January 4 2013

Obama Economy: Women and Blacks Hit Hardest

Charlotte Hays

One of the old chestnuts we conservatives used to chortle over was an imagined headline in the liberal Washington Post: “World Ends, Women and Blacks Hit Hardest”.

Not quite so funny now that women and African Americans really are being hit hardest by the Obama economy (as reflected in today’s dreary jobs report).

Yet somehow liberals don’t seem to care enough about women and blacks nowadays to switch course on the economic policies that are harming these two groups of Americans.  

Diana Furchtgott-Roth has a sobering piece on the likely effects of the new tax law President Obama considers such a personal triumph. The new law, she says, will make it more difficult for Americans at both ends of the economic spectrum to marry and more difficult for married women to continue to work.

[W]omen will face greater incentives to leave the workforce.

For low- and middle-income women, the culprit is the renewed extension of unemployment insurance, as well as the Affordable Care Act subsidies for health insurance that will phase out at 400% of the poverty line in 2014. These subsidies will be initially based on tax returns filed in April 2013.

For some married upper-income professional women, it’s the new tax law, with its top tax rate of 39.6% that begins at $400,000 for singles and $450,000 for couples.

For some married upper-income professional women, it’s the new tax law, with its top tax rate of 39.6% that begins at $400,000 for singles and $450,000 for couples.

With the new Affordable Care Act tax of 0.9% on earned income (3.8% on income from capital), and the phaseout of personal exemptions and itemized deductions, this brings the top individual federal tax rate to around 42%. Add 5% to 10% in state taxes, and the rate is over 50%.

The penalty is greatest for women in urban high-cost areas such as New York and Los Angeles who have invested the most in their education, hoping to shatter the glass ceiling and compete with men. The tax discourages married women not just from working, but also from seeking the next promotion and from pursuing upwardly-mobile careers.

Speaking of how the Obama administration helps women to succeed in the workplace, wags at the National Republican Congressional Committee have passed along the resume of "Julia" in the Obama campaign’s “Life of Julia” infomercial. Do we laugh at the joke or cry because of the reality it reflects?

 

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