BROADSIDE — ...simultaneous discharge of all the guns on one side of a
warship...any strong or comprehensive attack, as by criticism...a song, chiefly In l6th- and 17th-century England,
written on a topical subject, printed on broadsides, and
sung in public.., by a professional balladeer...
The Random House Dictionary of the
English Language, Unabridged Edition
Freud might have said it, but he was more subtle. Mort Sahl, Spiro
Agnew, and Hugh Hefner are likely candidates. For once, though, let a man
remain anonymous. Some arrogant and not-too-funny sexist once declared,
"Women—keep them barefoot and pregnant."
That's not important. What is significant is that many men including
our venerable Uncle Sam have taken the clitticism to heart.
The Internal Revenue Service evidently agrees with the sentiment. Tax
laws favor large families and traditional living arrangements. Women who
are married and stay at home get better tax breaks than single women or
women who are married, have children, and work.
TAXES AND THE SINGLE GIRL
Single women pay the most. All single people are discriminated against,
but women, of course, are the majority. Singles are taxed up to 20% higher
than married taxpayers filing jointly. The IRS obviously believes in mar -
Vivien Kellems, vivacious and single in her seventies, has another approach. For three decades she has filed for refunds on overpayments ( the
amount in excess of married rates). This year she has lined up 100 Congressional co-sponsors for a tax equity bill.
THE MARRIED WOMAN
If a woman marries and has no children she and her husband can file
jointly and save money. If she pursues a career she can suffer under IRS
regulations. The working wife must often quit her job and follow her spouse
to any city he chooses. With few exceptions, the IRS makes no provisions
for husbands and wives who live and work in different cities. The traveling
spouse cannot deduct going-to-and-fro expenses. It's difficult to pursue
a serious career under these circumstances.
Once a woman marries and has a child she may be tempted to give birth
to more tax exemptions. If she chooses to work, she discovers that child
care expenses are deductible only if she and her husband do not make over
$6000 combined gross income. The maximum deduction is $600 for one child,
$900 for two or more. Since child care costs &1000-1200 per child per year
the allowable deduction is utterly unrealistic. If a husband and wife do
make less than $6000, they must file an itemized report and cannot take
the standard deduction.
Legally separated, divorced, deserted, widowed women and women whose
husbands are not capable of self-support have no income limit for child care
Nonetheless, a woman who marries, has children, and a husband with a
decent job is obviously meant to stay at home. If "home is where the heart
is," then it's good enough for the rest of the body, especially if that body
is female, reasons the IRS apparently.