Federal Income Tax impact based on presidential candidate
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) sent out a recent email blast that is concerning. The stealth attack on the real progressive movement comes from all directions. It even comes from parts of the media that are considered Liberal.
The FAIR email blast is critical of a VOX tax calculator that portends to give Americans an objective view of their tax outcome based on which presidential candidate is elected. To be clear, this is not only a hit job by one ‘Liberal’ news organization; it is a hit job by a ‘non-partisan’ think tank as well. According to VOX,
We partnered with the Tax Policy Center to create a calculator that will estimate how each presidential candidate’s tax plan would affect you — or, more accurately, people like you. For example, if you are part of a couple with two children earning $38,000 a year, this calculator tells you the average change in federal taxes for all couples with two children who earn between $35,000 and $40,000 a year.
The graph shows every candidate but Hillary Clinton as extreme in the effect their policies would have on the taxes of Americans. To be sure, the article informs that it is not a complete picture.
Every taxpayer has a slightly different situation — someone might be deducting business expenses, for example, while another person will be paying a tax for not carrying insurance coverage. This creates millions of different scenarios.
Accounting for all of that is prohibitively complicated and time-consuming. But what we have done is simplify the process to consider only the biggest factors (income, marital status, and children) and only look at the four taxes with the largest impact (individual and corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, and excise taxes).
‘Slightly different situation?’ Is it slight that under the Bernie Sanders policy, the cost of health insurance is altogether eliminated which alone mitigates much more than the taxes, given that deductibles and premiums would be non-existent? I relayed my story a few posts back.
Recently I blogged about my high blood pressure scare. I spent less than two hours in an ER. I left with a $5,000 bill that I must pay out of pocket.What this means is I am out about $10,000 so far this hear in health care cost. This is a direct transfer of wealth from the middle-class to the stockholders of the emergency room that took care of me. In health care, there is little ability to shop around during an emergency. Even in non-emergency situations, recent studies suggest consumer shopping around does little to control cost.
Does the tax calculator take into account that families would no longer have to mortgage their financial futures to send their kids to college? Does the tax calculator take into account that childcare would be paid for or would become affordable?
Providing partial information is just as bad to Americans as misinformation. When it comes from a media organization or think tank that one does not associate with the edicts of the Powell Manifesto, it is devastating. Who is left for the American populous to trust?
This goes beyond candidates. Americans could legitimately prefer an economy that is much more private and less individually secure. Then again, they may prefer one in which ‘we the people’ provide more services. A Liberal / Progressive media should provide accurate information on how each option would affect one’s personal economics based on different situations. The VOX article was derelict in its duty to inform.
By law, every American is required to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Is that not a tax? Is that tax not higher in the aggregate when compared to the Bernie Sanders tax increase? Most politicians claim higher education is required in the aggregate for a good middle-class life. Shouldn’t free tuition be seen as a tax offset — likewise daycare, maternity leave, etc.?
Robert Pollin, a Distinguished Professor of Economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst wrote a lengthy fact based researched article in The Nation titled “Bernie Sanders Will Make the Economy Great Again” that is a ‘must read.’ He starts the article as follows.
Does Bernie Sander’s economic program amount to pie-in-the-sky nonsense? The short answer is no. All of his major proposals are grounded in solid economic reasoning and evidence.
But that hasn’t stopped a major swath of leading liberal economists and commentators to insist otherwise. Paul Krugman has led these attacks from his New York Times perch, charging repeatedly that Sanders makes “outlandish economic claims,” embraces “deep voodoo” economics, is “not ready for prime time,” and so forth. A recent Washington Post article by columnist Steven Pearlstein cites several other liberal economists criticizing Sanders’s support for Scandinavian-style social democratic policies, concluding that his program “promises all the good parts of the Scandinavian model without any of the bad parts.”
Sanders’ economic agenda certainly represents a dramatic departure from what has come out of mainstream Democratic Party circles for a generation, to say nothing, of course, of the Republicans. The key elements of Sanders’s program include a “Medicare-for-all” single-payer healthcare system; an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour; free tuition at public colleges and universities, to be financed by taxing Wall Street transactions; opposition to trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that have weakened the wage-bargaining power of US workers; large-scale public investments to build a clean-energy economy and rebuild the crumbling US infrastructure; and strong Wall Street regulations to promote productive investments and job creation over casino capitalism.
I took several economic courses during my college days. I am well aware of economic theories, people’s change in behavior based on a change in their personal economics as a function of their aggregate wealth and income, and I have been an owner of various businesses. That experience made it easy for me to conclude that redistribution to correct the aberration within capitalism that concentrates wealth and income to the top is the only solution to mitigate that cancer. One can use chemo hoping that cancer will shrink, or one can extricate it all together. It is a choice. Our media, our political establishments should be honest and care enough about Americans and give them truthful information for them to make an informed choice.