The race to finalise taxation reform before Christmas continues, which is obviously emphasizing Republicans TF out. That’s the only possible justification for what happened at House Speaker Paul Ryan’s weekly press conference on Thursday, Dec. 14. While Ryan waxed poetic about everything from tax reform to Rep. Blake Farenthold’s impending retirement, he also had an interesting take on what will help tax reform succeed.
Ryan said that Americans need to have more babies in order to build tax reform and the American economy work. But there’s a problem with Ryan’s plan: a lot of the legislation Ryan supports would make it extremely difficult to have children.
As having and raising children becomes increasingly more expensive in the United States, year over year, many of Ryan’s legislative proposals would compound that difficulty by
slashing social programs and raising taxes on average Americans. So, even aside from the fact that women’s bodies are not factories to be used to pump out productive workers and taxpayers, Ryan is actually de-incentivizing what he says is one of the key factors to keeping the American economy afloat.
During his Dec. 14 press conference, Ryan was discussing entitlement programs like Social Security when he told reporters that the American economy will merely function properly if the nation’s birth rate increases. He said,
( Ryan, in saying, “I did my part, ” is seemingly referring to the fact that he and his wife have pumped out three children of their own .)
Baby boomers are retiring and we have fewer people following them in the workforce. We have something like a 90 -percent increase in the retirement population of America but only a 19 -percent increase in the working population in American. So what do we have to do? Be smarter, more efficient, more technology. Still gonna need more people . aside>
And, yes, Ryan is dead-on when it comes to the gap between retiring baby boomers and those replacing them in the workforce: according to, the
U.S. fertility rate hit a record low in 2016, with only 62 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. And yes, low birth rates mean slower economic growth, which is a problem. But there’s just a teensy-tiny itty-bitty little problem with Ryan’s assertion that now is the time to have more children.
It’s going to be pretty difficult to have kids under some of Ryan’s biggest legislative proposals.
Take, for example, the House tax reform bill, one of Ryan’s largest legislative aims.
Ryan has promised that this
bill will raise wages $4,000 for the average American family. But that optimistic assessment is a far cry from the reality, according to everyone from the left-leaning Tax Policy Center to the bipartisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
proposed tax cuts for low- and middle-income earnersin Ryan’s version of the tax bill would be negligible at best for many earners, with the lion’s share of savings going to the very wealthy. Further, these individual taxation cuts would be temporary, which means that by 2027, low- and middle-income earners could see an in taxes. The Tax Policy Center “estimates that next year about 10% of middle income filers and 20% of the highest income households would pay more. Those percentages rise to 30% for each group by 2027. “
Those increases aren’t exactly incentivizing childbearing, which is insanely expensive. As of Jan. 2017, reported that the
average cost of raising a child is $233,610, a 3 percent jump from 2016. That’s an average of $13,000 per year for 18 years.
Further, under Ryan’s plan , not only will taxes either stagnate or increase for average Americans, say goodbye to the
ability to write off most of your state and local taxes. That means of your fund will be taxed by the federal government, which means less fund in your pocket. And let’s take a closer look at that declining birth rate.
Per the, aside from the teen birth rate, which has thankfully plummeted 67 percentage since 1991, the biggest decline is among millennials, which, if you’re a millennial is probably scarcely a surprise. After all, who has the money for children when you’re busy paying off your student loans?
Millennials are, by and large,
putting off having kids due financial instability — a large part of that owing to the student loan crisis.
According to CNBC, “There are over 17 million student loan borrowers under the age of 30 in the U.S. These 17 million people hold a total of $376.3 billion in debt. The
average monthly student loan payment for a borrower in their 20 s is $351, and the median monthly payment is $203. “
And sure, perhaps you thought you could diligently pay off your student loans over time , opening up the possibility of having kids later in life. But if Ryan’s tax proposal passes, it’ll take even more day and money to pay off those loans.
If Ryan wants us to have children for the good of the old stars and stripes, then his taxation bill probably shouldn’t include a provision that
eradicates the ability to deduct student loan interest — which currently allows taxpayers to claim up to $2,500 of what they paid toward interest. Yet it does. There are some other Ryan policies that construct makin’ babies a challenge
Alex Wong/ Getty Images News/ Getty Images
It’s no secret that Ryan was one of the loudest voices in the
push to repeal the Affordable Care Act( ACA, aka Obamacare) over the summer. While that repeal try died, Ryan and other Republican leaders are working on a compromise tax bill which would likely include a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate. That would, according to experts, send marketplaces into a tailspin, raising premiums, making essential health care unaffordable. No or prohibitively expensive prenatal care , no accessible coverage if you’ve had postpartum depression or a C-section — all proposals in Ryan’s Obamacare repeal try — would deter average Americans from taking the financial danger of having children.
Ryan is also
staunchly opposed to funding Planned Parenthood — which provides essential prenatal and postnatal care for women. He has also been “dreaming” of cutting Medicaid, which would, once again, mean goodbye to essential health care for many working women in a country with the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Oh, and if you do end up having a kid? Good luck getting any help with child care if Ryan has anything to do with it. Family leave? Nah. That means less income if you decide to take time off to spend with your newborn or, oh, I don’t know, recover from giving birth.
Oh, and gosh, you know there’s the whole icky
borderline nationalistic implications of prioritizing birth rates( instead of, say, boosting the population by immigration) in order to build up the workforce.
But hey, the future of the country is at risk. So start pumpin’ ’em out, ladies.