Update - Quayle Calls for Tax Cuts to Help Families
Washington (CNS) - Republican presidential hopeful Dan Quayle on Monday proposed a 30 percent across-the-board income tax cut, abolition of the marriage penalty tax and the establishment of day-care tax credits for all. This would ease the increasing financial strain on American families and allow one parent to stay at home with their children, the former vice president said.
Current federal tax and regulatory policies are responsible for driving millions of parents into the workplace, denying mothers and fathers the option of having one parent remain in the home with their children, Quayle said.
"Poverty hasn't really declined in recent years, the underclass has expanded, the middle class is truly exhausted, 30 percent of young black men looking for work can't find it, and many of our farmers are barely getting by," Quayle told policymakers and members of the media at a luncheon at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
In a brief question and answer session after his speech, Quayle proposed a "one strike and you're out" policy for students caught carrying guns to school, saying government should enforce existing laws rather than passing new ones to curb existing violence.
Dismissing the idea of introducing new gun-control legislation, Quayle said only 13 out of 6,000 cases nationwide in which students were caught carrying a gun to school last year were prosecuted.
Quayle proposed tough consequences for students caught with guns in school: "I'm saying to that student, 'You bring a gun to school and you're out of here. You're history. You're gone. Don't come back. One strike and you're out,'" Quayle said to applause.
"I guarantee if you had better enforcement of the laws you have on the books, we could see gun violence decline in this country," Quayle said.
In a prepared speech, Quayle said the typical middle-class couple is working six weeks more per year than they did only a decade ago, and the number one casualty is family life.
"We find ourselves looking forward to absurd developments like microwave ovens in our cars, so we can cook while driving to work or running errands. That means fewer dinners together as a family," Quayle said.
Last year the average teenager spent 1,500 hours watching television, 600 hours in school, and only 33 hours conversing with their parents, Quayle said, quoting figures compiled by The New York Times.
Some 77 percent of California mothers working outside the home would prefer to be at home with their children. Only 16 percent prefer the status quo, Quayle said.
"Today there is a bias against stay-at-home moms. There is a subtle attitude of discrimination that their work is somehow less valuable to our society. That is far from the truth," Quayle said.
The former vice-president added, "It is impossible for invisible parents to instill values in their children."
"Every mother is a working mother. The term 'working mother' is rather redundant isn't it?" Quayle said, then getting in a jab at his presidential competitor, Texas Governor George W. Bush, he added, "Sort of like 'compassionate conservatism.'"
Since he left office, federal taxes have increased 52 percent faster than personal income growth. "The amount paid in taxes last year by the average two-wage earner family equals the total income of that same family in 1980. The relative values of deductions and exemptions for dependent children have also plunged over the years," Quayle said.
Quayle proposed a 30 percent across-the-board income tax cut, which would provide $6,000 to a family whose income is about $85,000.
"That just might be the difference that allows more time with the children rather than more time working," Quayle said.
For full text of speech