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Hooray for the taxed childless

July 24, 2000

Hooray for the taxed childless



In my decades-long, never-ending search to find a person more bitter than I am, I think perhaps I have found a couple of candidates.

These people came to my attention through the Philadelphia Inquirer, July 23 edition under the title "No fair!" and subheaded "They're fed up with tax breaks for daycare and family leaves. Sick of being asked to work holidays. And don't even talk about parking spots reserved for mothers to be. The childless by choice are speaking out."

Now, naturally I agree with every word these people say, but it's nice to see someone else doing the dirty work and heavy lifting and carrying the water and utilizing overworked clichs for a change. Now I can sit back and people like Mathew Giltner of Hunterdon County, N.J., take the heat for saying things like:

"Guess who has to pick up the slack when so-and-so is pregnant and can't work a full day. Then there's always Bring Your Own Child To Work Day. That's a lot of fun when you show up at your desk and two young children are going through it and playing with your stuff."

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Huzzah, Mathew, Huzzah!

Oh wait, I mean that Mathew is obviously in need of some sensitivity training for a terribly embittered and unhealthy view of God's greatest gifts, those little rosy bundles of joy.

And yet, as accepting and as loving of children as I myself might be, I'm just here to warn you that there are others who unfairly attack these poor innocents and the people who usher them into the world.

The article states that "People who don't have children 18 and younger account for 62 percent of workers, yet some say they're treated like second-class citizens."

Obviously they didn't collect this demographic data in Hagerstown. Oh wait, they said "workers." Never mind.

Seriously though, when I first came to Hagerstown I thought it was a casting set for "Romper Room." In most towns, every woman has a shopping bag; here they all have strollers.

Speaking of, perhaps this is a good time and place to introduce my new Hagerstown tourism idea: Baby Carriage NASCAR.

Benefit 1: It employs a lot of out-of-work moms. The women would be sponsored by real stock car drivers and their strollers painted in the team colors.

Benefit 2: Makes it easier to get around downtown. I'm always stuck behind a stroller. If they're competing for cash and prizes based on how fast they can push their progenies around the block, this moves things along admirably, I would think.

Benefit 3: The loser dads who left these moms with children and no support would see their ex-wives raking in mega cash from product endorsements and would be calling back where they would be treated to a lug wrench in the teeth.

Benefit 4: Puts Hagerbush on the map. We'd be on ESPN XVII, with some tie-askew announcer screaming "...And the No. 3 Dale Earnhardt baby has just forced the No. 24 Rainbow Warrior baby into a Bradford pear! Whoo, and now the No. 88 Dale Jarrett baby has passed them both down low and the Dale Earnhardt baby did not like that one little bit!"

Somehow, it occurs to me that I have gotten off the original subject. Sorry.

The Inquirer article goes on to state that a growing number of people - not me, of course, I love kids - are miffed that people with children get tax breaks while at the same time these wee critters are a heavy drain on state and federal treasuries. In other words, if you have seven kids, they believe you should pay seven times the tax.

Of course there are always the doomsayers, such as Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder of the National Parenting Association, who testily says that without children "society would cease to exist."

Oh, like that would be a bad thing.




Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist

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