Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lazy Pays Well

A few years ago, I was in favor of most of the low-income tax breaks and programs. I volunteered with programs that served low-income families, and saw how much those programs helped.

Lately I'm much more cynical. It bothers me that I work a full-time job, and have to pay to subsidize the "lazy" lifestyle choices of others. We have friends and family who have decided to have one person stay at home (some with children, some without), and who live on a single income.

Because of that, they fall below the cut off for many programs. They qualify for earned income tax credits, several state tax credits (for helping offset housing & utility costs), food benefits (food stamps and WIC), and state-subsidized healthcare.

At tax time, they are getting tax credit refunds of $5-10k! Meanwhile, we're having to pay in way more than that, and that's after working hard all year.

In some ways, it makes me want to save up and pay off everything (house & all), beef up the retirement account, and then quit my job. Without any bills, we'd be able to comfortably live on Hubby's income, and we'd also qualify for many of the tax credits and programs. Plus I'd be able to do whatever I wanted with my time: sleeping in, volunteering, reading, exercising. We'd save money by not having the additional vehicle expenses relating to commuting, not having to maintain a professional wardrobe & continuing education expenses, I'd be able to coupon & shop for grocery sales more aggressively, and I'd be able to trim other expenses (like eating out) from our budget (because I wouldn't be too tired to cook).

1 comment:

  1. I know were your coming from - here in the UK there are folk who have never worked in their lives and have kids who have never worked in their lives. They seem to do okay - free housing, unemployment benefits, child tax credits etc.
    I grew up on benefits (my Mum was a solo parent with five kids and my father didn't provide any financial support the family at all) but I have always worked and paid my own way. My Mum had a reason for being on benefits but I don't and get cross when I hear of people I know who don't work and just laze around and grumble about how hard they have it.