Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Date: December 23, 2010

Gay Tax InEquality

I know that I harp on this subject a lot.  The tax inequality between a gay couple and a straight married couple is unfair.  By not allowing gays to get married, you make two people pay more in taxes than a straight married couple.  How can that possibly be fair?  How can people fight against gay marriage when faced with the facts that this means an inequality in taxes?  I truly believe those people who keep insisting on lower taxes and smaller government, yet keep fighting against gay marriage are – quite possibly – the world’s biggest hypocrites.

So, last week, I went and saw my parents and I tried to explain the tax inequality to my mother – who doesn’t get it.  I’m writing this article for her.  Maybe, she’ll get it.  You can do the math, just like I did, by going to the IRS website and filling out the numbers.  It works out the same every time – the gay couple pays more.

Gay Couple Salary 401k Federal Tax
Person #1 $60,000.00 $3,000.00 $7,700.00
Person #2 $40,000.00 $2,000.00 $3,483.00
Total $100,000.00 $5,000.00 $11,183.00
Straight Couple Salary 401k Federal Tax
Person #1 $60,000.00 $3,000.00
Person #2 $40,000.00 $2,000.00 Difference
Total $100,000.00 $5,000.00 $10,644.00 $539.00

That probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but over the course of a lifetime together, that’s quite a bit of money.  Now, if the spouses are evenly split with their salary, the difference works out to the gay couple paying $6.00 more than the straight couple.  Still, not a lot of money, but the amount isn’t really the point – it could just be a penny more – the fact that gay people pay more in taxes is unfair.  Further, I don’t know about your friends, but I don’t know too many couples who are completely and equally matched in salary.  I would say that roughly 90% of the couples I know – when both members work – one spouse consistently out earns the other spouse.  It is certainly true in my household.  I earn almost twice as much as Cheryl does.

One other item regarding taxes:  when a straight couple gets married, each spouse is able to place the other on their employer provided healthcare.  They do not pay any extra on this benefit.  Unmarried, domestic partners have to pay income taxes on the portion of the premium paid for by their employer.  Does that sound fair or even intelligent?  43 million Americans are without healthcare and we make it harder for domestic partners to add their other halves to employer sponsored healthcare.  Does that make sense?  What is wrong with people?

Mike Huckabee, Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin

As I reported to you way back on November 23, Sarah Palin is all over Michelle Obama about healthy eating and our children.  She took cookies to a Pennsylvania school to protest the state’s decision to “double the amount of fruit and vegetables in their meals within 10 years”.  She keeps spouting off that this takes away parental decisions in their children’s life.  However; she’s wrong there.  Parents have never had a decision in what their children eat in a school lunch – unless they pack it themselves.  You either get what’s on that week’s menu or you pack your child’s lunch.  There’s no in between.

However; to Palin, this is Big Government and that makes it bad.

Isn’t that getting a little old?  Not everything the government does is wrong, nor is everything the government does good.  I think Sarah Palin shows how the fringes of our society have taken hold.  It demonstrates how holding on to a principle just to hang on to it is a ridiculous stance.  That holds true whether you are on the right of the aisle or the left.  Sometimes government interference in an individual’s life is bad – example; gay marriage – and sometimes the government interference is good – example; consumer lending laws.

I don’t think Sarah Palin gets it.  I don’t think she realizes that crying wolf at everything the government does isn’t going to capture her the White House.  It’s just going to leave her where she is:  a late night joke, a pretty face without a clue.

Anyway, bashing Sarah Palin isn’t the reason I started writing this article – it just turned out that way.  It’s so easy.  It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Why I started this blog post is to point out that Mike Huckabee might be more of a reasonable man than I originally thought.  I might have to spend a little more time reading about him. According to CNN, Huckabee said: “With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she’s misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do.”  An article on Huffington Post quoted him as saying:  “Michelle Obama’s not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government’s desires on people.  She’s stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country.”  According to the CNN article, Huckabee has had a weight problem.  I didn’t know this.  He’s even written a book –  “Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle” – which I think might be worth a read.  He apparently lost 110 pounds.  I think that’s pretty impressive.

It doesn’t appear that Sarah Palin really understands what is at stake here.  No one is going to come into your home and take away all of your ding dongs.  And, as that professor proved, you can eat just ding dongs and still lose weight.  What Michelle Obama is trying to do is to make parents and children more aware of what they eat.  That isn’t a bad thing.  Parents are very much responsible for teaching their children good and bad eating habits.  Quite honestly, I blame my mother for my bad eating habits and my weight struggle.  Yes, I am an adult now and I have been working to change my habits, but I don’t think I’d be such a big gal if my mother had chosen to teach good eating habits instead of being controlling about every aspect of my life – including my eating.  Then again, she didn’t learn any good eating habits from my grandmother either.  My grandmother was a big gal and my mother is a big gal.  Three big gals coming at you like three mack trucks!

Palin being so against this idea makes me wonder.  If First Lady Obama had come out against using drugs, like Nancy Reagan had during the eighties, would Palin be against that idea, too?

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