Taxing Women

The US tax system was designed in the 1930s and 1940s, when the typical American household was a single-income family featuring a male breadwinner and a female homemaker. Writing for an audience with no prior knowledge of tax, this study shows how the modern tax system penalizes two-earner families, pressuring some families to break up and many mothers to stay at home. The author illustrates how working wives are hard hit by tax law inequalities. As secondary earners under a joint filing system, wives enter the workforce at a high tax rate dictated by their husband's salary. Using real-life examples, Mccaffery shows how many wives actually lose money by working; why social security is a pure tax, with no benefits, on most working wives; and why part-time work is often not a viable option for married mothers. The book seeks to find solutions to these entrenched gender-based problems in the tax code, which affect all aspects of social life. Mccaffery proposes simple, but effective, changes in the tax system to alleviate the stresses facing women. In fact, standard economic theory has long recommended taxing married women less than men - exactly the opposite of what the USA does at present.