read my lips.

June 16, 2008

while i was eating my face off at 1/2 priced sushi and enjoying j-boughie's company, i realized that i didn't fully understand the differences between mccain's and obama's tax policy. so, here we go...

-since my initial (albeit uninformed) thoughts were that mccain's policy would most likely reduce taxes for most of us, i was pleasantly surprised. per my search, the 89.3% (and yes, i audited the math. wink.) of us with an adjusted gross income of 100k or less will pay a few 100 bucks less with obama's plan than mccain's plan. but if you're richie rich (income over 603k), you'd rather have mccain. *i disclaim that while a mccain advantage actually starts at an income of 112k, the differences between obama and mccain would probably max out at 8k up to an income of 603k, per the article. if you're making between 227-603k, it seems like 8k is chump change. but since i can't fathom earning that many zeros, maybe i'm wrong. i suppose less taxes are welcome at any income level.

-a cnn story further summarizes by candidate: mccain: the average taxpayer in every income group would see a lower tax bill, but high-income taxpayers would benefit more than everyone else. obama: high-income taxpayers would pay more in taxes, while everyone else's tax bill would be reduced. those who benefit the most - in terms of reducing their taxes as a percentage of after-tax income - are in the lowest income groups.

-then we have my favorite, fox news. they seemingly agree with the aforementioned tax positions, but also focus on obama's proposal to increase capital gains taxes. but after more digging, npr says "obama's proposal to raise dividend and capital gains taxes would be widely felt. but the vast majority of the increase would be borne by the wealthy. according to the tax policy center in washington, the richest 5 percent of americans collect more than half of all dividends and more than 85 percent of all capital gains." still, i don't understand why he has to mess with the capital gains tax, but again i'm not rich enough to experience the pain from that extra tax. so i probably don't understand it enough to know the full impact an increase would have.

-as for the economic stimulus packages, obama proposes to inject 50b into the economy through extended unemployment benefits and another round of rebate checks. while mccain also supports both of those ideas, he's not yet committed to an amount of stimulus.

so, that's what i've found so far. if congress agrees with obama's proposal (and of course this is a huge if), the majority of us might be a few hundred bucks richer. while i'm happy about this, it doesn't seem right that people who earn over 2.9m would have to pay over 700k more than they pay now in taxes under obama's proposed plan. that seems like a huge and unjustifiable tax burden on the richie riches. there has to be a fairer way to allocate the proportion you earn to the taxes you pay. but what do i care, under obama, i'll probably do just fine. smirk.

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