Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Welfare For Millionaires?

What do Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Atlantic contributer Daniel Indiviglio have a common? Like most Americans, they either don't know or don't remember the difference between an income-tax deduction and an income-tax credit.

If you're in the 35% tax bracket, every $1 of home-mortgage deduction saves you 35¢. (If you're Warren Buffet, you save 17¢.) Whatever your tax bracket, every $1 of child-care credit saves you $1.

You cannot add up dollar amounts of deductions and credits to arrive at total "tax breaks."

Nevertheless, Senator Coburn's report is entertaining and/or infuriating in spots. Who knew 18 income millionaires received an average of $11,113 in unemployment benefits in 2009? And why are we still paying all those assorted farm subsidies to the top 1%?

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