Does Rick Perry want to undermine traditional marriage? This question leaps out from his new 20 percent flat-tax plan, which would eliminate all tax advantages for married couples where one spouse is the primary breadwinner.
For more than 60 years, the federal income tax has treated the family as an economic unit. A husband and wife have the benefit of pooling their income in a joint tax return, which affords larger deductions and lower rates.
Perry would replace the pooling of husband-wife income with a system in which each individual, regardless of marital status, would owe federal taxes on his or her separate income. Perry's plan offers "generous standard deductions of $12,500 for individuals and their dependents" — which ignores the fact that children are dependents of both their parents, even if one earns all or most of the family income.