Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

1027, 18 Jan 15

Incenting Working Parents

As expected, President Obama plans to introduce a bunch of ideas for higher taxes and more spending in his State of the Union address. Given that the Congress is controlled by the Republicans, most of those proposals will not go anywhere – and Obama knows it. He is proposing them to to build the political narrative for the 2016 election that the Republicans are the “party of ‘no’.”

One of his proposals, however, is particularly troubling because of what it says and because it is something that appears innocuous enough that the Republicans might pass it as part of a deal for something else. Obama is proposing a $500 tax credit for families where both parents work.

It sounds nice enough. It is positioned as a way to help families with working parents afford child care and whatnot since both parents are working. But we used to advocate policies that made it easier for families to be able to afford for a parent to stay at home and raise their children. While not everyone can swing it, having a two-parent family where one parent can stay home with the children is substantially better for the children and the family than other circumstances. Not only does the family save a fortune in third-party child care, but the children are nurtured by the people who love them the most – their own parents.

But much like some welfare programs incent parents to not marry, this tax credit would incent both parents to work. Is that what we want our government policies to do? I don’t. I want government policies that make it easier for parents to afford to stay home and raise their own children. It’s better for the kids and better for society.

Nobody is going to choose to get a job who already isn’t for a $500 tax credit. Nor is a $500 credit going to make much of a difference in a family’s ability to afford child care. But this is another step to building a taxpayer-funded infrastructure that encourages every adult to work and let the “professionals” raise our kids.


1027, 18 January 2015


  1. dad29

    As another *cough* blogger mentioned today, the demolition of the family is VERY high on the Leninist “to-do” list.


  2. steveegg

    I guess actually letting the private sector create jobs and not having so onerous a tax policy that both parents need to work if they don’t want to be on the government dole is out of the question.

  3. dad29

    Don’t forget regulatory policy costs, Eggster!

    Looking for why the price of a car has multiplied 6X since 1965? Airbags, pre-tensioner seatbelts, LATCH compliance, CAFE fuel regs, collapsible front ends, cameras, all-around radar…..

  4. Dave

    Give me a break! Providing tax relief to working families rather than another subsidy to corporations is hardly a Leninist plot! If families with young children could survive financially with one parent staying at home many would do that. If you want to incentivize that outcome look at our economy and government policies the last time it was possible to live on one salary. I like Ike!

  5. Nashotah Conservative


    I don’t necessarily disagree with your opinion. I am aware of some workplace polices however that sometimes “penalize” families for having two parents working. I personally don’t think the government should take sides.

    I also wanted to note that the State of Wisconsin currently has this policy as law. I’m not sure which Governor started it, but there currently is a “Wisconsin Married Couple Credit” which provides a tax credit of 3% on the lower’s spouse’s income up to 3%

    In general, I think programs that encourage people to get off public assistance and work are good things. Maybe would could provide some short term assistance like (for people taking public assistance), you can get 30% of that (while working) the first year after not taking any public assistance, 20% the 2nd year, 10% the third year, and phase it out in the fourth year.

    Public assistance has become such a “lifestyle” that anything that promoted folks to pull themselves up, would be positive. I also realize that some people say that they can’t make a “go of it” on minimium wage, and doing this would allow them to have a little extra help for the first few years. If they are reliable and hold a job, odds are that work experience will help them improve a salary above minimum wage after a few years so they wouldn’t need the help.

  6. Nashotah Conservative

    I meant to say the the Wisconsin Married Couples Credit provides a credit of 3% on the lower spouse’s income up to $16,000 (maximum $480 credit per year)

Pin It on Pinterest