Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Washington Post does your homework

In case you're wondering which of our fine presidential candidates is going to raise your taxes, the Washington Post has created an excellent graphic that should clear things up.

Start on the left with 'Family Income in 2008 dollars' and locate your household's annual income below. Then slide your eyes across the grid to see what the two candidates have in store for your tax bracket. McCain is in red for Republican. Obama is in blue for Democrat.

Surprised? Me too.

McCain is running ads claiming that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class.

Of course the Republican candidate believes 'wealthy' begins at $5 million, so it's easy to see how he'd think folks making more than $2.87 million per year are middle class.
"But Hedy, you can't trust the liberal media. They made up this graph to make Obama look good."

Actually, the Washington Post is known for its more conservative views.
Yes, McCain's plan lowers taxes for everyone.

But here's what bothers me about this graphic: under McCain's plan, the percent decrease in taxes gets higher towards the top of the graph and goes down to practically nothing for people at or near poverty level.

I'm not a math person, but it sure seems like it ought to be the other way around. Do you know what I'm getting at?

0.2% of $18,000 amounts to dick. And 4% of $2.87 million is, well -- like I said, I'm not a math person -- but it's a veritable ass-load of money.

Call me crazy, but don't people with lower incomes need the higher percentages than people making millions of dollars per year?

Better still, why can't the tax cuts just be equal across all income levels?

"But Hedy, Obama is worse! He's raising taxes disproportionately on the wealthy and that's not fair, either!"

Agreed. Obama's plan isn't fair, either.

But I think we can agree that Obama's plan provides more significant tax relief for more of the people who need it most.
Of course, if you care about big issues like abortion or the environment or the war in Iraq, the Washington Post graph won't help you make a more informed decision.

But if you're willing to pay more taxes because your candidate can effect change on issues that matter more to you than money, then that's pretty cool.
"But Hedy, both of these plans are essentially bullshit -- no one really knows what'll happen once either candidate is in office. Remember Daddy Bush's promise about read my lips?"


Put the numbers aside then. And look at the core of each tax plan -- which one provides more help to more people? What does that say about the candidate's intentions - whether the tax plan gets implemented or not?

What does it say about Obama that he wants to help regular working Americans keep more of their paychecks? And what will it do for our economy if a majority of people have a little more money to spend?
"Blah blah blah, Hedy. I'm so fucking tired of this crap. I just want the new season of Heroes to start."

I know. It's exhausting. I'm tired, too.

But we gotta do this, people.

We gotta care enough about our country to make an informed decision on November 4. Now more than ever, your vote matters.
I am listening to: Sex and Candy - Marcy Playground
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Tired


Anonymous said...

Trickle down my ass. Eight years later the trickle has all but dried up.
It's time to trickle up...
Gromit Comit

molly gras said...

I'm so very glad that you and Grommie are articulating my feelings and thoughts so well because I'm absolutely tired from just reading this ... much less having to think it all through.

Thanks Hedy (and Gromit!)