Rohit's Realm

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July 07, 2008

Double the Tax Break, Double the Fun

The Wall Street Journal today reports on the 2008 U.S. presidential candidates' economic plans (subscription required). I could probably attempt to say something substantive about these plans, I suppose, but let's be real: given my worthless existence, chances that I add value to anyone's life by my verbose and futile pontification are so low as to not warrant such an endeavor. Instead, I will focus on a specific quote from the article, viz., Mr. McCain's plans include doubling the child tax deduction from $3,500 to $7,000 'for every dependent.'

Whoa! Now this is what I call news! Kids, as I have long said, serve only two purposes: (1) tax breaks (alas, marriage does not add such value), and (2) projecting one's weaknesses on a new generation (also known as brand management). With McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, proposing to double the tax deduction for children, the calculus of children changes drastically. There are two ways this could go, as I see it. First, you could halve the number of children you were planning to have, and derive the same benefits (economically, anyway, but really, are there any other kind?). Second, you could hold steady with the number of children you were going to have, and double the tax benefit.

Holding everything else constant, option two is clearly the better choice. If one is already planning to have a certain number of children, and as such, has already mentally prepared themselves for the pain and suffering sure to follow, why alter one's plans now? Instead, if McCain wins the presidency, the windfall that follows will be a nice bonus to deal with next eighteen years of disaster—even if one does not talk to the little rascals for the first ten years of their lives, as is my plan.

Three years ago I laid out my romantic quest, in which I sought a woman to make me fall hopelessly in love with her, only to have her cruelly reject me, so that I may sink into a cesspool of ever-increasing despair—and consequently, become a better writer. Three years later, and with this goal still very much unaccomplished, I might have to reconsider. If the polls start to show McCain doing better over the summer, it might be time to publish Part 2 of my much-touted romantic quest, whereby I accelerate my procreation plans, marrying within the year and pumping out some tax-deductible dependents just in time for graduation from law school.

Perish the thoughts, you fools! Law school is hard enough; worrying about tricking someone into marrying me while in school might be too much stress—even for me.


The problem with your last assertion is this: you won't be the one to have to carry and deliver said tax-deductible dependents. This makes your initial search all the more crucial.

MSN says that the average cost per child for a two-parent home in your pre-tax income bracket ranges from $13-15k per year. I still don't see the ROI on having kids.

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