[FoRK] New Benefits of Marriage Study Actually Hints at the Horrors of Middle Age

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jan 23 08:30:30 PST 2015

On 1/23/15 7:43 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> It's salary capped.  In fact, there's a negative spot on the tax curve where if your family made slightly more than $125k or $133k 
> combined household income, the number of things that are considered tax incentives become perverse and there's a strange little 
> loop on the tax income between $1 below that threshold and tens of thousands of dollars more where it doesn't matter anymore.   
> What a complicated weave we web.
> I'm still a big fan of a flat tax.
> I'm still laughing that people think the only way they can take better care of their kids is through an act of congress.

No, the only way that we can get others to take better care of their kids is perhaps through an act of Congress.  Which we don't 
expect, so we try to think of some way to influence people to avoid the mess that most of them get into anyway.

We're all on the relatively rich and capable end of the scale where those problems aren't a significant issue.

What some of us see is that kids who are poorly raised in struggling environments, and many who are not, go on to struggle 
significantly, producing too high of a percentage of parents who struggle to raise their children well.  Poverty, and poverty of 
motivation / understanding / attitude / etc., beget similar poverties.  But even when raised well, too many will not take the right 
hints and drop into those ruts too.

Whether that is a problem that you think needs addressed depends on whether you think the world is strictly competitive, whether you 
feel indirectly enriched or diminished by it, and similar philosophical motivations.  We'll take it as a given that you care for 
your own children and family.  Do you care about other people's children and people in general as an extended family?  Do you feel 
any responsibility to them?  Even if we have a lot of resources, we may feel helpless or expect waste in trying to help, or feel 
that other pursuits may have better society payback.  But we should consider it.  And, sometimes, the right small pushes can make a 
huge difference.  Sometimes it is just the right ideas in the right places that make a difference.


> Greg
> On 1/23/2015 3:29 AM, Ken Meltsner wrote:
>> There is a mechanism that (effectively) deducts child care costs from
>> your earned income -- the flexible spending account. Not a direct way
>> to do this and it requires that at least one parent work for a
>> business large enough to administer the FSA.
>> It's been more than a decade since we could use this, but IIRC the
>> deduction was limited by the earnings of both parents as well as a
>> yearly cap.  That is, the plan would be funded by regular deductions
>> from one spouse's salary, and that amount would not be counted as
>> income if it did not exceed the other spouse's earnings.  A single
>> parens, I believe, had the "advantage" that his/her deduction was
>> based on his/her own salary.
>> Ken Meltsner

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