Slate magazine is famous for publishing contrarian writing, and the piece they recently published by Reihan Salam certainly fits the bill.
What, after all, is more contrarian than saying “me, and people like me, should pay far more tax?” The category Salam belongs to, and the one which he believes should be taxed more heavily, is childless people.
Salam argues that the US tax system is stacked against families with children, who could use a lot more tax relief (raising the next generation is, after all, a pretty important task). The simplest way of doing this, he says, is to raise taxes on those without children.
Key quote: "By shifting the tax burden from parents to nonparents, we will help give America’s children a better start in life, and we will help correct a simple injustice. We all benefit from the work of parents. Each new generation reinvigorates our society with its youthful vim and vigor. "
What he says of America is just as true of Ireland. Raising children costs a very great deal of money, and when the State then places a heavy tax burden on families with children, they are doubly burdened. It's often argued that the decision to have children is a private one and little or none of the State's business or society's business. But this is clearly ridiculous. We love to talk about our obligations to future generations, but someone has to actually do the work of raising these generations. Without children, there will literally be no future.