Q: Whose Taxes Are Going Up?

A: Individuals making less than $20,000/year and families making less than $40,000/year.


By Jason Linkins

You know, with all the talk about who is mad at President Barack Obama and who stands to win or lose what election over this tax-cut deal, not as much attention has been paid to the practical beneficiaries of the deal. Well, over at The New York Times tonight, David Kocieniewski’s got the hard numbers, and finds that the deal is actually a very good one, as long as one or more of the following terms describes you:

–“the highest earners”
–“the wealthiest 1 percent of the population”
–“the wealthiest Americans”
–“hedge fund managers and private equity investors”
–“an individual earning $110,000”
–“4 million taxpayers with income in the mid- to high six figures”
–“Estates over $5 million”

To those of you who fit the descriptions above, congratulations! Really, is anyone not making out like a bandit, with this tax-cut compromise?

In fact, the only groups likely to face a tax increase are those near the bottom of the income scale — individuals who make less than $20,000 and families with earnings below $40,000.

There’s probably a way of looking at this that doesn’t make it seem so bad, right?

Although the $120 billion payroll tax reduction offers nearly twice the tax savings of the credit it replaces, it will nonetheless lead to higher tax bills for individuals with incomes below $20,000 and families that make less than $40,000. That is because their payroll tax savings are less than the $400 or $800 they will lose from the Making Work Pay credit.

No worries! Poor people don’t create jobs, anyway, I hear.

“It will come to a few dollars a week,” said Roberton Williams, an analyst at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, “but it is an increase.”

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