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Things That Will Pull You Up Short

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Two useful stories from Bloomberg this morning.  Thing One:

Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Tax in 2016

You know, I understand, and to some degree, agree with the principle behind progressive tax rates, but don’t you think that is taking things a bit too far?  Stunning stat, “The top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97 percent of total individual income taxes.”  Do you know what it takes to qualify in the top 50%?  Income over 40 grand a year.  That’s not that much money folks.  So not only is our tax structure excessively progressive, which you would think meant people on the lower end of the spectrum got off easy, it still punishes the near-poor.  I don’t see anything anywhere near resembling “fairness” in this picture at all.

But Thing Two is what really took my breath away:

Almost Half of U.S. Births Happen Outside Marriage, Signaling Cultural Shift

They are quick to try and soften that blow with, “The data show such births in the U.S. and EU are predominantly to unmarried couples living together rather than to single mothers, the report says. ”  However, that is somewhat misleading.  One source says, “In the United States and in the UK, couples who live together are at a greater risk for divorce than non-cohabiting couples.”  One study shows a 27% chance that couples cohabiting at the time of a child’s birth will split by the time a child is 5, while it is only a 9% chance for married couples.  In other words, the odds of that “not-really-out-of-wedlock” child ending up in a single mother household are pretty strong.

This is more than a cultural shift, this is a change in the basic dynamics of our society.

I harp here all the time about how we no longer work on character formation in schools and in churches.  Well, frankly there is no more fundamental institution to character formation than family, and a family just is not a family anymore.  Is it any wonder we are in the pickle we are in?  And don’t give me that nonsense about how a separated family can be as good as an intact one.  We’ve all seen it way too many times – the boy stupefied on Ritalin or Adderall just for being a rambunctious youngster when all that is really needed is a father to be active with in the evenings – the little girl that thinks boys are “yucky” way past the age she ought because an embittered mother has forced such views on her.  I cannot tell you how many times my wife and I have had a hoped for quiet meal out grossly disturbed by a gaggle of single moms letting their children run wild, unsupervised and untempered because they are without a help mate and they are completely exhausted.

How will such kids grow up?  Maybe storming the Supreme Court building?  Kids need parents, both sexes, full time.

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