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The Road to Recovery

© Matt Bors

Just how stupid are we?



  1. Bert and/or Ernie wrote:

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the average American voter.

    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  2. Don wrote:

    I’ve always been impressed with how easy it is for so many people to have someone else’s interests imposed upon them through their own voluntarily actions. Yesterdays chart comparing the Dem’s proposal for letting most of the tax cuts revert to Clintonesque levels is a great example. Virtually everyone who I know will come out ahead (I guess I don’t run with very many “wealthy” people), yet a vast majority of them feel that the Bush cuts should be extended. Please don’t confuse them with the facts.

    These folks aren’t stupid which makes understanding their inability to really understand what their own as well as the greater society’s interests are is truly baffling to me.

    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink
  3. patriotsgt wrote:

    Does anyone know what data was used to create either these chart results?

    Here is a tax calculator to help determine your 2011 tax liability under 3 different scenarios created by the tax foundation with the tax cuts, without and under Obama’s propsals included in his new budget..

    I have not found the Obama proposal to read over, but am taking the word of The Tax Foundation, where I got this info. Using this calculator and some older tax data of my own I came up with the following numbers:
    Adjusted Gross Income: 70,000
    Deductions and Exemptions
    Personal Exemptions: 22,200
    Itemized Deductions: 24,900
    Standard Deduction: 0

    Taxable Income: 22,900
    Regular Tax: 3,435
    Alternative Minimum Tax: 0
    Income Tax Before Credits: 3435
    Child Tax Credit: 1,500

    Income Tax if All Bush Tax Cuts Expire: $1,935
    Income Tax if Bush Tax Cuts are Extended: $417 refund
    Income Tax under Obama’s Tax Proposals: $1,217 refund

    I understand these are rough numbers and everyone is different. Lower income people ie, those with combined incomes 50,000 and below don’t pay tax, but still get refunds. The refunds will go down if the cuts expire, but this data is not figured in with the numbers from the CBPP (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  4. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    I’d say the obvious answer is, not many people clear 70,000 and manage to squeeze 50,000 out of it like you do. Or at least, it seemed obvious to me. Your income might be average (I don’t even know anymore) but that amount of deduction I would guess is not.

    I ran my numbers as well. I’m one of those ‘rich’ households making around 6 figures a year.

    Income Tax if All Bush Tax Cuts Expire: $12,137
    Income Tax if Bush Tax Cuts are Extended: $9,720
    Income Tax under Obama’s Tax Proposals: $8,920

    I found it funny that the comment from the website after I hit the calculate button was:

    “If Congress fails to act to extend the Bush tax cuts, your income tax burden will be $2,417 higher in 2011.”

    That certainly would be the straight-forward, non-partisan conclusion when faced with those numbers above.

    I’ll stop rolling my eyes now. They started heading towards the ceiling around when I saw the “tax burden” lingo. I have other burdens as well. I have a water burden and a food burden, too.

    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    patriotsgt: I notice the difference is the $800 making work pay from Obama. Which I found particularly ironic for those of us working at home. Theory is that we have to drive out car and pay upkeep. Apparently he is planning to extend it another year.
    Again with tenthirtytwo, I see that $800 in there. I had to explain to some during tax season, the extra cost of those going to work compared to those retired.

    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  6. patriotsgt wrote:

    Ah, Ebdoug very good, you don’t miss anything and your up to date on the tax info.

    TenThirtyTwo – your correct, my deductions are above avg, and my line 22 income (AGI) gets reduced by schedule E losses, along with IRA’s and self employment tax deductions of my wife. With 4 dependents plus my wife and I, and a bigger then usual mortage we get larger then avg eductions.

    I do want people to be informed about the true costs with these tax cut proposals. If everyone still decides to let them expire and trusts that congress will use the money wisely, then so be it. Lets cut the debt and reduce deficit. If they do not trust congress to apply the tax savings appropriately, then let us keep and apply it as we see fit. Thats my main point. I’m tired of seeing my tax dollars pay for a study to see if monkeys like cocaine and paying for a controversial Imam fly around the middle east to improve muslim relations and raise money to build a controversial mosque. I think the tax payers can make better use of that money. If they take away the tax cuts then take them all away, pay our debt down and get our financial house in order, (like pay back to IOU’s to SS and medicare).

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink
  7. Don wrote:

    As a follow to Patriotsgt: I, too, wish the government would cut spending, but the two items you cite are pretty tame compared to $200B to cover costs in Iraq and Afghanistan not to mention the other $500B+ that we spend on top of it to prepare for the next war we get into. Wouldn’t hurt to have the government collect taxes from all the companies making money in this country and shipping it off-shore while paying nothing to support that which serves them here (again, in the 100s of $B annually). Sad our Congress can’t get off the dime and look at the really big issues facing our fiscal house.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  8. patriotsgt wrote:

    I could not have said it any better Don!

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink