose to purchase gargantuan (& expensive) SUVs complaining about how they can't afford to drive them.  (While I have no problems, driving my 70 mpg hybrid :-))
Given that most people are not paying enough in taxes to support themselves, much less subsidized ANYONE, I don't think that is accurate.  I do agree that some people are subsidizing me, but it is not the majority of people and it is not just because I have a kid.  They have subsidized my education in public undergrad, public grad school, a nice federal research grant, and yes all the tax breaks from kids, rental property, etc.  I personally think we ALL need to pay more in taxes and don't think we should be adding ANY tax breaks.

fixer-upper

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #184 on: April 11, 2014, 09:14:57 PM »
I personally think we ALL need to pay more in taxes and don't think we should be adding ANY tax breaks.

The country was doing much better when there was NO income tax.  Educational standards were MUCH higher, there was more advancement opportunity, and the government had a surplus rather than a deficit.

More taxes just equals more socialism, and I have no desire to follow in Russia's footsteps.


brewer12345

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #185 on: April 11, 2014, 09:51:58 PM »
So your real beef is that parents aren't realizing public schooling is a "subsidy"?

Okay, then I misunderstood.  I thought you were complaining that they are getting the subsidy.

Hell, yes.  Everyone gets one of some kind or another.

Either aren't realizing it, or aren't admitting it, and are then going on about how hard/expensive parenthood is.  Which is like - to use your highway analogy - the folks who chose to purchase gargantuan (& expensive) SUVs complaining about how they can't afford to drive them.  (While I have no problems, driving my 70 mpg hybrid :-))
Given that most people are not paying enough in taxes to support themselves, much less subsidized ANYONE, I don't think that is accurate.  I do agree that some people are subsidizing me, but it is not the majority of people and it is not just because I have a kid.  They have subsidized my education in public undergrad, public grad school, a nice federal research grant, and yes all the tax breaks from kids, rental property, etc.  I personally think we ALL need to pay more in taxes and don't think we should be adding ANY tax breaks.

So don't touch your tax preferences, but take away everyone else's.  Sweet!  Now we have the real story.

libertarian4321

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #186 on: April 12, 2014, 03:39:25 AM »

The anger that you appear to harbour towards people with kids is unwarranted.  If you are upset that other people put out more garbage than you do without paying more for it, then you should be railing against the unfairness of the way your collection system works and trying to get it changed.  If you ever do find yourself being asked to work extra because you don't have kids, sue your employer and work to make a change . . . because that's unfair.  If you just want to hate on someone though, maybe set your sights on someone more deserving of it.

You seem to have missed the point of the original article.

They are asking that single people and child free couples pay even more than they already do, which I stated was unfair, because single folks and child free couples already pay more than their fair share.  They pay higher taxes, which is not in dispute, and use less services (which no rational person could dispute- though you, for some bizarre reason, can't seem to accept the fact that large families, on average, use more services than small families).  If anything, single people and child free couples should pay LESS than they currently do. 

But we aren't asking for that.  We simply don't think we need to accept ADDITIONAL burden.


warfreak2

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #187 on: April 12, 2014, 05:47:36 AM »
The country was doing much better when there was NO income tax.  Educational standards were MUCH higher, there was more advancement opportunity, and the government had a surplus rather than a deficit.
Let's go back to 1812, everything was much better then?

Gin1984

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #188 on: April 12, 2014, 06:09:01 AM »
So your real beef is that parents aren't realizing public schooling is a "subsidy"?

Okay, then I misunderstood.  I thought you were complaining that they are getting the subsidy.

Hell, yes.  Everyone gets one of some kind or another.

Either aren't realizing it, or aren't admitting it, and are then going on about how hard/expensive parenthood is.  Which is like - to use your highway analogy - the folks who chose to purchase gargantuan (& expensive) SUVs complaining about how they can't afford to drive them.  (While I have no problems, driving my 70 mpg hybrid :-))
Given that most people are not paying enough in taxes to support themselves, much less subsidized ANYONE, I don't think that is accurate.  I do agree that some people are subsidizing me, but it is not the majority of people and it is not just because I have a kid.  They have subsidized my education in public undergrad, public grad school, a nice federal research grant, and yes all the tax breaks from kids, rental property, etc.  I personally think we ALL need to pay more in taxes and don't think we should be adding ANY tax breaks.

So don't touch your tax preferences, but take away everyone else's.  Sweet!  Now we have the real story.
That is not what I said and you know it.  I said that everyone needs to pay more in taxes.  I personally want to get rid of the Bush tax credits even though they would get rid of the tuition credit I get, increase my tax bracket and lower the child tax credit.  We, as a country, can't afford to have these debts.  We need to start paying them back which requires us to increase income (increases taxes) and decreases expenses (make cuts).  There are also easy ways to decreases expenses like moving the international debt over to Americans by offering debt payoff bonds.  Internationally we pay 3-4% average vs 2-3% for Americans.  We could move everything to Americans for 3% and save a lot, and give the interest to our own citizens (which also lets the government tax it, lol).  It would take $20,000 for every American citizen for ten years the last I checked, but if the cap was higher we could not be dependent on other countries in ten years.  However, that won't fix the deficit.  We did not have one before the Bush credits and that needs to be considered.  EVERYONE needs to be paying more, we can't afford to consider any more tax breaks.

waltworks

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #189 on: April 12, 2014, 08:55:43 AM »
I really, really hope that comment was said in jest... if not, it means you either have no idea when the income tax was implemented, or you are really, truly crazy and think that "more opportunity" existed when *people were still being held as slaves in the US*.

-W

The country was doing much better when there was NO income tax.  Educational standards were MUCH higher, there was more advancement opportunity, and the government had a surplus rather than a deficit.

GuitarStv

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #190 on: April 12, 2014, 12:47:54 PM »

The anger that you appear to harbour towards people with kids is unwarranted.  If you are upset that other people put out more garbage than you do without paying more for it, then you should be railing against the unfairness of the way your collection system works and trying to get it changed.  If you ever do find yourself being asked to work extra because you don't have kids, sue your employer and work to make a change . . . because that's unfair.  If you just want to hate on someone though, maybe set your sights on someone more deserving of it.

You seem to have missed the point of the original article.

They are asking that single people and child free couples pay even more than they already do, which I stated was unfair, because single folks and child free couples already pay more than their fair share.  They pay higher taxes, which is not in dispute, and use less services (which no rational person could dispute- though you, for some bizarre reason, can't seem to accept the fact that large families, on average, use more services than small families).  If anything, single people and child free couples should pay LESS than they currently do. 

But we aren't asking for that.  We simply don't think we need to accept ADDITIONAL burden.

So, in your version of a fair share single people and those without children right now should not have to pay for others to get the same benefit that they themselves enjoyed as a kid?  Sounds more like rationalizing running out on your obligations than paying your fair share to me. . .

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #191 on: April 13, 2014, 07:24:30 AM »
 Short post but I do tell my coworkers with urchins in fun that I am sick of subsidizing their lifestyle as the tax man kicks us in the teeth routinely. That is just in fun I might add as we are very happy to be DINKs.  That said there is something to the wisdom of "Can't feed em, don't breed em."  :)

libertarian4321

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #192 on: April 15, 2014, 11:06:23 AM »

The anger that you appear to harbour towards people with kids is unwarranted.  If you are upset that other people put out more garbage than you do without paying more for it, then you should be railing against the unfairness of the way your collection system works and trying to get it changed.  If you ever do find yourself being asked to work extra because you don't have kids, sue your employer and work to make a change . . . because that's unfair.  If you just want to hate on someone though, maybe set your sights on someone more deserving of it.

I'm not "hating" on anyone.

But I am vehemently opposed to forcing child free couples and singles to pay EVEN MORE in taxes (as the article suggested) when we already pay more than our fair share for other people's children.

I'm not even asking for a roll back in the benefits those with children already enjoy over child free couples and singles (those of us finishing up our income taxes today will be clearly aware of the current inequity- as the breeders enjoy huge tax advantages over those of us who choose not to have children).  I'm simply saying that it is wrong to place an even larger burden on already overtaxed singles and child free couples.

libertarian4321

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #193 on: April 15, 2014, 11:14:10 AM »
This is just silly. There is zero question that children benefit everyone economically. You can argue about the precise numbers of children you want as compared to adults for an optimal output, but just consider your precious Vanguard funds, for example. All those companies rely on at least a continued base of consumers/customers to exist 10 or 20 or 40 years from now. A stable base would be good. A growing base will be good in some ways (financially) and bad in others (arguably environmentally.) A quickly shrinking base will mean you don't get your precious dividends after a few years, and a few years after that your FIRE comes to a screeching halt as your entire portfolio is worth zero with nobody buying/selling anything.

So if you want society and industry and commerce to continue, you need kids. If you want it to continue optimally, you probably need to provide some incentives and help for those who have them. The kids you are subsidizing through public education and tax breaks and all that other stuff are the reason you can become FI at all.

Society and the economy are not zero sum games. Taking money from you to pay for my kids might seem unfair on it's face, but it's arguably beneficial to BOTH of us in actuality.

-W

The fallacy here is that it would be cheaper for everyone if we just imported full-grown immigrants for the purpose of continuing our commerce and society. Why is it so important that our population growth is fuelled by our own children? There's nothing special about the North American gene pool that necessitates we breed for the benefit of human kind.

One day, when overall world population starts declining, maybe then future generations need to talk about extra tax incentives for people who grace us with their spawn. But for now, the policy of educating the current output of children and importing acceptable immigrants satisfies all economic and social requirements of continued civilization.

Exactly.

There are millions of intelligent and well educated immigrants, most of whom already speak English, who would kill to come to the USA.  There is no "threat" to the US population.  We don't need to encourage Americans to pump out more children to keep up the population of the USA.  Especially when you consider that the Americans who have the largest broods tend to be the least well educated.  Loosening up immigration restrictions to allow more Indian engineers, Russian doctors, German scientists, Chinese entrepreneurs, etc would help this country a lot more than messing with the tax system to encourage Americans to squeeze out that 5th, 6th, or 7th kid.

golden1

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #194 on: April 15, 2014, 11:53:53 AM »
Quote
The country was doing much better when there was NO income tax.  Educational standards were MUCH higher, there was more advancement opportunity, and the government had a surplus rather than a deficit.

This wins the stupidest comment I have ever read on any message board.

Sure, for white, rich landowning men, it was great.  For everyone else, not so much. 

SisterX

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #195 on: April 15, 2014, 12:05:44 PM »

The anger that you appear to harbour towards people with kids is unwarranted.  If you are upset that other people put out more garbage than you do without paying more for it, then you should be railing against the unfairness of the way your collection system works and trying to get it changed.  If you ever do find yourself being asked to work extra because you don't have kids, sue your employer and work to make a change . . . because that's unfair.  If you just want to hate on someone though, maybe set your sights on someone more deserving of it.

I'm not "hating" on anyone.

But I am vehemently opposed to forcing child free couples and singles to pay EVEN MORE in taxes (as the article suggested) when we already pay more than our fair share for other people's children.

I'm not even asking for a roll back in the benefits those with children already enjoy over child free couples and singles (those of us finishing up our income taxes today will be clearly aware of the current inequity- as the breeders enjoy huge tax advantages over those of us who choose not to have children).  I'm simply saying that it is wrong to place an even larger burden on already overtaxed singles and child free couples.

How many times and ways can I tell you, yet again, that no one in this thread has defended the original article's idea that childless* people should be taxed more.  You, and several others, have used that as a starting point for complaining about the favorable situation that parents get, however, due to the "unfairness" of taxes.  Since you're a self-identified libertarian, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you think pretty much the entire tax code is unfair.  My former suggestion still stands: if you truly think that, go into politics and try to change it.

*I really don't care if you have a complaint about the term "childless".  It refers to "a state of being without children", that is all. 

waltworks

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #196 on: April 15, 2014, 12:12:25 PM »

I'd just like to clarify that my original comment was not intended to be specific to the US. It is in the interest of the entire world that people continue to have children, though we can argue about the exact rate that would be ideal.

Regarding the US: pretty much every country you mention as a source of immigrants has either a declining population outright, a population only growing because of immigration/increased longevity (ie, population will drop soon), or (in the case of India) a declining birthrate that will eventually lead to one of the former. There's a limited pool of talented people available globally, because modern careers have made many people decide not to have kids. IMO that will be a bad thing in the long run. Without going all Idiocracy on everyone or sounding like I'm for eugenics - if none of your best and brightest have children, what's the end result going to be?

-W


Exactly.

There are millions of intelligent and well educated immigrants, most of whom already speak English, who would kill to come to the USA.  There is no "threat" to the US population.  We don't need to encourage Americans to pump out more children to keep up the population of the USA.  Especially when you consider that the Americans who have the largest broods tend to be the least well educated.  Loosening up immigration restrictions to allow more Indian engineers, Russian doctors, German scientists, Chinese entrepreneurs, etc would help this country a lot more than messing with the tax system to encourage Americans to squeeze out that 5th, 6th, or 7th kid.

smalllife

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #197 on: April 15, 2014, 12:16:58 PM »
I genuinely don't understand the concern about overall population decrease - the current economic set up based on ever expanding growth is unsustainable and damaging to the environment.   Why should we care about a decreasing population?  It won't go to zero, but it will likely reach an equilibrium that is lower than the growth rates economists would prefer.   However, there is already a thread for that conversation (Is Overpopulation a Problem?).   

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #198 on: April 15, 2014, 01:08:29 PM »

 if none of your best and brightest have children, what's the end result going to be?

self-correcting?

CommonCents

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #199 on: April 15, 2014, 01:39:44 PM »
How does providing general tax incentives cause the best and brightest to have more kids?  It doesn't, it's only very slightly related.  Likely what it will increase is the poor having kids, of which only a few are the "best and brightest."  (Again, see Idiocracy!)  Perhaps we ought to have an IQ test for everyone with tax incentives for those with high IQs procreating?  130 can keep the current tax breaks.  145 can get a 50% reduction of taxes and 160 can get a 100% reduction...