graphing the tax plans
Via Bitch PhD and Yglesias, this terrific graph showing the Obama and McCain tax plans and how much they’ll affect different income brackets’ taxes, with the bands scaled to reflect the number of people affected:
While we’re on the topic of taxes and distribution, I’ll point out that the big tax cut bill coming out of the Senate, which includes both the Alternative Minimum Tax patch and a bunch of business tax extensions, does include one provision that is really important for low-income families: allowing families to start to receive the child tax credit starting at an income of $8,500, down from the $12,050 under current law. This would help 13 million low-income children. It’s not at all guaranteed that the House bill will also include this provision, so it’s worth dropping a line or calling your representative.
I’m going to use the blogger’s prerogative to add this to the post, rather than risking having it get buried in the comments with all the back and forth about child support.
Maria commented on the stat that’s shown in the third chart on the Freakonomics post — that the top .1 percent of the country pays 20 percent of the income tax. I haven’t seen that elsewhere, but it seems plausible. There are great statistics on US income and wealth inequality here.
It’s worth noting that for all conservatives in the US mutter about European socialism, the tax system in almost all European countries is far less progressive than the US system, because they collect a large portion of their government funding through a Value Added Tax (VAT) which is if anything, somewhat regressive.