I met a young couple yesterday, nothing unusual here you might say - except they had 7 children, the oldest of which appeared to be about 8 or 9 years old. Oh yes, and she was pregnant. "What do we have here?" I said to the father, and he said, "Gifts from God."
OK, moving on, I got to thinking, how can they possibly afford to raise 8 children? And that is always assuming they stop there! We had one child and stopped because we decided we could not afford to raise any more than that, and still give her the things we wanted to, including a good education.
Education, now here is where I have a problem with what I consider to be too many children. The couple live in the DC area where public school education costs $24,600 per year per child - including teachers pensions etc. (Incidentally the average Private School in the DC area costs $14,500 per year) Now, as many of you know figures fascinate me and I like playing with them. Lets start with 8 children times $24,600 - that is $196,800 PER YEAR! I think 13 years is the usual length of education. So, $196,600 times 13 equals $2,558,400.00. Now it is presumptuous of me to assume that they could not afford to pay that, however I am going to assume that. So if they cannot afford to pay it, who does? Well you and me of course! This offends me because I decided to not have more children because I could not afford them. But I have to pay for other peoples children. In this case at least $200,000 per year just in education costs!.And they won't even be contributing to those costs at all in taxes themselves. With 8 deductions plus two more for themselves I am pretty sure they won't be paying any taxes!
Don't get me wrong, I am all in favor of free education for all children, however there needs to be some responsibility on the part of some people. I think we can help with that responsibility - as they are obviously not able to help themselves - we can at least stop the granting of a taxable deduction for every child. How about as some kind of compromise here, that we give a deduction for the first child and then no more deductions? If you can afford children then you should at least be able to pay your taxes. It should be enough that we pay for the education of the children, why should we pay people to have more children? In other words if I decide that I can't afford more children why should I pay for someone else to have them? (In fact I would like to go even further than no deductions after the second child. How does this sound? One deduction for the first child, no deductions for the second child and then ADDITIONAL taxes for each extra child over two! After all if you can afford more children, you should at least be able to forgo tax deductions considering the huge additional tax burden that you are placing on everyone else.)
Oh yes and I DO like children! I also like chocolate, and you CAN have too much of a good thing, don't you think?