Skip to comments.Rand Paul: Letís get marriage out of the tax code
Posted on 03/14/2013 7:41:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
This isn't news because it's novel for a Paul to be saying such things --- his dad once called for getting the government out of marriage on a GOP presidential primary debate stage --- but because of Rand Paul's growing prominence in the GOP. If he could rally a hawkish party to oppose the president's power to use drones against terrorists in certain circumstances, can he rally a socially conservative party to find an accommodation on gay marriage?
Paul says foreign policy is an instrumental way to expand the GOP, but its not the only way. Social issues are another area where he thinks Republicans can make a better argument to independents and centrists without departing from their principles. Gay marriage, for instance, is one issue on which Paul would like to shake up the Republican position. Im an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage, he says. That being said, Im not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesnt mention marriage. Then we dont have to redefine what marriage is; we just dont have marriage in the tax code.
I assume that’s part of a broader ambition to make marriage a wholly private function, which is vintage Paul insofar as it’s a clever attempt to sell libertarian wine in conservative bottles. He does the same thing vis-a-vis foreign aid to Israel: Cutting aid will actually lead to more robust Israeli self-defense because Israel will no longer feel obliged to seek American approval when responding to Hamas. I’ve seen other libertarians and paleocons argue for cutting aid to Tel Aviv and, needless to say, the idea that it might make Israel more aggressive towards its enemies was … not a key factor in their reasoning, to put it mildly. Likewise here, most libertarians support making marriage a matter of private contract not because they feel angst about “redefining marriage” — the ones I know are all perfectly fine with, if not enthusiastic about, states legalizing SSM — but because it’s a move towards smaller government, especially on moral issues. Paul, however, is pitching this as a sort of escape hatch for social conservatives who don’t want to see blue states or the Supreme Court lend the imprimatur of American government to gays marrying. He supports traditional marriage; he doesn’t want to see marriage redefined. So … why not eliminate state sanction from marriage entirely? Indeed, why not, says Jen Rubin:
If we were starting a system from scratch, I suspect that would be an easier sell. But getting the federal government out of the marriage business, deferring to the states and allowing individuals to, as he says, enter into contracts with one another, can be the way out of the gay marriage thicket for the GOP, I would argue.
The Supreme Court, depending on its ruling in the same-sex marriage cases, may assist this process by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the biggest aggrandizement of federal power on marriage in my lifetime (maybe ever).
Conservatives understand that there is a realm of conduct left to churches, synagogues, families, localities and individuals. The essence of Burkean conservatism is a healthy regard for and respect for those realms and for the customs, habits and beliefs that flow from those free associations. Whatever the methodology, conservatives at the national level need to extract themselves from a losing battle that should not be within the purview of the federal government.
That bit at the end is another reason this is newsworthy: The timing is propitious. Ten years ago, social cons laughed at libertarians for suggesting that marriage go completely private. Ten years later, with several states having legalized gay marriage, poll trends among young voters promising more legalization, and the Supreme Court poised to extend marriage rights to gays as a matter of equal protection, maybe they’ll consider it the lesser of two evils. See, e.g., Frank Fleming’s piece at PJM arguing that marriage is, after all, a religious custom and the state has no business trying to reconfigure religious customs. Better to leave marriage entirely within the private realm so that churches can protect their traditions. The timing’s propitious too in that the GOP’s desperate for ways to build goodwill with younger voters and Paul’s ploy is one likely way of doing it. It’s similar to what Mitch Daniels said about pot a few months ago: The GOP doesn’t need to endorse legalization, all it needs to do is let the power to decide devolve to a more local level of government. In the case of marijuana, Daniels pushed federalism as a solution. In the case of marriage, Paul’s pushing private contract, i.e. self-government at the individual level, as the answer. In both cases, the GOP gets to punt on a hot-button issue in a way that, maybe hopefully, won’t alienate social conservatives. They’re not backing weed and SSM; they’re merely striking a blow for limited government by letting people decide for themselves.
All that said, and as someone who supports legalizing gay marriage, I’ve never understood why social cons would go for this. At the core of the anti-SSM argument, as I understand it, is the belief that man/woman marriage is qualitatively different from gay unions; barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to recognize that difference. It’s not that state sanction operates as some sort of “benediction” for straights, it’s that it a mechanism of differentiation with all other types of unions. If you move to Paul’s paradigm where everything’s a matter of contract, there’s no longer any such mechanism. Every couple with a private agreement is effectively equal; the state will enforce an agreement between gays just as it will an agreement between straights. How does that satisfy the social-con objection to SSM? Likewise, some conservatives support state sanction of marriage because they believe the state has a role in promoting marriage as a social good and domesticating force. I’ve always thought that was a good argument for gay marriage too, but we needn’t argue about that; the point is, if the state gets out the marriage business it’s no longer officially promoting anything. And finally, if you’re worried about gay marriage for fear that it’s another step down the cultural slippery slope towards polygamy, why on earth would you favor a paradigm of private contract? A multi-party contract would place polygamous groups on the same legal footing as couples. If polygamy’s your chief concern, you’re probably much better off sticking with state-sanctioned marriage and taking your chances with the Supreme Court. Exit question: What am I missing here? Any social conservatives want to make the case for why Paul’s right?
“The problem is that, it is not what the gay agenda wants....They want to force every institution, to consider gay marriages on par with heterosexual ones, and force religious institutions to give them equal weighting, and they will not stop until they get it.”
The whole point of the gay marriage fight is to punish folks who wont buy into it with the power of the state. They will fight tooth and nail to be able to punish and keep punishing those who will never buy into whatever impossibility the state decides to call marriage at the time.
I think a big reason so many accept impossibilities like gay marriage is because many have been conditioned to think the state defines marriage. It comes in little pieces of paper with strictures and benefits, and can be broken and resumed between any parties if the state gives its permission.
Often you will read about some faith that believes gay marriage is possible but wont recognize their own members gay marriages until the state they are in also agrees. Which might be more insane than actually buying into gay marriage in the first place.
RE: THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT AND CANNOT MARRY YOU!
Let’s think about this a bit. Let’s assume that this will be true...
Will the government then be ask to recognize unions of some sort?
There are two possible answers — yes and no.
If the answer is yes, This implies among other things that:
* That the government will still need to recognize marriages that were done overseas of the purposes of say, immigration (surely you don’t want to separate an immigrant from his wife... ).
* The government will have to find a way to administer things like social security, which implies that even if they don’t marry you, they must recognize your marriage (or union, for want of a better word ) done in some church or mosque or temple.
* The government will still need to deal with what constitutes a father or mother for children born in this country.
Now if the answer is “no” (i.e., government won’t recognize any unions at all ).... then the implication would be (among other things ):
* You can’t bring your spouse to America, if you were married overseas because the government does not recognize such union. Only YOU can enter this country.
* If you were to die, your spouse does not have to get anything from the social security funds you paid for during your working years, since “spouses” are not a recognized entity (this will save government a lot of money and they might have an incentive for non-recognition ).
* The government will still need to deal with what constitutes a father or mother for children born in this country.
Depends. I have been a small business owner for many years. The few times I have been involved in legal disputes, my preference (and that of my attorney) would be to appear before a judge rather than a jury who are much more prone to irrationsl (read racist)judgements than a single judge.
RE: Im not familiar with immigration law at all - are people currently allowed to emigrate with their dependents?
Current immigration law states that if you are a LEGAL immigrant, and your application is approved, YOUR SPOUSE AND ALL MINOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN ARE AUTOMATICALLY APPROVED.
How do we change that law of government gets out of the business of recognizing marriage?
“The concept of marriage licences is a liberal idea designed to give the state(and thus them) some lever of control over our marriages.”
That’s actually not so. The concept of marriage licenses dates back to the English Common law, alongside Habeaus Corpus and Trial by Jury.
It was brought over to the United states along with the rest of the Common Law, well before the Revolution. All the states are governed by the common law, either introduced when they became states or under territorial control of the United States.
The last challenge to this law was in Reynolds vs the United States. The Supreme Court affirmed that the Federal government had an obligation to preserve marriage between one man and one woman and could prosecute things like bigamy and polygamy, alongside homosexuality.
I get what Rand is saying about the need for constitutional governance - he is off base here when he strips something that is constitutional for the federal government to regulate.
The other question for Rand is what about spousal visas? Federal control of immigration is also constitutional. Does he propose to do away with them altogether since the ‘government has no say’, or should immigrants be permitted to bring in a companion?
This is a poorly thought out position by Rand which, if extended to it’s natural consequences - would be absolutely disastrous. Does Rand plan to suspend child support payments? Spousal support via Social security? Etc.
The first one isn't a problem for me. I suspect however a work around - like proving someone has been a dependent of the immigrant for the last 5 years - could easily be worked out. I do see SS as the biggest problem. However, it'll be morphing into something else soon enough anyway and this might be an easy way for the government to implement changes. Parenthood can now be established first via the parents' word on birth certificates and when that fails, on DNA.
This is not a huge issue. What about proving the spouse has been a non-minor dependent for the last five years? Sure, we’ll get some siblings and some parents, but so long as the immigrant swears to support them so they don’t become a burden on the state I don’t see it as a problem.
Last time you checked was perhaps rather recently. Until the US Supreme Court arrogated to itself the privilege of weighing in on a state criminal code in Lawrence vs. Texas (2003), there were laws against sodomy on the books in most states. Earlier in the 20th century and before, there were such laws in all states, as there have been in all countries in the Judeo-Christian tradition for more than 5,000 years.
The answer to your last question is yes. In our system under the Constitution (pace the USSC since the 1940s, the content of the criminal code depends on what a state's own legislators decide. I think it's a good system.
RE: The first one isn’t a problem for me. I suspect however a work around - like proving someone has been a dependent of the immigrant for the last 5 years - could easily be worked out.
Will the above be applicable for gays who were married in a country that recognized such unions?
Say, X is a gay spouse of Y in Country Z which recognizes gay marriage.... how can X prove that he is dependent on Y while living in country Z?
RE: What about proving the spouse has been a non-minor dependent for the last five years?
How do you prove that when you were living overseas?
If they were smart, they’d be throwing it back in the libs favorite expression ‘separation of Church and State’
Much like anything else they’ve got their slimy claws into or nose under the tent, Fedzilla has no business, nor Constitutional authority, to be in most areas of our lives.
Well, as I said a bit earlier up - all three concepts came into the Law together. The Federal government has the power to regulate marriage - but it doesn’t have the right to define it. Same as with Habeaus Corpus and Trial by Jury, fwiw.
I agree, too many people seem to think The State has anything to do with their marriage.
Anyone allows the State to define their marriage is subjecting their marriage to becoming as screwed up as everything else the Government touches.
Marriage is a union between one man, one woman, and God. It was not until just before the 20th century that progressives got the idea to try and butt Government’s corrupting head in between with marriage licences.
It was wrong & corrupting then and its just as wrong & corrupting of the institution now.
Yes, it absolutely would apply to gays, siblings, parents, and I suppose good friends. I don’t understand your question. They’d have to prove it the same way straight couples do.
I like your theory, but I think you’re a bit off (not in a bad way :D); I’d say we survived well enough on a more (L) principle until the 1900’s.
You were on your own, or relied upon family/friends/etc. The Laws most readily coincided with the belief they should only exist if they infringe upon Rights, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness; I do not see that as mutually exclusive.
IMHO, it was the breaking of that link that allowed the explosive growth of the ‘it takes a village’ thinking law we have today. The bastardization of ‘thy brothers keeper’ = robbing Peter to pay Paul.
My contention is that the books should be rolled back, and if the law was needed, it should be re-instated every 10? years with no exclusions/exemptions
Back on topic, like other racist beginnings, marriage should never had been allowed gov’t ‘oversight’
But if they remove marriage from the equation, how is that trying to define it?
Right now when couples separate there's a legal mess (particularly if children are involved). That legal mess doesn't change whether or not there's been a marriage. There are still questions of support, property separation, and child custody.
Please explain why I couldn’t create a beneficiary of my SS or will it to my wife. The suggestion that only the government can handle this type of contract seems somewhat non-nonsensical to me.
Father and Mother for a child: I’m not quite sure why that, in law, must be tied to the governments issuing of marriage licenses. I seems self evident that not all Father and Mothers are married to begin with but certainly that doesn’t prevent the government from garnishing wages (In some communities this is quite an industry for the “Single Mothers”)
My husband and I bought the required marriage license, but were married by a Catholic priest in a ceremony before witnesses and guests-only after the priest had blessed our vows did we consider ourselves married-my opinion may be colored somewhat by my beliefs.
Let private attorneys draw up simple, standard contracts-divorce and custody issues, etc are based on a piece of paper that says absolutely nothing of import now-a marriage license-I produced mine to qualify for my late husband’s military benefits. That could just as easily have been a certificate from a church, temple, mosque, etc. asserting that we were married on such-and-such a date, before witnesses. In Texas, we still also have “common law marriage”.
How about if we let those issues you mention that revolve around a spousal contract continue to do so-but have the contract be a marriage performed by clergy-or one drawn up by a lawyer, in the case of atheists? The point being to get the government out of personal business-all they have done is drag us down the path to secularism and ridiculous “rights” that have no basis in anything but imagination.
RE; I dont understand your question. Theyd have to prove it the same way straight couples do.
Straight couples prove that they are married today by showing a marriage license from the governments of the countries they come from when they apply legally for immigration.
Since we’re talking about the US government not “recognizing” any marriage any longer, you told me that the criteria for immigration is to prove “dependence”.
I’m not sure if today’s immigration policy even recognizes such “proof of dependence”. all we have now are MARRIAGE LICENSES from a country.
My question for clarification purposes is this — how do you prove that you are dependent on someone when you come from a foreign country?
RE: That could just as easily have been a certificate from a church, temple, mosque, etc. asserting that we were married on such-and-such a date, before witnesses.
Well, that implies that the government still is in the business of recognizing marriages then.
I thought our discussion is about government totally getting away from the marriage business... and here we are, they’re still in it.
It says “the right to life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, not the guarantee thereof. Those rights mean different things to different people, so let’s not have more government guarantees of marriage of same gender, three or more, groups of pygmies, etc. Or the right not to ever be insulted by someone worshipping God in public, having a gun, etc. People have forgotten that there are no guarantees in life.
I really think the misinterpretation of that phrase has invited government into our personal lives to our detriment, and the only way to stop it is-well-to stop it-and it has to start somewhere.
I don't know. I suspect it would have to do with proving you shared the same household and were responsible for that person's support. I do know that my mother in law stayed in Ireland with her oldest son until my father in law could afford to bring them over here (two years). Maybe that's how it'll have to go. I'm not very familiar with immigration law at all. I do know that people who emigrate need to have a sponor here in the United States who is supposedly liable should the person end up insolvent or on assistance. I know, because I was asked to sponsor someone about four years ago. Upon reading the document, it looked like my personal assets would be on the line even if the person got sued and as I didn't even know the person coming over, I refused. I don't know if the document is a formality, but it shouldn't be. And as long that sort of responsibility is required to vouch for someone, then I don't see the problem.
RE: Please explain why I couldnt create a beneficiary of my SS or will it to my wife.
From the perspective of government not being in the business of marriage, I can see how everything becomes contractual.
If you are married to someone and you die, you have to SPECIFICALLY draw up a contract stating to Uncle Sam that your SS goes to her because a marriage license is now not recognized.
If God forbid, you divorce, you will have to create a different contract to designate your new beneficiary.
Government forms that have the box — Marital Status in them would also be gone.
It just implies that contract lawyers will be busier than ever before.
“What has radically changed in the last 230+ years” is an intrusive government that has been consistently enabled by whining sheep who can’t think for themselves, or pour pi-um-urine from a boot with instructions stamped on the heel.
The good sense that God gave us and the natural laws that have governed human civilization have not changed at all-they have just been ignored.
RE: I don’t know. I suspect it would have to do with proving you shared the same household and were responsible for that person’s support.
The only way we can prove this today is by a marriage license from the previous country of domicile.
Otherwise, anyone can just state that he or she shares the same household and have a recognized authority from that country draw it up and notarized.
But then I don’t see how that differs much from a marriage license. You still need some PROOF.
Whether you want to call it marriage or not, you still need to use a similar procedure.
Right. There are a lot of serious problems in the tax code and Rand is screwing up in going after marriage and family tax breaks. If he keeps it up, he’ll lose my interest...like his squirely dad.
Wow. The bloom sure came off the Rand Paul rose quick. Talk about, “shooting yourself in the foot.”
I happen to see a government role in promoting and supporting the traditional family unit. It sounds to me like Paul is running scared from the Democrat sodomite “mainstream” newsrooms and the rest of the militant faggot lobby.
The certificate would take the place of those marriage licenses issued by government now-and since the government didn’t issue it, there is the added benefit of depriving some overpaid, unionized civil clerks of a job because they are not needed-more money for parks and to fix the roads.
You brought up the spousal/marriage issues like divorce covered by a civil contract marriage-I’m just advocating putting those issues into the hands of the clergy and common law, rather than a government beauracracy.
On a related but lighter note-when her husband worked in El Paso, my grandmother had a friend who was an orthodox Jew. When the husband wanted a divorce, the return of things like dowries, separate possessions, that are dictated by the Torah came into play, secular law be damned.
RE: The certificate would take the place of those marriage licenses issued by government now-and since the government didnt issue it
My point is this — just because the government did not issue it, does not mean that they are out of the business entirely.
When one has to “recognize” something, that implies one DECIDES to make it legal and legitimate.
I’m not sure how that solves the problem of churches and religious institutions and devout businessmen being forced to recognize gay marriages or even polygamy ( if God forbid, that ever comes into play ).
Our constitution has the “equal Protection” clause which liberals have redefined to mean many things other than what it was originally intended for.
Say, a gay man sues a Christian employer because he refuses to provide medical benefits for his spouse because the employer does not believe in gay marriage....
How does the government ( which is still in the business of marriage recognition, but not issuing ) react to this?
The gay man can argue that if you recognize my marriage and their marriage, by law, I need equal protection and you still have to force my employer to provide my “spouse” benefits.
This still does not solve the problem Rand Paul says he wants to solve.
Unless we do one thing -— WE ADD AN AMENDMENT TO SAY THAT NO COMPANIES OR BUSINESSES WILL BE FORCED TO RECOGNIZE MARRIAGES THEIR CONSCIENCES AND RELIGION TELL THEM NOT TO.
I can see how this will cause a huge backlash in our courts.
This is where libertarianism veers away from conservatism.
The basic assumption difference is that conservatives view our culture as something worth preserving,
while the libertarian sees nothing special about our culture and would let it deteriorate and die.
The libertarian has a blindspot where he doesn’t see that a “moral and religious people” is NECESSARY for the liberty that he sets as the highest goal.
I agree that an amendment is needed-it is needed now, because the government already encroaches on private business bigtime, where it should not.
If I were king, the rule would be-my business, my rules, in a non-union shop. The law of profit and loss will take care of the companies who play the government’s silly games-they will raise prices to non-competetive levels to pay for the endless rules of government compliance.
I’ve been told there was a time when employers only provided benefits to a legal designee-people had to name a beneficiary for life insurance you bought at work, etc, and it could be your cat’s aunt if you wanted, because employers didn’t provide health insurance-people bought their own, which is how I think it should be again...
It’s no different from asking, “what happens if they were to suspend Habeaus Corpus.” They can’t suspend it and they can’t change the definition. They can only protect it.
Or it could just be that sanctioning marriage isn't one of the clearly defined powers granted to the fedgov in Article 1, Section 8. But far be it for me to throw that in the way of a good demonizing of libertarians.
Since removing the government from something that ends up in endless discrimination suits, I’m sure the lawyers will be needing another source of income-let them sort out the minutae of the religious marriage contracts in relation to custody, immigration, etc...
The Constitution was framed based on the assumptions of a Judeo-Christian value system,
and “it is inadequate for the governing of any other”.
Well stated, sir...
Then they should have allowed for that in Article 1, Section 8. It’s not “a living, breathing document.”
It amazes me that people who know fedgov can’t even fill pot holes properly are so eager and willing to let it micro manage the most intimate of their affairs.
spousal contracts = marriage
divorce = about marriage
marriage in not about mere religion
if you go down to your nearby staples / office depot / office max / or look online there are a plethora of “cohabitation agreements” which ARE enforcable under contract law.
civil unions = marriage
Sorry, can’t refer to the authority of the Constitution without recognizing the assumptions on which it was based and written.
Whatever. Get back to me when you find granting sanction marriage in Article 1, Section 8. It wasn’t written in pencil.
we have the marriage penalty tax when both people work.
When the husband works and the wife does not it seems to be more tax effective.
when the government defines marrige via legislative act then they are essentially taxing sex.
If tax policy is intends to influence society, then marit tax deductions are in order. We need children(future taxable asset).
Well, according to justice roberts (anyone here feel stupid for carrying water for that asshole during his confirmation?), fedgov has unlimited taxing power. Good thing we have strict constructionists like him to squeeze a convoluted excuse for raw government power from a plainly worded document that was supposed to restrict it to something less powerful than a local home owner's association.
But listen to them cry when we say we want heterosexual everything. Bunch of whiney wusses.
I actually think it would be a good thing if marriage was taken out of the tax code. If everyone was just treated an a person for taxing purposes then there really would be no push for gay marriage. They just want the perks that families get. As someone who has never married, I think it is the right thing to do. For example, I run a household, but because I am the only member of it, I cannot claim head of household. If I had an illegitimate child, why then I could claim it. Makes no sense.
Let's see allowing people into the country based on who they are married to? Yeah I am good with doing away with that one being its abused regularly.
Spousal Contracts is easy. You want to decide who gets what when someone dies its called a will, who gets the children note it in the will. easy peasy japaneezy
Divorce as far as the financial part is covered with a legal document now and still can be. In fact it should be a standard 50-50 split so the lawyers can't bleed the clients dry.
Social Security is in trouble anyway. It needs revamped and this is a good way to start. grandfather in everyone who is already getting it and from now on there are no automatic spousal goodies. a survivor can be designated but at a greatly reduced rate and keep the standard kids bennies till 18 (but I am willing to bet for SS to stay solvent this is gonna have to go too!)
I like this because it takes the wind out of the ghey liberal argument that the tax code is unfair towards ghey couples.