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The Bush Tax Plan Calculator

By Philipp in MLP
Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 12:12:38 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

SmartMoney, known for their cool info applets, such as the Market Map, put up the Bush Tax Plan Calculator. Now you can find out exactly what is your share of that famous $1.6 trillion.

I was somewhat surprised to find out that especially the middle class gets hosed under the plan. While the poor ($10,000 annual income) do get a 33% cut and the rich ($100,000 or more) save 15% or more, the middle class ($40,000) only have to pay 8% less in taxes.

Disclaimer: You milage may vary, e.g. it helps if you are single. The thing is in Java, but does not crash Netscape under Unix (at least so far).


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Taxes should by cut
o by $3000 for everyone 12%
o by $2000 for everyone 3%
o by $1000 for everyone 3%
o not at all 30%
o by 12% for everyone 23%
o by 8% for everyone 7%
o by 4% for everyone 4%
o only for the rich to stimulate the economy 15%

Votes: 65
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o SmartMoney
o Market Map
o Bush Tax Plan Calculator
o Also by Philipp

Display: Sort:
The Bush Tax Plan Calculator | 28 comments (27 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
26%! (none / 0) (#1)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:08:55 PM EST

I must be "lower class"!

The only thing more pathetic than spending all of your time on K5 is doing it from multiple accounts.

Average houshold income (none / 0) (#2)
by Philipp on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:20:57 PM EST

.. in the US is $40,000 before taxes. It's your call.

alias kn 'killall -9 netscape-communicator'
[ Parent ]
Not bad (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by skim123 on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:21:54 PM EST

13.6%, I like. Of course the idea would be that with that 13.6% tax cut I'd go off and buy things, stimulate the economy, etc.... not me, I'd just take it and burrow it away somewhere.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.

46%!! (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by slick willie on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:26:10 PM EST

And I'm middle class. If that's a hosing, I'll take it any old day.

Of course it helps to have kids, of which I will have doubled my current number by next tax season.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

Middle class, single, 8% savings. (3.50 / 2) (#6)
by finkployd on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:49:26 PM EST

Looks like I'm pretty average. Single, middle class, and I only get an 8% tax cut.

However, that is 8% more than I got under Clinton (even after he ran in '92 with the promise of a tax cut). Acutally considering the tax increases under Clinton, this is probably more than 8% more than I got.

You want it to be fair? Support a flat tax rate, or at least a serious rewrite of the current progressive tax rate to make it MUCH simpler and more straightforward.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
So many people just don't get it. (3.57 / 7) (#7)
by Crashnbur on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 08:19:48 PM EST

It's called "trickle-down theory," or supply-side economics. The theory holds that high marginal tax rates and government regulation discourage private investment in areas that fuel economic expansion, and that more capital in the hands of the private sector will "trickle down" to the rest of the population.

In other words, in our economy's current state, a significant tax-break for the rich will instill higher confidence in their financial holdings, freeing up money, meaning they will invest in the stockmarket, expand their ventures, etc. - stimulating the economy, creating new jobs, and putting more money in the average persons' pockets.

If I had the time to waste on K5, I would write an article about it. But I don't. :-)


Whether it actually works or not (4.33 / 3) (#9)
by itsbruce on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 08:30:04 PM EST

Is a matter of debate.


It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
Egads... (4.60 / 5) (#13)
by RareHeintz on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 09:46:26 PM EST

It's called "trickle-down theory," or supply-side economics. Just such a theory was put into practice by one Ronald Reagan and a strangely compliant Congress back in the 80's. Taxes were slashed, and debts were run up, but it wasn't supposed to matter because the economy would now be "stimulated".

If you'll recall (I know you were young, but you can look it up), the result was a crippling recession from which we have only recently recovered - inflation, unemployment, the plundering of Social Security to make up budget shortfalls, all that good stuff was the direct result of attempting to make the economy better for all of us by giving tax breaks to people who don't need them.

Anyway, I'd write an article about it, but I haven't any more time than you. Probably less, i fact.

- B
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

Interesting. (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by dice on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 05:34:55 AM EST

The people don't need the tax cuts.

Like you don't need to be protected from being mugged if you have money in the bank.

It just struck me as interesting.

[ Parent ]
Clarification (none / 0) (#23)
by RareHeintz on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 10:24:33 AM EST

I'm not saying that income tax isn't theft - it is. I agree with you about that.

OTOH, the current system is entrenched and any change, if it comes, will be incremental, rather than the whole-hog abolition of income tax (which I would love to see someday). So, when doling out tax relief, doesn't it make some kind of sense to give priority to those who would derive the greatest relative benefit? That is to say, those in the working class?

Just my $2e-02. (Which, incidentally, is my approximate benefit under this tax cut.)

- B
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

My understanding of trickle down (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by Wah on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 04:26:25 PM EST

Goes something along the lines of this. You'll get better tips waiting tables, because your business wasn't big enough to get good tax breaks. Or something to that effect.
Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life | SSP

[ Parent ]
trickle down (voodoo) economics (5.00 / 4) (#14)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 10:11:12 PM EST

8 to 10 years of trickledown economics during the Reagan and Bush administrations led the the mini-recession at the end of the Bush administration that helped put William Jefferson Clinton into office. Do we really want to go through this again?

As much as I'd like a tax cut, I'd really like to see the debt addressed in a serious fashion under a budget that doesn't assume that only the best will happen before seriously considering any sort of tax cut.

To be honest, what happens when my parents generation (the baby boomers) start to retire en masse scares the pants off of me. The combination of an insolvent Social Security program with a massive sell off by institutional investors as Baby Boomers begin to eat into their 401ks intead of investing further seems to me to be a recipe ripe for a recession, if not a depression.

The last thing we need during such a time is a government that can't pay its own bills.

Of course, if congress can't balance their own check books, how can we expect them to balance the federal budget? We can't. I hope I have enough to retire comfortably in some small tropical country before things start melting down.

Just call me Cassandra, eh?

Nothing can be more pitiful and absurd than to pride oneself on one's genius
Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdyaev, "The Ethics of Creativity"

[ Parent ]

This is why... (none / 0) (#16)
by Wah on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 01:20:14 AM EST

...we need to legalize euthanasia.

To be honest, what happens when my parents generation (the baby boomers) start to retire en masse scares the pants off of me.

Suicide booths, anyone?
Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life | SSP

[ Parent ]

Shame... (none / 0) (#20)
by itsbruce on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 07:36:24 AM EST

None of those people seem to have read Robert Sheckley's "Immortality Inc", which may not be the first to use the idea but certainly predates anything they mention. Mmmm, Sheckley. One of SF's few true satirists.

--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.

[ Parent ]

Invest your money! (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by sopwath on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 08:22:15 PM EST

Do a little more in depth analysis of what some of the different tax rates mean for normal people.

I checked a few figures for people earning $31,600 and people earning $150,000. The people in the upper bracket do get a larget tax-break after the bush plan is enabled, but they still are taxed at a much higher rate, so more cents/dollar are being taken anyway.

People who are in that upper bracket probably have investments and therefore are subject to capital gains taxes as well. Earnings vs. gross yearly income are different things, capital gains are taxed at a lower rate. That's why you should invest your money!

Did you look at tax rates between couples and single people? Middle class familys get a nicer break if they are married (especially compared to singlevs.married upper-class people), because the marriage tax has been reduced.

Even at 7.39%, I'll take that anyday.

What would Al 'I'm a liar' Gore have done to lower my taxes? (erm, that's right nothing)

Graduation, Sleep, Life: Pick Two
a small cut is better than nothing (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by xdc on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 09:19:43 PM EST

Since when did "getting hosed" become a good thing? Or, how does a tax reduction amount to hosage? Although other tax brackets may benefit more percentage-wise, I think a modest tax cut is better than nothing. Federal taxes are too high and need to come down.

I think there is somwthing wrong (5.00 / 2) (#11)
by Zeram on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 09:21:22 PM EST

The calculator lists what I would owe before the tax cut as $1,371 dollars less then what the 2000 1040 instructions say I would owe. I'm confused...

Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
Interesting idea... (4.33 / 3) (#12)
by RareHeintz on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 09:40:21 PM EST

How about one that keeps track of my share of the country's increased debt burden when the budget surplus falls short of the insanely optimistic projections? Or one that shows how much of my Social Security money has gone out the blowhole, since this budget apparently won't be doing a whole hell of a lot for that...

- B
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily

further... (5.00 / 3) (#15)
by Seumas on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 12:07:30 AM EST

Not only do the middle class get a smaller percentage, but the upper middle class (doing well enough not to be poor or middle income but not well enough to be wealthy) do even worse. Especially if you're single without children. I'm in favor of any tax cut for anyone for any reason at any time -- but it would be nice to see one that benifits more than just families of four. There are single people without children and without homes that contribute quite heavily to the market who are tired of being overlooked.
I just read K5 for the articles.
A salient point (4.50 / 2) (#17)
by streetlawyer on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 04:17:41 AM EST

The tax break indicated is what you would get by 2006 if the tax plan was fully phased in. Since the tax plan itself is pretty badly broken and is likely to lead to *either* unsustainable erosion of the surplus *or* demolition of Medicare and Social Security, I wouldn't go spending your thousand dollars all today.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
Social Security is a joke. (none / 0) (#21)
by TheReverend on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 09:30:22 AM EST

Social security and Medicare will both be bankrupt before I am of an age to recieve a benefit. I would rather see an overhaul and regulation of the insurance and healthcare industries, as costs are enourmous. It is unfair to the average person that an 8 hour hospital stay costs 1000$. Socialized medicine is frightening, because socialism is a slippery slope leading to rampant homosexuality and satanism, but it needs to happen in this country.

"Democratic voting is specifically about minority rights" --Infinitera
[ Parent ]

you make it sound as if (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by streetlawyer on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 09:57:50 AM EST

homosexuality and satanism were bad things.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
social security: theory vs. implementation (none / 0) (#27)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 02:08:31 PM EST

The problem with Social Security (and Medicare and Medicaid) is one of implementation, not of theory. In theory, a forced insurance plan that will pay out after the age of retirement (or in the case of retirement due to disability) is a great idea. And if the government had taken all the Social Security and Medicare premiums and put them in a safe place, it would be a long, long time (if ever) that the system crapped out.

Besides, given that massive bank failure can take place, something like Social Security is necessary to prevent social disaster that results when events like the massive bank failures of the Great Depression. These types of events will happen sooner or later. Either we prepare or we suffer.

The problem is that Social Security and Medicare premiums are being absorbed into the general budget courtesy of the USA Congress. Because of this short-sidedness, neither plan has a life expectancy of very long once my parent's generation begins retiring en masse.

What's even more frightening to me is the large number of retirements that are intended to be financed by stock funds. Anyone care to haphazard a guess on what's going to happen when millions of baby boomers retire and start selling off their portfolios instead of investing at an ever-increasing rate? It seems to me that the current artificial high of the stock market is in large part (if not entirely) due to the institutional investing behind 401k and IRA plans. From my point of view, once the first generation completely dependant on stock funds for retirement income starts to withdrawl instead of deposit, there will be a tremendous correction as the stock market seeks equilibrium.

I think that correction will be far more devastating than the impending insolvency of the Social Security/Medicare system.

Oh, and for what it's worth Medicare and Medicaid are two examples of socialized medicine. If you view socialized medicine as an eventually necessary evil, then the best bet is to fix the existing system rather than start over from scratch.

Nothing can be more pitiful and absurd than to pride oneself on one's genius
Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdyaev, "The Ethics of Creativity"

[ Parent ]

taxes vs. cost of living (5.00 / 4) (#18)
by Seumas on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 05:07:40 AM EST

I complain about taxes. A lot. I hate taxes. I hate insulting fact that more and more money is taken out of my paycheck as time goes by (and that I pay an unfairly large percentage of each dollar compared to many other groups of tax-payers), yet the government continues to spend it on every program imaginable, as if it were their own personal stash to run wild with in a candy store.

Taxes, currently, are not my biggest concern though. Up here in the northwest, we're suffering some of that de-regulation/poor management syndrome with electrical power. You know, where they shut down our nuclear plants, then we live mostly on hydro-power. Then nobody builds more power plants because it's easier to just charge more than build more . . .

And thanks to this, our eletric bills will make California look like a cakewalk come the end of this year. By October, it has been stated that our monthly bills will likely triple. This means that as a single person who usually has nothing more than a few computers, a fan and a light running -- I will be paying almost $200/mo to Portland General Electric.

My mother is the only one who brings home an income in her household. My grandmother lives with her, but has long ago retired. My brother and sister aren't even old enough to drive, let alone hold a job. Until my grandfather passed away, she also supported him. -- so this five person household had a hefty eletricity bill -- somewhere around $300 in the winter. Steep, but at least it could be afforded, even if at the cost of other needs.

My mother, who still works a fast food job because she can't afford to let her children or herself go without medical benefits during her transition to the field she has her degree in, doesn't bring much home in the way of money. When the electric bill triples, she'll have to pay more each month to Portland General Electric than she even brings home in her pay-check. And, of course, there are only so many lights that can be turned off.

So this is tied into the tax issue, by virtue of our government. The same government who enjoys taxing us to into oblivion and lives on our wallets like some diseased parasite on the back of a dog continue to find ways to pull from our pockets. If it isn't directly by taxes, it's taxation-by-proxy due to their stupidity and horrendous regulation in other areas such as electricity, gas, housing and whatever else you can dream of. Instead of fighting each other over class and pay checks, I'd like to see everyone fight the government beuracracy and self-rightous self-granted access to our bank accounts that beurocrats excersize at their whim. Instead of attacking people ecause you make $25k and someone else makes $200k and you think they should be taxed into low-income housing, both groups should take great offense at the cut-throat thievery they're both subjected to. It's too easy to be divided and conquered otherwise.
I just read K5 for the articles.

Will you pay? (none / 0) (#26)
by bjrubble on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 02:55:39 AM EST

If you will pay $200, if your family will pay $300, well, that's Fair Market Value. I don't particularly like the amount the government takes, but if the alternative is to be subjected to the full force of The Market I'll choose government any day. At least it has some sort of mandate to serve my interests.

[ Parent ]
poll (none / 0) (#25)
by slothman on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 12:41:01 AM EST

I assume this poll is fake because if it is real then it is stupid. I think 0 taxes for poor small (3%) for middle-income and high (90%) for rich, but that is not an option.

Taxes And Death (none / 0) (#28)
by BloodmoonACK on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 10:05:57 PM EST

I've seen a lot of people on this topic (and in K5, in general) regard the U.S. as "taxing us into the ground". Two points I'd like to make in this post. First of all take a look at a lot of the other countries; most of them have higher taxes than here. Second, what's up with everyone considering what the government does stealing? The government has bills, too, y'know. They need money to pay for programs for YOU. Why are people here so greedy? It seems like everyone is saying, "ME! The government is taking money from ME, why are they doing this? _I_ deserve all this money, not them. The government can go to hell!" I'm sorry to tell you this, but the world is not just about you. There are other people in the world. Many of them (most of them) are not as fortunate as 99% of the people who read this web page probably are. If they were born unlucky, why are they being punished for it? Should their suffering be eased a LITTLE? Your taxes go to help pay for it. I also noticed that people seem to feel sorry for the taxes that the people making $200k have to pay. Yes, poor them. They have more than enough to live on, even after taxes (believe me, I know this). They are not going to have to go to low-income housing after taxes. They're are gonna live comfortably in their LARGE houses. They're gonna have plenty to spend, no matter how much bitching they do. The people who make $16k may not be so lucky. They may not be able to make ends meet. And they already usually don't pay taxes. How will a tax cut help them? Well, I seem to be rambling and I need to go. Me out.

"It's like declaring a 'war on crime' and then claiming every (accused) thief is an 'enemy combatant'." - Hizonner

The Bush Tax Plan Calculator | 28 comments (27 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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