A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, April 22, 2012

John Goodman shows us the Big Government War on Women

Jack Kemp

Although most readers here tend to be conservative, what John Goodman uncovered in his article today on how the U.S. Federal Tax Code hurts most women no matter what their political viewpoint. This is most particularly true for single women and married women working part time. This article is a real eye opener for everyone no matter one's political affiliation or gender. Frankly, I was shocked by what he revealed and would assume a woman would be more shocked, as it directly effects her personal tax bill.

If Romney took the lead on advocating reform of these tax statues, he could get a lot of women's votes, end an injustice, and contribute to sending Obama home to live in Chicago this coming January.

Below is the link and a few of the author's major findings.

How Mitt Romney Can Erase the Gender Gap
John C. Goodman...Is there any way Romney can turn things around and win the women back? Yes...


Outdated Laws. Our public policy institutions have not kept pace with these remarkable changes, however. Tax law, labor law and a host of other institutions are still designed from top-to-bottom on the assumption that husbands will be full-time workers, while wives will mainly stay at home. As a result, the highest tax rates in our economy are paid by women wage earners. In fact, women earning only modest incomes can pay taxes at rates that are twice those paid by such billionaires as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Consider that:

    • When a woman leaves the home and enters the labor market, she will be taxed at her husband's tax rate, even if she earns only the minimum wage. When all taxes and all costs are considered (including the cost of child care and other services she was previously providing as a homemaker), a woman in a middle-income household working a full-time minimum wage job can expect to keep only about 32 cents out of each dollar she earns.

    • If the woman's husband dies prematurely, Social Security will provide a modest benefit as long as she stays home and takes care of children; but if she works, the combined effect of direct taxes plus loss of benefits will create a marginal tax rate of 75 percent — leaving her with only 25 cents out of each extra dollar she earns.


    • If the woman receives government assistance, she will confront a newly reformed system that is supposed to encourage work; however, when explicit taxes are combined with loss of benefits, her marginal tax rate will be about 72 percent — leaving her with only 28 cents out of each dollar of wage income.

    • Because Social Security taxes are levied on all earnings until capped at a high income level, dual-earner households generally pay considerably more in taxes than single-earner households, but they will get only a minimal increase in Social Security benefits.

    • Because women live longer than men, they will be more burdened by the income taxes paid on Social Security benefits, which will cause many middle-income seniors to forfeit more than half of their private pension income and IRA withdrawals.


Couples with two full-time working adults are disadvantaged in other ways. They often find that they must accept unnecessary, duplicate sets of employee benefits, say, because the wife is unable to opt for higher wages if she forgoes health insurance from her own employer when she is already covered on her husband's employer's plan.

A Better Way. Many changes are needed to bring aging institutions into sync with the way people are living their lives in the 21st century. Here are a few suggestions:

    • We need a fairer tax system for two-earner couples, ideally a system that taxes all income at one low rate.

    • Employee benefits law should permit flexibility, making it easier for dual-earner couples to obtain higher wages rather than unneeded, duplicate benefits and for part-time workers to accept lower wages in return for more valuable health and retirement benefits.


    • We need a fairer system for providing tax relief for health insurance — especially for single parents who leave the workforce for extended periods of time and for others who must purchase health insurance on their own.


This is some of the wisest advice I've ever seen in politics. And a businessman like Mitt Romney can easily understand the math here - as well as the Swing State Electoral Math. I don't mean to sound opportunistic, although it is hard not to do so months before a Presidential Election. I think these reforms are worth advocating in any year, but in an election year there are more Americans willing to listen to a "boring" tax subject, particularly if the reforms suggested help them and their families. Yet whatever happens this November, this is an issue (or set of issues) that should get wide publicity and be taken up by many in the coming year(s), particularly by women impacted by the current IRS tax code.

Go for it, Mr. Romney. Mr. Goodman has handed you - and the women of America - a gift of an issue.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by