Richard Rubin makes some major errors in his summation of burgeoning tax bill. He uses a scenario of five people and goes through how they would be affected by the current proposed legislation. However, he does not get his calculations correct. He’s comparing apples and oranges. He’s also not looking at the reasons for the tax law changes and if the changes make the tax law fairer. He’s only looking blindly at how the tax law changes affect the current tax burden of the people. Rubin should have run his article by a real tax accountant before he published his account.
From the article, under the GOP plan:
“The executive would pay $868,000 in taxes.
The manufacturer pays $704,400, but might be able to argue her way into a lower bill.
The passive business owner pays $576,000.
The dividend-earning investor pays $476,000.
The heir to the estate pays nothing.
The manufacturer, the estate and the passive owner all get big tax cuts from the GOP plan. The investor and the wage earner generally don’t.”
Now, in this scenario, Rubin doesn’t explain that the the first person — the executive — would remain unchanged; His tax rate is 43.4%, which is a 39.6% rate + 3.8% medicare tax.
The manufacturer’s lower tax bill has to do with how flow-through businesses do things, because they are not a corporation.
The passive business owner is changed because he pays a new 25% tax rate + the 3.8% medicare tax.
The dividend investor pay the $476,000 because he pays 23.8%. It’s a dividend tax. However, what Rubin does not explain is that the dividend investor already paid another tax, a corporate tax, before the dividend was issued. That part of the tax law remains unchanged, and the investor remains unchanged.
The heir to the estate doesn’t pay any taxes because it is not income. Never has an heir paid an estate tax, because it has already been paid.
Rubin is essentially trying to be provocative here by using a $2 million base figure as a means to show a great difference in numbers, when really, this random list of five people makes no sense. The comparisons don’t really compare, such as including some things that are not income items. Rubin needs to be more careful with his writing.