Why don’t more couples do the math and figure out that they should not do all that extra work for the government? Life is so much simpler with the 1-earner family, and the spouse who doesn’t bring in the dollars can provide great economic benefits by directly performing work that would otherwise have to be paid for, most notably child care. Since this economic benefit isn’t taxed, it’s a double benefit. Instead of buying inferior childcare (or other services) with after-tax dollars, you perform the work that is worth that much money, and you’re not paid, so you don’t pay taxes on the value it represents.
The flip side is that the services you provide do not qualify for a tax break per se, though I’d argue the economic benefit still works out to help the one-income family. Nevertheless, it can needle some. Phil Lawler fumes:
Do you realize that you can deduct child-care expenses–unless you care for your own children. And you can deduct education expenses–unlessyou educate your children at home? If you drop you toddler off at the day-care center, the cost is a deductible expense. But you can’t pay yourself, and you can’t deduct the expenses you run up keeping your child out of that day-care center. If you’re a schoolteacher, you can deduct miscellaneous expenses incurred on the job. But if you’re a home-schooler, you can’t. In other words, Moms can’t be paid, and can’t even deduct out-of-pocket spending, for doing the work that other people are paid to do.
And you wonder why a liberal Democrat might think that a Mom “never worked a day in her life.”
I prefer to stay under the radar. Let the liberals and the government think I don’t work, and as such, provide a continuing threat to liberalism. As I told a friend this week, you take care of your own. Who knew I’d be such a counter-cultural radical who must be demeaned and destroyed!