William Thien

An Observation About Tax Deductions and in Particular The Dependent Child Tax Deduction

Posted on: December 12, 2012

I have enjoyed several enlightening conversations during the last month about the need for the Dependent Child Tax Deduction. During each and every conversation the person suggested a need for the deduction, aside from the simple reason that it makes it easier on families to pay their taxes. I think the fact that it makes it easier on families is the best reason for the deduction, even though the deduction is extremely unfair to empty nesters and single tax payers.

One conversant suggested that we needed the dependent child tax deduction because we were not as a country “replacing” the current population of baby boomers that were retiring. I had to snicker a bit. My impression of the baby boomers is that they have left us with an enormously socialized country, they are getting theirs, retiring, and leaving us strapped with enormous debt. Why, I had to ask, would you want to replace the baby boomers? I have blogged on this in the past. It’s titled in reference to the belief that those who fought during WWII were the greatest generation and asks the question, “has the greatest generation been followed by the worst,” as the baby boomers were the result of amorous soldiers returning from WWII and the country’s massive economic expansion which followed?

Another conversant suggested that we needed the dependent child tax deduction because “western civilization” won’t reproduce enough in order to sustain its population. This is the same thing as the previous statement on the matter, just spoken in a different context and from a different person. Again, I was amused, to say the least.

If you ask me, the tax code is unfair. One of the most unjust portions of the tax code is the transference of the burden of raising families on to the single taxpayer in an almost parasitic fashion. And to suggest that we need to do that in order to maintain the country’s population, for whatever reason, is a ridiculous and unfounded statement. Why? People will breed. Long before there were any dependent child tax deductions of any kind, anywhere, in any civilization, people were reproducing, often in huge numbers, in the worst of conditions, in the mud, swamps, the desert, malaria infested jungles, you name it. You don’t need a tax deduction to ensure that people are going to reproduce. What folly! Next you will have the same people saying that they need a tax deduction for talking out of their arse because they do it so often!

The dependent child tax deduction was created by politicians to get elected. The dependent child tax deduction is the result of a political stunt. I don’t begrudge families for using the deduction. I probably would if I had a family. But it was a bad and unfair idea in terms of paying the bills generated by families who send their children to public or voucher schools and generally use more public services than single tax payers.

People are going to breed whether you give them a tax deduction for it or not. When it comes to the “fiscal cliff” and balancing the budget, if our elected can ever get to balancing the budget, let’s just make sure we recognize a deduction, or a tax for that matter, for what it is, and let’s make sure we know who is paying for it.

It’s only fair.

Copyright 2012 William Thien

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