The Washington Post's Catherine Rampell takes a closer look at how the current tax system impacts married low- and middle-income working families, creating what is often called "marriage penalties." Rampell cites findings from a Hamilton Project paper by Melissa S. Kearney, Giving Secondary Earners a Tax Break.
"The chart up top shows estimates of these “marriage penalties” for several hypothetical four-person families. For example, take a family in which the father has a full-time, minimum wage job, and the stay-at-home mother is contemplating rejoining the labor force. If she got a full-time job like her husband’s, her family’s disposable income would increase by only 38 cents for every dollar she thought she was earning."