I normally like articles from The Weekly Standard, but this one from Ashley E. McGuire was a stinker: The War on (Married) Women. The article concerns the “unfair” tax burden on married women.
Why is it unfair?
Well, because the married tax brackets average the incomes, so that the lead earner pays fewer taxes than they would have as a single person, and the second earner pays more. Apparently this arrangement means that the second earner is being ripped off somehow, despite the fact that the second earner enjoys the benefit of the first earner’s higher salary and lower taxes thereupon.
There is, of course, a very real marriage tax penalty, and it is in dire need of tax reform. But that doesn’t seem to be what she’s describing.
Then she rails on about the costs of nannies and self-employment taxes. Welcome to real life, Ms. McGuire – those real problems, which affect both people in a marriage, have been around ever since women started entering the workforce in significant numbers.
The bottom line is that a marriage is a partnership, with the couple sharing income and expenses. Any unfairness here is not directed toward women specifically, but to the partnership. Trying to turn the need for tax reform into a women’s issue is insulting to that partnership, and will lead to the wrong sort of remedies.