January 07, 2010

The New Marriage Penalty

I had meant to write about this this week, but the Wall Street Journal beat me to it.

Married Couples Pay More Than Unmarried Under Health Bill
The built-in "marriage penalty" in both House and Senate healthcare bills has received scant attention. But for scores of low-income and middle-income couples, it could mean a hike of $2,000 or more in annual insurance premiums the moment they say "I do."

It's not just the premiums, it's the subsidies, and it gets even worse when you factor children into it. There would be a multi-thousand-dollar annual incentive for two-earner couples with kids to get divorced and live together, with the lower-earning spouse having custody.

Why do all Democratic proposals to raise taxes "for our own good" seem to penalize marriage and productivity, and boost incentives to be poor?

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