Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It looks as if the Defense of Marriage Act is likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court -- and after reading Politico's story on what's likely to take place if that happens, I'm pretty sure the GOP will be able to respond with some old, familiar talking points:
... Same-sex couples are excluded from federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the estate tax exemption and Social Security and Medicare payments for spouses.

That would all change if justices rule that DOMA, or the other law in question -- California's Proposition 8 -- violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

But along with new benefits would come a bigger tax bite, for some.

That's because of the so-called marriage penalty. When couples with relatively equal incomes file jointly, the tax breaks they receive often are not as great as if they were filing as single....

"The joint return is not going to provide them a benefit," University of Illinois law professor Richard Kaplan told POLITICO. Many same-sex couples "are in better shape right now by not being obligated to file a federal return as a married couple." ...

[But if] the IRS recognizes same-sex marriages, it will likely be revenue neutral or raise insignificant revenue, Kaplan predicted.

That's because while the government might collect more from joint filers, it would also owe these couples benefits it currently doesn't provide same-sex couples.

"Actually, the government could be paying out a lot more money, because some of these people will be getting benefits that they would not otherwise receive," Kaplan said....
The Republican spin? It's obvious:

Liberals love taxing people, so that why they support gay marriage: it means they can collect more taxes from gay people. And liberals also love making people dependent on government. Gay marriage means more taking collecting more government money and becoming more dependent.

I guarantee you will actually hear right-wing pundits making this argument.


Palli said...

and how much taxpayer money did Boehner & the GOP Reps spend trying to make it stand?

Philo Vaihinger said...

It's apt to be a mixed decision. The liberals may wish strike down DOMA on such equal protection grounds but the conservatives will not, and may want to strike it down as federal overreach, a law requiring a power to define marriage that the federal congress does not have.

9 is a different matter, and the conservatives cannot without a breach of principle join the liberals in striking it down for reasons of equal protection.

Nor for anything else, that I can see.


Philo Vaihinger said...

Sorry, too early in the morning.

The equal protection reference betrays the origin of the liberal claim of a Fifth Amendment right to legal equality against the federal government from a liberal reading of a 14th Amendment right against states.

Must have coffee.

Victor said...

The Democratic counter should be:

Why are Republicans so upset about two people of the same gender sleeping together, when all they've ever done over the last century, is be in bed with the rich and corporations?

Unknown said...

I give it a year before we start hearing that gay marriage was really a conservative idea. Megan McArdle's latest is an illiterate first step in that direction; it's the only way that mess or words makes any sense at all.

Procopius said...

Somehow I believe University of Illinois law professor Richard Kaplan knows perfectly well that married couples are not required to file joint returns. Everybody who chooses to can file as a single person. You are permitted to make your choice based on whichever way is more to your benefit. The idea that liberals are shooting themselves in the foot probably pleases wingnuts, but it's just not true.