Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How gays are overtaxed due to bigotry.

Under current legal standards in the US gay couples are put at legal disadvantages that don’t exist for straight couples. And under Bob Barr’s Defense of Marriage Act they are incapable of resolving those difficulties no matter how many private contracts they sign. The federal government is required by Barr’s law to discriminate against gay couples. Here is one example of that applies.

CNN reports on how federal tax laws penalize gay couples in ways that don’t impact straight couples. The federal government demands tax returns from US citizens under threat of violence. Gay couples are among those threatened. But the feds give straight couples options that gay couples are forbidden under Barr’s legislation. CNN gives these examples:

Take two couples where one partner has a taxable income of $20,000 and the other makes $40,000. If they can file their federal taxes jointly, the tax bill would be $8,217.50. Filing separately, the combined bill would be $9,032.50 -- more than $800 higher.

Another disparity comes with the federal government's treatment of employer-provided health insurance, which also affects unmarried heterosexual couples.

For example, Dan Jessup is a project manager at JPMorgan Chase in Indiana. His partner, Bob Chenoweth, is self-employed, running two businesses out of the couple's Mooresville, Indiana, home. So Chenoweth gets health insurance through Chase.

But Jessup is required to count the company's cost of his partner's benefits as additional income for tax purposes.

State and federal taxes on those benefits cost about $1,800 per year, Jessup said.

"I certainly think about it every payday," when the extra withholding is taken from his paycheck, he said. "If you think about 10 years, $18,000 is a lot of money. That could buy me a pretty nice car."

The reality is that same-sex couples help subsidize the tax bills of straight couples. Gay Americans are taxed disproportionately to subsidize straight couples. This holds true for social security as well. Under Barr’s legislation the federal government is required to punish same-sex couples. These are just a few examples of how that happens. Low-class homophobes just go out and bash gays. Upper-class bigots, like Barr, just let the government due their dirty work for them. That some people have stretched the meaning of libertarian so widely as to include this bigot is beyond belief.

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