Women and TaxesCommentary by Pete du Pont
January 07, 1997
Host intro: Much was made of the gender gap during the elections. But Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis says a new study from the American Enterprise Institute shows there's another gender gap to take note of.
According to the study by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, women have more to gain from lower taxes than do men.
The current tax system is biased against marriage. Two unmarried people are taxed at a lower rate than they would be if they get married. It's a special problem for poor women. In addition to high taxes if they marry, young women are paid by welfare to have babies and live alone with them. If they get a job, government takes their money away from them in taxes. Thus, ambition is discouraged.
The tax system penalizes wives who work. With a husband's income as the base, the wife's additional earnings can quickly push the family into a higher tax bracket.
Elderly women are especially disadvantaged. The $125,000 exemption on capital gains from the sale of a home is often not enough to avoid inflationary gains that accrued on homes in the 1970s, leading some elderly women to continue to live in their homes when they'd be better off moving to smaller quarters.
Lower, simpler taxes would help young women move from poverty to work, and allow older women to manage their assets more effectively.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.