On the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, being married can cost you a lot.
Get divorced (or avoid getting married, if you live together), and you save $7,230 per year if you are a fairly typical 40-year-old couple with kids (example: the husband working full-time, and the wife working part time, with the husband making $70,000, and the wife making $23,000).
If you are a 60-year-old couple with equal incomes and no kids, and you make $62,041 a year, you save $11,028 a year by getting divorced or remaining unmarried. These are the amounts of money you will lose if you get married, since you will lose this amount of taxpayer subsidies due to Obamacare’s discriminatory treatment of married versus unmarried couples. That’s the reality confirmed by an Obamacare “calculator” provided by the pro-Obamacare Kaiser Family Foundation showing how Obamacare’s “tax credits” work.
This calculator is not designed to make Obamacare look bad: Indeed, it has been touted by Obama’s own proxies at BarackObama.com, known as Organizing for Action: “In a September 13 email, Erin Hannigan of Organizing for Action’s ‘Truth Team’ bragged about” this “cool calculator” showing how Obamacare’s “tax credits” work, and encouraged everyone to “share it on Facebook or Twitter.”
The tax increases Obama demanded in the fiscal cliff deal also contain a “marriage penalty,” although only for upper-income households (since the maximum rate kicks in at $450,000 for married couples – that is, $225,000 for each spouse – versus $400,000 for singles).
Obamacare’s new tax on investment income, which applies to married couples making above $250,000 per year, also contains marriage penalties (for example, if an unmarried couple makes $390,000 – $195,000 for each partner – they owe no investment tax, even if all of their income is investment income, and even if a married couple with the same income would pay the Obamacare investment tax on a significant portion of their income).
Historically, the effect of marriage penalties has been most profound for working-class people, who are punished severely for getting married by the welfare state. As Rep. Thomas Petri (R-Wisc.) has noted, “The decline in marriage and the rise in the number of children born to unmarried mothers are concentrated among lower-income families.
One reason is that lower-income couples will often lose money if they get married. Many federal benefits such as food stamps and the earned income tax credit phase out as income rises. Under federal law, if two individuals earning the minimum wage choose to marry, combining their incomes results in the loss of some $7,000 in federal benefits. The result: Fewer marriages, more births outside marriage and reduced prospects for rising into the middle class.”
The Congressional Budget Office, which allowed supporters of Obamacare to hide its costs through gimmicks and dodges, admitted in 2010 “that Obamacare includes work disincentives likely to shrink the amount of labor used in the economy.” For example, it effectively creates a 35,618 percent marginal tax rate for one hypothetical 62-year-old whose income rises by $22, by triggering the sudden loss of $7,836 in government tax credits .