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Tax Cuts? See For Yourself


“Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” is truly a great-sounding public policy effort. Need a job? Get one. Paying too much in taxes? Relief is on the way.

For some people.

Maxim Lott is a supervising producer at The John Stossel Show. I am a fan of Stossel’s, for the most part (I think his Libertarianism goes a little too far), so I would probably agree with Mr. Lott on most issues. Together, they investigate claims from politicians, debunking those claims when necessary.

Lott put together a free website (www.taxplancalculator.com) to allow people an easy look at what the House Plan and the Senate Plan proposals would mean for the taxpayer. On the site, people can plug in last year’s numbers, or even this year’s numbers if they are available, and the results from both proposals are compared to the current law.

This website has an inherent fallacy, through no fault of its own. No simple calculator can truly test the vagaries of the current 70,000-page U.S. Tax Code. It simply would render the site unusable in its complexity. However, relatively simple tax returns can be prepared with a fair level of confidence, giving the user a surface-level comparison with today’s system.

I recently took the test, and while my returns are complex, my numbers tended to verify my own studies, concluding that my taxes will go up. It is simply a question of how much increase I would incur. Despite my personal conclusions, for a couple reasons, I favor passage of some version of the blended plans. First, the corporate tax cut would be good for everyone, whether for job creation or a boost in 401(k) Plan balances. Second, many people will receive a tax cut under either plan, and therefore most likely under any blended version. What’s good for the average American is fine with me.

I encourage everyone to go to the website and plug in your own numbers. If you are a potential recipient of a cut in taxes, contact your elected representatives and demand a quick solution. Congress-watching is less fun than watching grass grow, so some verbal fertilizer may be needed to get this complex change done. Remember that the original idea was to make tax cuts retroactive to January 1, 2017? With some pushing from voters, perhaps it could get implemented for January 1, 2018.

Maybe down the line more of the original objectives will be met, but it is a start. Somebody, Please, DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Van Wie Financial is fee-only. For a reason.