- Days left
Could someone please come up with an online tax calculator that includes all of each of John McCain's and Barack Obama's tax proposals? I wrote a few weeks ago about how alchemytoday.com came up with a tax calculator using data from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. Yesterday the Obama campaign came out with a tax calculator on its own website showing how much your own taxes will be under his plan.

I got a flurry of comments on the old post saying how Obama's tax calculator wasn't non-partisan. Um, yeah, I realize that. That's why I sent readers to this non-partisan tax calculator.

I still think we need a more comprehensive, non-partisan tax calculator that takes into account the various sources of income and deductions. (Though, the more complex a calculator is, the more it's like really doing your taxes and so unappealing.)

The comments people left were really telling though. Throwing around words like terrorist and Nazi, these commentators clearly would not use or trust any tax calculator. Many said just to go look at both Obama and McCain's websites. Which totally makes sense. Though what's amazing to me is that many of the people who leave these comments clearly haven't taken their own advice. I'm not sure what they're so afraid of.

John McCain doesn't have a tax calculator that I know of. I did find this spread sheet from Ted Frank of the American Enterprise Institute. He has a sample showing a trader who is making $280,000 doing better under McCain. Of course, that doesn't contradict the Obama calculator.

MCain doesn't seem to think he needs a tax calculator. Here's McCain's tax page. If McCain had a tax calculator, he'd probably let people put in all kinds of complex financial information, then no matter what their answers, his calculator would spit out the answer: Barack Obama is going to raise your taxes, my friend!

The idea of a tax calculator is that people deal with the actual facts of the written policy -- not just the campaign slogans and political stereotypes. Some Republicans have gotten so used to hearing Tax And Spend Liberal that they simply refuse to believe that a Democrat could cut taxes.

Obviously, I'm a Democrat. That doesn't mean I think all of the Obama tax and economic ideas are brilliant. I don't like letting people take money our of retirement plans early or letting them keep it in late because of this crisis. I don't think either plan does enough to balance the budget.

The most sensible objection to these calculators that I've seen is that they don't reflect political reality. A president can have any economic plan he wants, but Congress still has to pass the budget. We're not going to see either of these plans in whole. If McCain's elected I don't see Congress keeping capital gains taxes as low as they are now. Either of them will have to face up to a much slower, grimmer economy.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum