Money = Freedom … and Trump doesn’t want you to have either.
The matter of women’s choice has been a political issue for a long time. We thought that was all behind us with Roe v. Wade and the feminist movement, but this election cycle has turned everything on its head. There is clearly a Republican agenda to limit and control women … both our bodies and our choices. The latest attack on women’s power to choose comes from Trump’s new proposed tax plan. Trump knows that money equals power. So, his new tax plan wants to make sure you, as a woman, don’t have any. Here’s how:
Forbes just published an article detailing how Trump’s new tax plan would hit single parents the hardest in three significant ways:
1. It would eliminate the head of household filing status. Why is that important? It would require single parents to file as individuals, which boosts tax rates for single parents at most income levels.
2. It would replace personal and dependent exemptions with a standard deduction, which means you’ll be paying more. As explained in the Forbes article, “Under current law in 2017, a single parent with one child can take a $9,400 standard deduction and two $4,100 exemptions, thus reducing her taxable income by $17,600. Trump would replace that combination with a $15,150 standard deduction, making $2,450 more income subject to tax.”
3. It would collapse the current tax schedule from seven rates to three, which seems like a simplification, but again, it will raise tax rates at most income levels … by a lot. The example that Forbes provides: “in 2017 a single parent with one child who claims the standard deduction would face a 25% tax rate on adjusted gross income between $53,050 and $68,550, compared with just a 15% rate under current law.” Wow! Can you imagine paying 25% of your gross income in taxes?
So, those are the facts. Now, let me give you the context.
Trump’s tax plan will negatively impact single parents. And female single parents will be impacted far more than their male counterparts. Why? Women don’t receive equal pay. We earn 21% – 54% less than men in the same jobs. We have to work a lot harder to earn the same buck as our male colleagues. And Republicans in Congress have done everything in their power to make sure we don’t receive equal pay. The women’s rights movement has been given plenty of lip service over the years, but without any positive impact on policy. And Trump’s tax plan takes it one step further.
Clearly, the financial hit on single parents in Trump’s tax plan looks like moral judgement. And it looks like punishment. If you’re a single parent, it’s because you had children without being married … or it’s because you are divorced. In either case, you’ve stepped outside the status quo. You haven’t followed the social formula Republicans want to see. And it’s incredibly threatening especially when it comes to divorce. Current statistics show that women initiate divorce 69% of the time in the United States. Women are leaving unfulfilling relationships in far greater numbers than ever before. We are willing to sacrifice dual income and all the security it provides. We are willing to live on our own income and lose half of our assets. We are willing to take a financial hit that we won’t recover from for 4 – 6 years (while a man’s income increases or stays the same after divorce). Why? Our marriage sucks and we will lose our sanity if we stay in it one second longer. And we believe that this struggle is better than the struggle we are leaving behind.
Trump wants to change that. His tax plan would make it even more difficult for women to leave their marriages. Divorce is already financial devastating … and this tax plan is intended to cut women off at the knees before we ¬¬¬¬even consult with attorneys or file papers. The mountain we have to climb to get back on financial track after divorce has now been transformed into Mt. Everest. And we don’t have any oxygen. And for all those women (like me) who’ve busted ass their entire lives to be successful and now pay child support to their ex … there’s no way to climb out of that big black hole. Child support isn’t tax deductible. So, you’ll have the double whammy of paying your ex child support based on your gross income AND paying 25% of that gross income in taxes. What’s left over? And why is the economic burden placed on our shoulders? This tax plan is a deterrent for women to leave their marriages … and it’s a threat of what will happen to us if we do.
It’s ironic that Trump has been divorced twice. Apparently, he doesn’t condemn divorce. He just doesn’t want women to be in a financial position to choose it for themselves. That is, unless you’re rich. Very high-income single parents would actually save a huge amount in Trump’s plan. And according to the Forbes article, the top 0.1% would see an average tax cut of more than $1.3 million … boosting their after-tax income by almost 16 percent relative to current law. So, the people with money get to save it for themselves, while the people without money have to give more. Doesn’t make sense, does it? It doesn’t … until you see Trump’s tax plan as a tool designed to control and manipulate women’s choices and the structure of our society.
Have I gone too far? I don’t think so. As a divorce coach and mediator, I already see how the odds are stacked against women both personally and professionally. And this tax plan would make the situation far more crippling than it already is. So, what to do? Contact your local representatives. Use your voice while this tax plan is still only proposed. And know that regardless, you always have more than just black or white options. If you are considering divorce … or in the divorce process … it’s more important than ever to have a solid strategy and clear goals that will minimize financial damage. Don’t let Donald Trump intimidate you or stop you from creating the life you want.