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Child support payments should be tax free

Giving incentives to people who get married after having unprotected sex and get ting pregnant is wrong.

There are statistics that say a person is less likely to become a raving homicidal maniac if they are brought up in a house with two parents, but how many of those people were brought up in homes where the parents got together because they’d be paid for it?

It’s sort of like playing the Bachelor with every man and every woman in the world, except that what our crusty conservative contestants are saying is, instead of having 25 men or women to choose from, once you get someone pregnant, we will make it worth your while (Don Corleone style) to marry them.

In “The Godfather,” any member of the Corleone Family that goes to jail or is killed while pursuing a family goal or on a family operation has nothing to worry about. Their family will be taken care of handsomely.

The only difference here is that the Family probably paid more to the fallen men’s families than the government is paying in marriage incentives.

Old men on Capitol Hill don’t get to decide who is in love and who isn’t. That’s an authoritarian measure if there ever was one. It’s a half step away from arranging marriages.

Arranged marriages are for Bangladesh and India. Here, we marry in the most democratic fashion, out of who we choose and who we wish to represent us as our loved one.

Just because over half of registered voters voted for you (which isn’t even the case for our sitting President, let’s not forget) doesn’t give you the right to impede on an individual woman’s rights, or an individual man’s rights, or the rights of their unborn child.

The road to marriage incentives is paved with good intentions but it is simply not the right solution to a massive national problem.

You really want to help these people? I propose making all child support payments tax-deductible.

If a father making child support payments could write those payments off as tax deductions, the amount of money that would be saved would be astronomical. This money would be spent on products (or other debts) instead of child support and dumped right back into the economy, depositing us safely on the dry land of economic growth instead of drowning us in the dredges of debt.

For example, a father of two is making $60,000 per year ($5,000 per month) when he gets divorced and begins to incur child support payments. These payments would be equal to $757.50 every month if he makes the same amount of money as his wife and there are no other extenuating circumstances (figures can be found on a link from the attorney general’s Web site, www.law.state.ky.us/childsupport/support.htm. )

The fees he pays in a year would be $9,090. His annual income is now roughly $51,000, which puts him in the 25 percent tax bracket.

The man would save $2,272.50 in income taxes every year he pays child support.

Think of all the DVD players and Tickle Me Elmos you could buy with $2,272, not to mention car payments and credit card bills that could be paid off.

But then doesn’t the mother have to claim the written-off money on her taxes and have it deducted as income? No, she doesn’t.

The IRS can only enforce the laws that Congress enacts, so if Congress enacts this law, the IRS would have no other course of action than to enforce it.

An example of a law: People who own small businesses don’t pay taxes on gross income; they pay them on net profits.

Child support can be looked at in this way, as payments that are made without any repercussions to the ones receiving them, the ones who need them the most. This plan not only helps the fathers who are being run into the ground because of their child support, but it helps the mothers who receive the support by not taxing it and leaving more of it for them to use at their discretion.

If this change were to be made, the U.S. Treasury would certainly lose some money. How much is unable to be determined at this point without a comprehensive federal study, but the majority of the money saved on these tax deductions would go right back into the economy, as goods are bought and the profits are taxed by the government.

Congress isn’t going to run out of ways to make the government money.

If we make child support tax-deductible, the only people who get hurt is the federal government, and even then not too badly as the saved money will eventually find its way into their hands.

If not, they make the laws, and they can irrigate money into the system as they see fit.

Chris Johnson, Kentucky Kernel, University of Kentucky.