Today, April 15, is “Tax Day” in the United States and this year it is also the day that several dozen “singles bloggers” are participating in a blogfest to help get the word out about the discrimination that takes place against singles regarding taxes for the unmarried. I am honored to be invited to be a participant in this blogfest, but I have to admit a couple of things first.
#1 . I had no idea of what a blogfest was. Well, it’s pretty easy to guess what one is, but I had never been asked to participate in one before. And…
#2 . I’ve been too busy and happy being single that I’ve been completely oblivious to over 1,000 U.S. income tax laws that apparently discriminate against single people.
So, in conclusion, I’ve had my head up my butt AND I’ve been ripped off all of my life, for being single!
But instead of reacting with anger (not about having my head up my butt), mistrust and frustration, my mind quickly jumped into a different set of thoughts.
An article, “The High Price of Being Single in America” in The Atlantic, is the basis of the blogfest. To give you some idea of the contents of the article, here is a quote. “…more than 1,000 laws provide overt legal or financial benefits to married couples. Marital privileging marginalizes the 50 percent of Americans who are single. The U.S. government is the main perpetrator, but private companies follow its lead. Thus marital privilege pervades nearly every facet of our lives. Insurance policies—ranging from health, to life, to home, to car—cost more, on average, for unmarried people compared to those who are married. It is not a federal crime for landlords to discriminate against potential renters based on their marital status. And so on.”
Now, the first thing that entered my mind after reading the article was that I wondered just how many people out there are aware of these laws and actually get married for the tax breaks and money savings? Over 1,000 laws? Even a handful would make any thrifty person take marriage into consideration over remaining single. I mean, there are enough people who “marry for money” so why not “marry for savings” too? Couples move in together to save on expenses, so why not take it one step further and get married to save even more.
The second thing that entered my head was, “If this is the case, no wonder there are so many unhappy married couples out there”. The thought of marrying for financial reasons and not for love would already put divorce high on the list of probable things likely to happen to a couple who placed their individual or mutual financial interests above true, heartfelt love.
So, now I have to wonder just how many marriages are consciously or even subconsciously disguised as loving relationships when the basis of them may be about money and savings. I’m aware that many people “marry for money” or for practical reasons rather than emotional, but adding the tax breaks into the equation just makes me wonder even more. I’m not saying that all or most marriages are for financial reasons, but I’m sure that many of them are.
This leads to some other questions that are bouncing off the corners of my head. Yes I have a square head.
1. Do some (straight) alpha men take into consideration the tax breaks that they would get, and therefore save money and have more disposable income, when they decide to take on a wife? Is it a factor in deciding whether to get married or not? Is she a tax break? Are the kids a tax break and a benefit in that way too? Could marriage be just an unromantic activity that allows for more time on the golf course and more financial freedom?
2. Is the government just plain old-fashioned, holding the same traditional views of many churches and conservatives? Does government mimic the beliefs of those who hold onto the notion that all adult humans should be married, procreate, live in a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs, where the wife stays at home and cooks, cleans, and raises the children while the husband goes to work, brings home the paycheck and comes home to a nice home-cooked meal with his family? Is this the type of behavior that the laws are designed to reward?
3. Did some religions just have it wrong all of these centuries by promoting the idea that marriage is the answer to human happiness? And did the government just follow along like a sheep and jump on the bandwagon along with insurance companies and the like? Or is marrying for financial and practical reasons just better and healthier for human beings than marrying for love? That is an age-old question.
4. Does anyone ever do things for love and never money? And if they did, would they be happier?
I believe that I am totally off topic now, but that’s where my thoughts have led me at this moment in time on Tax Day regarding how singles are treated by the government when it comes to taxes. It seems to me that the government is rewarding and promoting those who choose to marry or remain married. But why? I guess that’s the big question.
It’s unjust for any type of discrimination to take place anywhere. I believe in and advocate for fairness and equality. So, if indeed, I am being discriminated against by the government because I am single, which, according to the article I am, then it’s certainly time for a change.
Happy Tax Day everyone!