Civil marriage – marriage regulated by the State – should be banned completely in the United States. Marriage is a matter of way of life and belief, and should be left to the religious and philosophical spheres. Including marriage as a civil structure simply brings the United States one step closer to a theocracy.
Test all children for parentage at birth (eliminate the “marriage presumption”) and eliminate all governmental monetary ties to marriage. Have social security cover minor children of decedents, and allow people to designate one and only one adult to receive survivor’s benefits based on a decedent’s work record.
Allow adults living together at one address to either file one tax return for all residents or else to file all singly (single filing required for persons at government institutions such as prison halfway houses.) Better still, adopt the Fair Tax instead of the Income Tax and there is no problem with filing at all, since there’s no filing.
Of course, this would put a lot of family lawyers out of work, not to mention loophole accountants…