Following the Democratic presidential candidate election theme for ‘08, buying America’s votes with the money we will steal from the “rich” taxpayers once we take office, Barack Obama has announced a tax cut plan.
Here’s all you need to read to know what you’ll be getting: “Obama’s plan was short on some specifics.”
But there are some semi-specifics that do need a good fisking. Allow me to assist.
They said the largest cost would be for a “Making Work Pay” credit that would offset payroll taxes on the first $8,100 of earnings, generating up to $500 per person or $1,000 per family. The campaign said that would eliminate income taxes for 10 million classified as low income.
The campaign also said the credit would phase out for wealthier taxpayers, but wouldn’t say what the income cutoff would be.
Isn’t that nice that Obama wants to “eliminate income taxes for 10 million classified as low income”?
What I don’t understand is why this is needed. For example, we do not pay federal income taxes – thanks to Bush’s tax cut for the rich – and we make over 160% of the poverty level for our family size (per 2007 guidelines). (I hate to make this personal, but not being a tax preparer, I have no other examples to use.)
Who are these poor that are paying taxes and how poor can they possibly be?
I know that this might upset the world view of some but the poor do not pay income taxes.
The campaign said Obama’s plan to eliminate taxes on seniors making less than $50,000 annually would mean 22 million elderly would no longer need to file an income tax return or hire a tax preparer.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but usually by the time someone is a senior, they have no dependents and their mortgage is paid off. Why do these people – making upwards of $50,000 – need to be exempt from paying taxes? Do people suddenly stop benefiting from government services when they are seniors?
Yeah, I know that I would not get the coveted boomer vote if I was running.
Additionally, the IRS would send prefilled tax forms to 40 million workers who take the standard deduction and have a bank account. They would simply have to sign and return it, which Obama estimates would save more than $2 billion in tax preparer fees, 200 million hours of work and “an incalculable amount of headache and heartburn.”
This has to be the stupidest idea I have ever heard. I’m sorry, there is just no sophisticated way to say that.
Does the calculation of work hours saved take into account the work hours spent by the government in preparing and mailing people’s tax returns? Does the calculation of tax preparer fees saved take into account the amount of money it will take to pay for the government to do this?
Tax preparer fees are not an issue for people with simple returns. Just look at this Turbo Tax site. Note that simple returns are – what’s that? Oh yeah, free.
Is it almost November 2008? Because I don’t know if I can take much more of this pandering to the poor and elderly. Especially when,
Obama’s campaign also didn’t say how much each of his proposals would cost, only that the total would be between $80 billion and $85 billion each year when fully implemented.
The piece closes with the obligatory “equal time” quote from Republican National Committee spokeswoman Lisa Miller.
“In their ‘08 Budget proposal, Obama and his Democrat colleagues are proposing the largest tax increase in the history of our country, but while on the campaign trail he promises $80 billion in relief,” Miller said. “Which Obama should we believe?”