Posts Tagged politics

30% Pay No Taxes, Oh No!

I’ve often heard the complaint that more than 30% of lower income earners pay no taxes. This is often used to express concern that eventually enough people will not be paying taxes that politicians will have carte blanche to raise taxes as much as they want on the other people.

I decided to do a little more research into this and I found the raw IRS data from 2005 and built the following chart that shows the number of tax returns at each range of income, along with the number of tax returns with no tax due. Notably, 61% of those paying no tax have incomes of less than $15,000. What I found surprising is that while the percentage of no tax returns decrease as the income level rises, it doesn’t drop below 1% until the income group over $100,000.

My guess is that a large part of these no tax returns above $5,000 are attributable to medical expense deductions or similar. While I guess I am still concerned about the relatively high percentage of returns where no tax is due (32.58% for this data, and that completely excludes those where no return was filed at all), the fact that they are spread over a wider income range than I had expected make it much less significant an issue in my opinion.




Political Phone Survey

I just received a phone call for a political survey. It was primarily about local issues, though there were some national questions. Oddly, right after I answered that if the election were held today I would vote for Bob Barr, and the interviewer confirmed my answer, the line went dead. There was no click or anything and I assume it was a technical issue, possibly even on my end (Vonage), though my Internet connection was still fine.

However, it certainly crosses my mind that it would be pretty easy to manipulate survey results by “dropping” calls….

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“stupider than me is rare breed”

Commentary: Last thing we need now is a great leader –

I recall expressing a similar sentiment years ago. Of course, at this point there’s so much bureaucratic power that even a do-nothing president will just allow the government to continue to grow. I think we’re a long way from the pendulum swinging back.

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Graph comparing your healthcare views with Presidential candidates

Health Central has put together an interactive graph for comparing your views on a few key areas of the healthcare debate with the expressed views or plans of the various Presidential candidates.

It’s not very in-depth, but it’s reasonably edifying and somewhat entertaining (particularly the transitions form topic to topic). It also includes the views of various individuals as well (some health care professionals, some not).

Oh look, I can embed it: