Kimblerley A. Strassel argues that the majority of women who vote Democratic are out there for the Republican plucking. What, might you ask, is the strategy? Well, apparently women no longer care about such trivial “70s” issues as whether they will be discriminated against in the workplace or whether the state will force them to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term (and certainly it’s not like either of these are live issues that could turn on recent Supreme Court appointments or anything!) No, what’s really important to women — although we’re not treated to anything as gauche as evidence — is…tax cuts for the wealthy. Finally, a Republican with the courage to propose something new!
Most married women are second-earners. That means their income is added to that of their husband’s, and thus taxed at his highest marginal rate. So the married woman working as a secretary keeps less of her paycheck than the single woman who does the exact same job. This is the ultimate in “inequality,” yet Democrats constantly promote the very tax code that punishes married working women. In some cases, the tax burdens and child-care expenses for second-earners are so burdensome they can’t afford a career. But when was the last time a Republican pointed out that Ms. Clinton was helping to keep ladies in the kitchen?
So let me get that straight. As a political strategy, the Republicans should appeal to an already Republican group (affluent married women) by proposing a policy that will do absolutely nothing to help an expanding group that is for obvious reasons fleeing the GOP in droves (single women.) I’d also be interested in seeing a defense of the proposition that treating the income of male and female earners in a marriage equally is the “ultimate in inequality” while pay discrimination is trivial. And then there’s the “burdensome” problem of “child-care expenses.” How is the state going to address this problem while forgoing substantial amounts of revenue by treating the income of married people exactly like single people? Look, it’s Halley’s Comet! And, finally, apparently Republicans appeal to contemporary women by simply assuming that men will be the primary breadwinner and women are secondary workers responsible for the childrearing.
I think this strategy needs some work.