Tuesday, August 14, 2012

let's get political.


I mostly try to steer clear of politics on here, but A and I have been discussing things a lot lately and I have some facts to share (you may or may not know that while I come from a fairly liberal background, he comes from a fairly conservative one). I say facts because we both feel like while we know what we think, we don't always know what the facts are. So we went looking for some facts, and this is where we ended up. FactCheck.org is supposed to be non-partisan. I am trusting that it is.

Here are the facts or quotes that stood out to me:

"...federal tax rates had fallen to the lowest in 30 years when President Barack Obama took office — and fell again in his first year in office."

The 1%, as defined by the Congressional Budget Office, means earners of $282,900 or more for a single person, or $565,800 or more for a family of four in 2009. This group is not at an all-time low for tax rate,  paying 28.9% in 2009. The all-time high for this group was in 1995, under Clinton, at a rate of 35.3%.

The middle one-fifth of all households means "those with incomes between $34,900 and $50,100 for singles, or between $69,800 and $100,200 for a family of four." Tax rates for this group did hit an all-time low in 2009, at 11.1%.

So while average household tax rates did hit an all-time low in 2009, after Obama took office (and as far as I can tell, no changes to tax rates have been made since the Stimulus Bill), and while taxes for middle-class Americans are at an all-time low, taxes on the 1% are not at an all-time low. That being said, they have been significantly higher in the past (under Clinton).

Next up? I would be really interested to see how recent presidents compare on budget balancing. These facts make it sound like Clinton was a real taxman, but did that correlate to a balanced budget? Bush seems to be known for cutting taxes (cuts that are soon to expire without Congressional action), did that correlate to budget deficit? These questions are based on assumptions and my existing political thoughts, but I"m willing to be proven wrong. I'd also like to look at where this tax money is going. How is the federal budget broken out? I guess we'll just have to find out.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

I remember one of my political science professors saying that some of the numbers for George Bush's deficit are wrong because he counted all of the spending for the war in Iraq and the war in Afganistan as "emergency spending" for the remainder of his two terms in office - so not as a part of the regular budget that is approved by congress. Then when President Obama came in he decided to count that spending and the debt racked up for it as part of the deficit and the regular budget, and that's part of why people claim that Obama has increased the deficit so much. Anyway, while you're fact checking budget stuff (if this is all to become a regular blog feature) I would like to know how true that is. I've always accepted it as true because this professor usually stayed quite neutral, but you never really know.

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