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Linda McMahon's Flawed Tax "Plan"

Linda McMahon is promoting a tax "plan" that is naive in its simplicity, misleading in its basic assumptions, and flawed in its math.

Linda McMahon is asking the public to vote for her based in part on her "plan" to cut middle class taxes and save the average family in Connecticut $6,000 per year.  Yet her math is flawed, her definition of "middle class" represents nearly twice the income of the median Connecticut household, and her "plan" doesn't save the average Connecticut family one cent.  Here's the extent of McMahon's naive and misleading "plan", in a nutshell:  Cut the current 25% federal tax bracket to 15%.

Any sixth-grader can come up with the simple idea of cutting tax rates.  The tougher questions - the effect on the federal deficit of lost revenue; the cost to the taxpayer, and particularly the middle class taxpayer, in terms of lost services; the probability that a junior senator in a party averse to compromise could actually implement such a drastic tax cut at the federal level, etc. - are ignored, ostensibly because they require some thought. 

Furthermore, McMahon bases her projected savings on a family of four making $125,000 per year and calls it a "middle class" tax cut.  Yet the median household income in Connecticut is just $67,740, according to the latest Census numbers, and a household income of $125,000 is somewhere around the top 13% nationally. This is middle class?  Most importantly, the 25% tax bracket - the very tax bracket McMahon proposes to cut - is projected to be between $70,700 and $142,700 for married couples filing jointly. As the lower bound of this tax bracket is already higher than the median household income in Connecticut, the average family would in fact save exactly nothing under McMahon's "plan". 

Lastly, the "plan" demonstrates that McMahon's positions are either poorly thought out or - worse - deliberately misleading.  To illustrate this, let's accept her out-of-touch assumption that $125,000 is middle class and test the accuracy of the supposed $6,000 in savings for such a hypothetical family of four.  Assuming the parents are married and filing taxes jointly, they would benefit from two basic deductions on their federal return:  Connecticut state income taxes (about $5,975 for this hypothetical family) and the standard federal deduction (projected to be $11,900 in 2012 for married filing jointly).   Ignoring all other deductions, that leaves our family with federal taxable income of $107,125.  The portion of their income currently subject to the 25% tax rate would be the amount above $70,700; do the math at 15% instead, and the total savings add up $3,642, not $6,000.  Any further deductions (such as mortgage interest, real estate and automobile taxes, IRA contributions, etc.) would reduce their projected savings even further.

To summarize, the cornerstone of Linda McMahon's campaign is a naively simplistic tax "plan" that won't save the average Connecticut family one penny; she is basing her heavily promoted "plan" on highly misleading assumptions; and either McMahon doesn't understand the most basic aspects of the tax code, or else she is incapable of performing basic math. 

This is who we want to represent us in Washington?

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sebastian dangerfield July 24, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Kendall Im not looking to cross exam. Im looking , often, to explore the real thoughts, values and ideas that make people better for office--and then I determine if they actually believe what they say, or are simply trying to spread a disingenuous message --- If you thiink Shays is better--thats fine..but I am hoping that voters dont decide to vote for people , because they have been in washington longer and know their way around. Im of the opinion, that something needs to change--and finding guys who understand how the game is played ---rather than finding guys (or women) who want to change the game is not a constructive path. But,thanks for clarifying your remarks...
Geoff Munger July 24, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Luca - for my part, I appreciate your input in this thread. First of all, I welcome corrections when I am inaccurate, but more importantly, your comments about my tone do not fall on deaf ears. The main point I wanted to make could have been accomplished without coming across as obnoxious, and as I would prefer to spark constructive conversation through any post I might make, I will take that feedback to heart in the future.
sebastian dangerfield July 24, 2012 at 09:30 PM
actually tom, its not an SAT word to most people...only to people like you. sort of funny that you consider that a 'big ' word. haha...
Tom Wilson July 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Did I mention that Linda McMahon is a nasty hag?
Harry August 03, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Aside from politics, McMahon's tv spots are absurd. Knocking her two opponents by describing them as career politicians suggests that their experience is worthless. She should be running for selectman or State Senator versus U.S. office to "earn her wings" before flying off to represent the CT electorate. If sheer chutzpah is the engine driving her campaign, she deserves victory at the polls, that is, if "we the people" are gullible enough to vote for a marauder possessing zero government experience. Both Murphy and Shays are far more deserving of serious consideration ... and ultimately our vote at the polls. She personifies and underscores the interrogative -- "what price hath glory!" Enjoy your wealth Mrs. McMahon and reserve your political pitching for much more elementary elected post.

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