BlogGirl on Girl

GoG: My opinion of the GOP’s “sin tax” on being a single mom.

I don’t really write about politics. I’m not a tax or legal advisor of any kind.

But I’m a single mom and I’m pissed.

In much of America, if you buy cigarettes or booze, you have to pay a little extra taxes for what is known as a “sin tax” or a tax on making a bad decision that costs you and costs society such as drinking or smoking or gambling.

Well, the GOP tax bill has come through and single moms have dodged a huge potential “sin tax” on being a single mom. That’s a huge sigh of relief for most of us, but it’s a little shocking how the bill is slanted to benefit married people over single parents by potentially thousands per year.

This means that the GOP has still effectively levied a “single mom sin tax” even if most single moms will actually pay less in taxes than they do now.

The good news: Trump’s tax hike on working class families died and the Child Tax Credit went up.

The Trump tax plan  – the one that he campaigned on – killed the Head of Household Tax Deduction. The Head of Household Deduction is a serious tax break, especially for Moms who provide a home that their kids live in for more than half of the year (which is most single moms, if we can be blunt). A lot of working class families still voted for him, so there’s no reason to think that they were considering their own interests as much as they were the rhetoric of his campaign message.

But if he actually raised their taxes – that would be a different thing. Americans remember what they dislike about their politicians at tax season.

Well, Republicans let the Head of Household deduction live in the final bill and that crisis is averted. But one hopes that Donald Trump may still get nailed to attempting to raise taxes on working class families and especially on single parents.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is seizing an opportunity to make a name for himself in the GOP.

In fact, thanks to Sen. Marco Rubio holding the bill hostage if it didn’t include an expansion to the Child Tax Credit, the credit has been raised to $2,000. Also, a little more of the tax credit is refundable, which means that a lot of single moms working as receptionists or teachers or waitresses or in call centers, etc will potentially get a slightly bigger refund check than we usually do.

I’m sure that’s going to go over well for him back home in Florida, though he’s not up for re-election until 2022. What gives? Why come through now? A lot of speculation is that Rubio plans to challenge Trump again for the GOP ticket in 2020.

That makes a lot of sense. Rubio was kind of a flash-in-the-pan Presidential candidate in 2016, when Donald Trump beat him out in his own State’s primary. But he’s still got a lot going on for him: he’s Latino, he’s pretty progressive (as Republicans go), he’s still pretty young (46) and let’s face it: he’s kind of cute.

But best of all for him: Donald Trump is committing a slow-burn political suicide and Republicans who elected him now say that he is embarrassing them.

Is Rubio the Republicans’ Obama? Maybe not, since it has now been speculated that close to a million of his constituents will lose or drop their health insurance coverage as a result of the new tax law.

Hikes in healthcare costs are a sin tax, too.

Single moms take what jobs they can get that allow them flexible schedules. Usually that means working only part-time jobs where they don’t qualify for company insurance benefits and rely on exchanges like Healthcare.gov to get coverage.

I never liked the individual mandate – the tax on not having health insurance – and let’s face it: it started out as a Republican idea and it sounds like one. But it was meant to keep Obamacare alive and healthcare costs reasonable without creating a government-run “public option” (which Obama proposed in 2008 and Hillary Clinton came around on by 2016).

Now, after Republicans couldn’t kill Obamacare even with a supermajority in Congress, they have at least killed the individual mandate – the ugly part of Obamacare that many people don’t like but that was necessary to keep costs down.

Now, the CBO says that 13 million Americans are estimated to lose their healthcare coverage by 2027 and premiums are expected to start to rise, every year.

By cutting the Individual Mandate, the government will save about $300B over a decade. How? Because so many people will no longer be able to afford subsidized plans, the government won’t have to help them pay for policies.

Donald Trump is now actually bragging that he has effectively repealed Obamacare in this tax law. But a lot of single moms in America rely on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage – Medicaid that only remains expanded because Republicans have failed to repeal Obamacare nearly 100 times .

Now, 2 million kids are expect to immediately lose healthcare coverage under ChIP – the child Insurance Program that a lot of low-income single moms rely on to keep their kids insured.

Successful Moms with a lot of kids will actually pay more in taxes.

Personal exemptions, however, are totally gone with the GOP tax scheme, in exchange for higher standard deductions. This means that moms like me who have only one or two kids at home are going to wash out about the same but single moms who have large families (like 4+ kids) might actually wind up on the hook to pay more in taxes than they are now, especially if they are making a lot of money.

Let’s face it: if you are a single mom with a large gaggle of kids and a high-end six-figure income, you’re pretty much a unicorn. But why should any single moms have to get hit, at all? What’s the point?

Married couples filing jointly are going to save thousands more than single moms are.

According to a Forbes article on Dec 17, a $100k/year household with two incomes from married spouses will be taxed $4,000/year less than a household where a single mom makes the same amount of money all by herself.

Even though this applies to very few single moms out there, right now, it should piss us off.

Trump’s first legislative success makes the government the enforcer the GOP’s family values on staying married.

I’ve got nothing against married people. I used to be one. But we are already seeing that in the GOP’s worldview, there is a sin involved in divorce and one that the government has role in enforcing. Not exactly small government for a party that prides its tax policy ideas on making a government small enough to drown in a bathtub.

Right now, they’re mostly trying to drown single moms in the bathtub and the only reason that makes sense to this single momma is because in their eyes, we’re a bunch of wicked sinners.

Looks like I’m voting Democrat, again, in 2020.

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