A Taxing Situation

Taxes, taxes, taxes. It seems to me that this is the major point the Republicans are trying to make: the Democrats will tax you to death. I keep hearing people all over the place complaining that if Obama becomes president, everybody’s taxes will go up. This despite the fact that he continues to reiterate:

“My attitude is we’ve got to grow the economy from the bottom up. What I’ve called for is a tax cut for 95 percent of working families.”

Then there’s McCain’s ads that keep up these claims, but most of them turn out to be false.

A TV spot claims Obama once voted for a tax increase “on people making just $42,000 a year.” That’s true for a single taxpayer, who would have seen a tax increase of $15 for the year – if the measure had been enacted. But the ad shows a woman with two children, and as a single mother, she would not have been affected unless she made more than $62,150. The increase that Obama once supported as part of a Democratic budget bill is not part of his current tax plan anyway.

A Spanish-language radio ad claims the measure Obama supported would have raised taxes on “families” making $42,000, which is simply false. Even a single mother with one child would have been able to make $58,650 without being affected. A family of four with income up to $90,000 would not have been affected.

The TV ad claims in a graphic that Obama would “raise taxes on middle class.” In fact, Obama’s plan promises cuts for middle-income taxpayers and would increase rates only for persons with family incomes above $250,000 or with individual incomes above $200,000.

The radio ad claims Obama would increase taxes “on the sale of your home.” In fact, home-sale profits of up to $500,000 per couple would continue to be exempt from capital gains taxes. Very few sales would see an increase under Obama’s proposal to raise the capital gains rate.

A second radio ad, in English, says, “Obama has a history of raising taxes” on middle-class Americans. But that’s false. It refers to a vote that did not actually result in a tax increase and could not have done so.
The only people likely to feel the pea under the mattress are those in a much higher tax bracket, in other words the people who can afford it. $15 a year for an individual making $42,000 a year is hardly damaging to someone’s net pay. And more taxes on people making $200,000 a year, clearly upper class and not working class, only makes sense, as they are in a higher tax bracket. For those of us making less than $30,000 a year, we’ll barely notice a difference in our net pay, except for a possibility of less taxes.
The truth is, less taxes will only lead to one thing: a higher deficit. As we all learned from Saturday Night Live, if you don’t have any money, don’t buy anything. Taxes are collected to pay for projects countrywide that are beneficial to us all. If we don’t help pay for the things we need, the country will fall apart, the infrastructure will collapse, something we in Minnesota know all too well, as do the people of New Orleans.

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