Catholics Can Circumvent Obamacare “Marriage Tax”

Earlier today I read this piece by Tom Blumer and my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets:

The third tragic outcome of Obamacare is what it will do to marriages and families. In January 2010, two months before Obamacare’s passage, the estimable Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation gave the impact a name: the “wedding tax.”

To illustrate, let’s start with the 60-year-old married couple with no children whose situation I illustrated at the end of Part 1:

If they have identical earnings totaling $65,000, which will usually net down to $50,000 or below after all income and payroll taxes, their Obamacare exchange Silver Plan premium next year with the same earnings will be $16,382, or about one-third of what used to be their take-home pay. (And they call it the “Affordable Care Act”?)

What can this couple do? Well, they could decide to earn a few thousand dollars less, which will negate the five-figure premium hit. Encouraging ordinarily willing workers to put in less effort isn’t good in any economy, but especially not this one. But if either spouse’s earnings are unpredictable or hard to precisely track, they could still “mess up” and get socked with a premium they can’t afford.

The “easiest” solution would be to avoid the “wedding tax” entirely by getting divorced while still living together. Here’s what would happen if they make that choice:

You’ll have to go read the whole thing, but I would just like to point out that if sacramentally-wed Catholics chose this “easiest” solution and got legally divorced, they would still actually be married.

Which would be like, the most wonderful expression of this to policy I’ve ever seen:

Just thought I’d put that out there. They can take our freedoms, but they can never take away a sacrament!

Oh, lighten up, everyone it’s a freaking joke.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Patty

    hahahahahaha! That’s great! I just finished reading that very article, clicked over here and found this. Love it.

  • Gail Finke

    People might actually do this. Crazier things have happened…

  • Win Nelson

    I am sorry, I laughed over communion brat.

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    Laughing my sacramentally married butt off.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    That is ironic on the sacremental mariage option. But really,s there no end to this disaster? I can’t believe this monstrosity will survive, but the longer it hangns on, the more people will be dependent on it. Which is exactly their plan. Kill it now though it won’t happen while Obama is in office.

  • Adam Frey

    I humorously thought about this, but legally, there would be a bunch of collateral consequences to my wife if we divorced-yet-remained-Catholically married. I’m in the military, so she would instantly lose any military spousal benefits: health care, base access, spousal notifications in the event of my death, the right to be moved along with me when I change assignments….

    That’s just me in the military. There’s plenty of regular civilian consequences of divorce, depending on the law of the state you’re in. If you die without a will, your wife would lose her right to automatically inherit from you–your kids or parents become first in line to your estate. You lose your spousal privilege, so your ex-wife can be compelled to testify against you in court. (Anything you told her during the marriage would still be a protected statement, but there is no “girlfriend who I used to be married to” privilege otherwise.) I’m sure there’s more legal benefits to being married–these are just the ones that popped into my head.

    These are what drives me crazy whenever I hear anyone complain that the state should get out of the marriage business altogether. Are they really willing to give up all the legal commodities that go with a spousal relationship? The whole idea behind these principles used to be that if a couple was in a state-sanctioned lifelong relationship, society would honor that relationship with certain legal privileges….

  • terentiaj63

    Actually, a similar solution has been implemented by many senior citizens. If two people, both receiving social security benefits, get married, they lose half of their income. So there are many seniors who are “living in sin,” because their other choices are to live in poverty or to live alone. Some years back, I remember reading about the controversy of clergy who were performing religious marriage ceremonies for older couples who did not have marriage licenses.

  • Micah Murphy

    Seeing as we’re rapidly reaching a point where the state’s definition of marriage is not remotely similar to the nature of marriage, I’m not sure whether terminating a civil marriage would be a scandal. I don’t really know whether God or the Church particularly care that a person is civilly married if he is sacramentally married, but a serious question must be asked: with all the redefinition going on, is it even still possible in America to enter a true civil marriage?

    I think I might well be in a sham civil marriage, for which fact I have not the slightest concern.

  • Jennifer Fitz

    See, what we need is a cooperative of Catholic lawyers and accountants in Nevada, to help us get married and unmarried and remarried each year at the opportune moments. Perhaps TurboTax could add in a marriage-benefits-analyzer function to help couples figure out what status they need for Dec. 31.

  • David

    Under Obamacare, your medical insurance coverage must equal at least 9% of your after-tax income (which is different from AGI). Taking the hypothetical couple, even if the wife is 60 years old, she still needs to have mandatory birth control coverage. Add in all the taxes, the bill increases quite fast. So much for the “savings” we’ll all realize.

  • Joe Washingtoncatholic

    Don’t laugh, people may try this. There were a number of “gay couples” who, in order to circumvent the ability to obtain benefits, would turn to adoption. The older would “adopt” the younger. I knew a “couple” here in the DC area that did it. All it took was some time and money.

  • Maria Elliott

    Its hard to laugh when its such a horrible and untenable situation. I also hate the idea of having to do things to “circumvent” the law. The person who said people will get dependent is right. Scary, offensive, and obviously anti-religion.


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