Tax calculator for how your taxes would change under Obama or McCain

Using numbers from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, the website AlchemyToday came up with a calculator to see how much Barack Obama would raise your taxes. It's a nifty device that should help clarify for people the big differences in economic policy in this election.

Are you making less than $603,000? If so, Obama isn't going to raise your taxes, the data show.

According to a Gallup Poll, 53% of Americans think Obama is going to raise their taxes, compared with just 34% who suspect the same of McCain. That means that at least 48% of Americans don't really understand what Obama is going to do and one-third don't understand what McCain is proposing. Where would so many people get the crazy idea that Obama's secret plan is to raise taxes? Well, it could be because John McCain tells them that every chance he gets.
The Washington Post put together a nifty graphic using the same data. CNNMoney also did a smart analysis of the whole thing. The gist of it is, according to CNNMoney:

McCain: The average taxpayer in every income group would see a lower tax bill, but high-income taxpayers would benefit more than everyone else.

Obama: High-income taxpayers would pay more in taxes, while everyone else's tax bill would be reduced. Those who benefit the most -- in terms of reducing their taxes as a percentage of after-tax income - are in the lowest income groups.


In the simplest terms, McCain is going to cut everybody's taxes, but cut the very richest people's taxes most. Obama is going to cut everybody's taxes except the really rich. As the Tax Policy Center points out, both plans are lousy for the federal debt: Obama's would raise the debt by $2.9 trillion, McCain's by $4.2 trillion.

I wish someone would come up with a better calculator than the alchemy one, one that would let people compare their situation under Obama and McCain. First off, people would see that for the vast majority of Americans -- those making $112,000 and under -- Obama cuts their taxes more than McCain.

Second, a better calculator would account for more than just income. A realistic calculator would ask you where you get your income. Is it from work? Or is it from the stock market? (Which Obama says he wants to raise.) Or is it from an inheritance of more than $3.5 million? And then there's McCain's proposal to tax employer healthcare, but give a tax credit to offset it.

Fiscal policy is really complicated. We could desperately need use a tool to bring it home to people where their own financial interest lies.

Tax Tips for Freelance Writers and Self-Published Authors

If you earn money selling your words to websites and other publishers, the Internal Revenue Service will likely say you’re a small business owner. Freelance income is self-employment income, and so are any royalties you receive for that book you published or self-published. That can be a good thing, because the self-employed are privy to some tax perks that employees don’t usually receive.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Will the IRS Keep My Refund if I Didn't File My Taxes Last Year?

If you're concerned about your tax refund being held by the IRS because of unfiled returns, you have a couple of options to reduce or eliminate any extra wait for your current-year refund.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Video: Steps to Take When You Get an IRS Notice

When you receive a notice from the IRS, do not panic. Read the notice and then watch this video to find out what to do next.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Guide to Unemployment and Taxes

The IRS considers unemployment compensation to be taxable income—which you must report on your federal tax return. State unemployment divisions issue an IRS Form 1099-G to each individual who receives unemployment benefits during the year.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.