Republicans Call For End To 'Marriage Penalty'
By Ann Curley/CNN
WASHINGTON (Jan. 14) -- Declaring that "it seems like when a couple says 'I do,' Uncle Sam says 'fork it over,'" Rep. David McIntosh (R-Ind.) and co-sponsor Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) have sent a letter to President Bill Clinton, urging him to embrace their legislation ending the marriage penalty in his upcoming State of the Union address. The letter is signed by 123 members of Congress.
Weller declared, "In fact, our tax code today provides incentive to
get divorced. The answer is pretty clear: not only is it unfair, but we believe it's immoral that our tax code punishes society's most basic institution which is marriage."
The "Marriage Tax Elimination Act" would allow married couples to choose whether to file separately or as a married couple, to gain the best tax advantage.
Weller cited a Congressional Budget Office study which
indicates that "over 21 million married working couples with two incomes can average almost $1,400 more in taxes than a couple that lives
outside of marriage with identical incomes." Weller and McIntosh say that they have over 232 sponsors for their bill.
McIntosh recalled that during a December news conference,
Clinton said the marriage penalty is "not defensible," but expressed concern that the government could not afford to give up the revenue from the taxes.
McIntosh countered, "Frankly, my view is that I don't think the government can afford to keep taking that money because of the terrible consequences it has for families in this country."