Tag Archives: taxes

Tax Day: Impact of the 2017 Tax Cut

It’s April 15, which is tax day here in the U.S. Federal and state income taxes have to be filed by today. It’s also the first chance we can see the actual impact of the tax cut Republicans passed in late 2017.

So did you pay more or less on your 2018 taxes? 

There’s been a lot of political rhetoric surrounding these tax cuts—that I think turns out to be wrong on both sides—as well as plenty of skewed perceptions.

Let’s look at the reality. Continue reading Tax Day: Impact of the 2017 Tax Cut

2016 Elections in West St. Paul: Taxes & Infrastructure

This year I’ve blogged about a lot of local elections here in West St. Paul:


Part of my frustration goes back to the misleading statements and misinformation in the 2014 election. But alas, I’ve been complaining about how hard it is to find information about local races since 2003.

Seriously, the most we get are candidate sites and a few candidate forums and questionnaires. Those are helpful, but there’s no push back. A candidate can say whatever they want and it goes unchallenged. It’s no wonder turnout for local elections is horrendous.

So I guess it’s time to start fixing the problem. I did push back when candidates were leaving out important details or being completely misleading. I also spoke up when they were being misrepresented. I’ve been passionate and certainly biased, but hopefully I wasn’t too much of a jerk. Continue reading 2016 Elections in West St. Paul: Taxes & Infrastructure

Historic Tax Rates in the U.S.: Socialist?

There’s a lot of debate going around right now about tax policy. I thought it’d help to look at the actual tax rates compared to historic numbers. But let’s keep in mind that I took Math for Elementary Education in college (i.e., I’m no mathematician or economist).

The big question seems to be whether or not Barack Obama’s tax policy is socialist (or how socialist is it, depending on your perspective). So let’s take a look at those proposed income tax brackets and compare them to historic income brackets.

To simplify things, I’m only looking at income tax rates for the highest bracket:

  • Current income tax: 35% for those earning more than $357,700.
  • Obama’s proposed income tax: 39.6% for those earning more than $357,700.
  • McCain’s proposed income tax: remain at 35%
    (The current tax brackets are set to expire and revert to 2000 levels, so both Obama and McCain talk about their plans as cuts, which is a bit misleading. They’re both talking about extending the cuts, except that Obama wants to expire the cuts for the top two brackets; Source)

So the difference between McCain and Obama for the top bracket is 4.6% (for the second highest bracket the difference is 3%; for other brackets there’s no difference*). I have a hard time believing that 4.6% pushes us into socialist territory. The fact is both favor a progressive tax policy where the more money you make the greater percentage of taxes you pay.

Bottomline: The McCain and Obama tax proposals are relatively similar. Compared to a historic perspective, they’re very similar.

Continue reading Historic Tax Rates in the U.S.: Socialist?