With tax season just on the horizon and everyone talking about taxes I decided it might be best to take a look. When I ask people what they know about about politics 99% of people will respond with “Republicans like to lower taxes, Democrats like higher taxes.” Doesn’t sound very good for us and Republicans love using the line “It’s your money and you know how to best spend it, rather some old guys in Washington.” It makes for a great 5 second sound bite, but it’s not totally true. So rather than argue with Republicans I decided to break down the Democratic tax plan and compare it side by side with the Republican tax plan so you can decide for yourself.
Minimum wage is $7.25 cents per hour. Times by 40, times by 52, that is $10,700 a year, which is what you would make unloading boxes in a “right to work state” say Kentucky. He can’t live off that so he puts in another 30 hours as a night watchman bringing his total $18,746 a year. He pays 15% in federal income tax, or $2, 811.90.
Public school teacher, $41,724 is the national average. He is paying 28% or $11,682.
Finally the doctor making 150,000 a year is paying 36% or $54,000 in taxes. 15%, 28%, 36%. It’s called the progressive tax, it’s been around since Lincoln.
Under the republican plan announced, the box loader stays the same, the school teacher stays the same, the doctor gets $4,500 back. Under the democratic tax plan in tune with the White House tax plan. The box loader gets $321 back, the school teacher gets $1251 back, the doctor stays the same and to finance the tax dectuablity for college tuition of the box unloaded and the school teacher we go to a fourth group, the uber wealthy, and ask a CEO making 4 million 600 thousand dollars a year to pay another one percent, taking him up to 41%.
Our taxes aren’t a penalty, as hard as that is to believe. They are the price we pay for our roads and bridges. And they’re the way we look after the least among us. The sign and signal of our obligations to each other and to our own best selves. We must rise above parochial interests and speak to the national interest. Instead of a trickle-down economy, imagine one where the work and welfare of ordinary Americans is placed at the center of national life.