Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun with Math, or, Herman Cain is a Fucking Asshole, Part 2

In Part 1, I showed my work behind my assertion that Herman Cain's plan would be terrible for the average American family. While I have endeavored to do the same for a family making $1,000,000/year, the accounting is frankly beyond my meager abilities. So here's a graph from The Washington Post that quite succinctly sums up the relative effects of Cain's plan on the Rich and everyone else. It's worth the click, I promise...

note: the difference between the effect on the middle 20% and my calculation Part 1 relates to my effort to include the poverty exemption that Cain's website mentions.

So how on Earth could Cain ever expect to get elected and get this thing passed? The answer appears to be through flat-out lying to voters. In this interview with MSNBC last week, at the 2:00 mark, Cain discussed the tax situation of a family of four making $50,000/year. He states:

Cain: Today, under the current system, they will pay over $10,000 in taxes,
assuming standard deductions and standard exemptions. I've gone through the math. $10,000

In Part 1, I showed that their tax bill, including the employer's Social Security/Medicare contributions, would be $8,416. So, how does he arrive at "over $10,000"? By leaving out the child tax credit, which is $1,000 per kid, or, for a family of four, $2,000 for two kids. This credit, which goes away under 9-9-9, accounts for much of the hit that middle-class families will take if Cain's plan is ever instituted. But, since he's a fucking asshole who is apparently comfortable with lying to people to make the current system look worse and by extension make his own plan look better, he overinflates the family's current tax bill. The interview continues...

Cain: Now, with 9-9-9, they're going to pay that 9% personal, that
9% tax on income, so that's only $4,500. You still have $5,500 left
over to apply to the sales tax piece.

Bullshit! Bull. Shit.

In order to get to $10,000 under the current system, you have to, in addition to ignoring the child tax credit, include the employer's Social Security/Medicare contribution, which is almost $4,000/year in addition to the $50,000 salary. 9-9-9, while it eliminates these contributions, also no longer allows businesses to deduct wages/salaries from their taxable income. So companies will have to pay a 9% tax on the money they want to pay their employees. Essentially, 9-9-9 replaces the current 7.65% employer payroll tax with a 9% employer payroll tax.

So, since we've established in the $10,000 number that we're gonna count employer contributions, and we don't want to compare apples and oranges, you have to include ~$4,900 in payroll taxes, in addition to the $4,500 in income taxes that Cain mentions. So you only have $600 to apply to the sales tax piece, not $5,500 as the fucking asshole claims. And that assumes you buy the $10,000 number, which itself is bullshit. Paying $600 in sales taxes assumes less than $7,000 in spending annually. That's less than what a household with that income would pay just for transportation, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Extra taxes for working families while The Rich get a tax cut that's literally off the chart. Several screens worth of off the chart. What an asshole...

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