In the words of Douglas Besharov and Neil Gilbert, writing for R Street Institute:

We are struck by how thoughtlessly marriage penalties are created in contemporary programs and how difficult they are to undo. The benefit cliffs in child-care programs and, more recently, in the ACA may facilitate administration, but at a real cost to wise policy-making. In the face of changing marriage and family norms, social-welfare programs have to be planned with even greater care.

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