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Meerkat
04-10-2004, 03:20 AM
Latest IRS data released: under the Shrub "tax cut", if you make between $30,000 and $400,000, your actual tax rate went up 2% or more. If you're ultra-rich, your tax rate went down 4% or more.

Good plan if you're trying to please the contributors to your campaign and really lousy if you're trying to attract absolute numbers of voters. Of course, Shrub hasn't betrayed much in the way of brains thus far, so why start now.

Meerkat
04-10-2004, 07:06 PM
Hmmm... I guess everybody is happy with their tax increase then... :eek:

Larry P.
04-10-2004, 09:37 PM
President Bush’s jobs and growth tax relief plan has helped millions of American families and businesses, has reinvigorated the U.S. economy, and is driving job creation.

America’s economy is strong and getting stronger.
Without the President’s needed tax relief plan, by the end of this year real GDP would be about 3.5 to 4 percent lower.
Instead, in the last half of 2003 we witnessed the strongest economic growth in nearly 20 years.
The strength of the economy’s underlying fundamentals indicates economic activity will continue above the historical average.
More Americans are going to work and more Americans are staying on the job.
If not for the President’s timely economic growth measures, by the end of this year the unemployment rate would be as much as 1.6 percentage points higher and as many as 3 million fewer Americans would be working.
But because of the President’s commitment to strengthen the environment for job creation, and the positive impact of his tax relief measures, over three-quarters of a million new jobs were created over the past seven months, 308,000 in March alone.
At 5.7 percent, the unemployment rate remains lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and far below its peak of 6.3 percent in June of 2003.
Over the past year the unemployment rate has fallen in 45 of the 50 states.
Weekly first-time claims for unemployment insurance have dropped to the lowest point in over three years and continuing jobless claims are at a 32-month low. [Chart attached]
According to one private sector measure, layoffs in the first three months of this year were the lowest in four years, suggesting continued improvement in the job market.
Americans are keeping more of their hard-earned money.
Real after-tax incomes are up 10 percent since December of 2000 and are substantially above levels following the last recession.
Buoyed by the return of the stock market and strong home values, household wealth is at a record high. After five consecutive quarterly increases, household net worth is up by almost $6 trillion, reaching over $44 trillion at the end of last year.
The housing market is showing broad-based strength.
Despite predictions by some that the tax relief plan would cause interest rates to rise, interest rates are near a 40-year low.
Homeownership is at an all-time high – 68.6 percent – with substantial gains among minority homeowners.
After posting record breaking numbers last year, new and used home sales continue at high levels.
New home construction remains strong after hitting its highest level in 25 years in 2003.
More Americans have refinanced in the past three years than in the entire 1990s combined, allowing millions of U.S. families to reduce their monthly mortgage payments.
Additionally, the amount of cash Americans are getting out of their homes has set a record high the past three years, averaging over $100 billion a year since 2001 – compared to an annual average of $23 billion through much of the 1990s.

http://www.ustreas.gov/press/releases/js1317.htm

Larry P.
04-10-2004, 09:41 PM
IRS Says Tax Refunds Up Almost $100

Friday February 27, 2004 10:46 PM

By MARY DALRYMPLE

AP Tax Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The first batch of checks mailed from the Internal Revenue Service this year showed the average tax refund climbed $97 compared to those issued at the same time last year, according to figures released Friday.

Refunds mailed so far this year average $2,292, a 4.5 percent increase over refunds mailed at the same time in 2003. Tax refunds tend to be higher during the first weeks of the tax filing season, when taxpayers expecting checks hurry to file their returns.

``It's significantly higher than it was a year ago, and that's one of the tail winds pushing the economy forward during the first quarter,'' said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist with Wells Fargo & Co., a banking company in Minneapolis.

Last week the Treasury Department said, ``The president's 2003 tax relief will increase refunds paid this spring by an average of $300.''

Treasury Department spokeswoman Tara Bradshaw on Friday clarified that figure, saying the average $300 increase compares this year's expected refunds with projections of the refunds taxpayers would have gotten this year had last summer's $330 billion tax cut not passed.

Some economists monitoring the refunds said they expected a bigger increase than they've seen so far. The economists said they can't fully account for the lower-than-expected refunds but cautioned that the numbers may quickly change.

``It does look like it's a little light, but I think it's just too early to tell,'' said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, a St. Louis forecasting firm. ``I don't have alarm bells going off.''

Prakken said taxpayers can expect to get $40 billion and $50 billion returned this spring, the proceeds from reduced taxes on dividends and lower income tax rates enacted too late last year to be completely incorporated into paychecks. Whether the money comes in the form of bigger refunds or lower tax bills remains to be seen, he said.

Other economists said refunds might be coming up smaller than they expected because of new tax complications, lower incomes and even lower interest rates.

``It may be that it's taking people longer to file taxes because it's still more complicated this year,'' said Cynthia Latta, principle U.S. economist at Global Insight.

Last summer's dividend and capital gains tax cuts, in particular, added complications to this year's tax forms. Investors must sort out which dividends qualify for the lower tax rates and determine whether their capital gains must be taxed under the old system or the new rates.

Taxpayers might also be seeing lower interest rates taking a bite out of their tax deductions. Homeowners who took advantage of rock-bottom interest rates to refinance their home loans during the last several years might be taking smaller mortgage interest deductions.

``Refinancing activity was stratospheric last year,'' said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com, an analysis firm. ``There's a a lot of interest savings, cumulative interest savings. It may be having some impact.''


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-3798270,00.html

brad9798
04-10-2004, 09:44 PM
I don't mind my tax 'increase' ... and, if all goes well, I'll enjoy that 4% DECREASE this year!!! smile.gif

High C
04-10-2004, 09:55 PM
Do the math, Meerkat, if you can. :rolleyes:

Larry P.
04-10-2004, 09:56 PM
Oh and by the way Meerkat you had to work and PAY taxes to receive the benefit of the tax cut.

ljb5
04-10-2004, 11:33 PM
I'm looking forward to my 'averaged' tax cut.

I'm paying a few thousand more this year, but when you average me with the Walmart heirs, together, we're getting a huge refund!

Art Read
04-11-2004, 01:46 AM
Perhaps you should hire a better accountant, then. SWMBO and I fall in Meer's "class", and the decrease in the amount WE owed is VERY noticable and most welcome!

Meerkat
04-11-2004, 02:37 AM
Well Art, I'm so glad to know you make more than $400,000/yr. I had no idea being a charter and delivery skipper was so lucrative. On the other hand, maybe you missed the alternate minimum tax, which is what is nailing so many people.

[ 04-11-2004, 03:12 AM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

stan v
04-11-2004, 08:43 AM
Art, is it true you've met.... :mad: ? You know of whom I speak....got any pictures? 5'2" tall or, 5'10" and 300lbs? What's the story with Fearkitty? We ALL want to know.

My guess is he lives with a bunch of cats.

seafox
04-11-2004, 09:20 PM
the whole income tax is a terrible blight on a suosidly free people. their is a new book out on the tax system by a writer for the ny times stated that the adverage 400 richest americans paid 38 milion each that equeled 17% of their incomes which is still a higher rate than the adverage taxpayers 15%.
the worst thing is this concentration on refunds every american should have to write out a check on april 15 for the money the goverment is taking from him. this with holding trick unfortinutely works I bet 9 out of 10 people could not tellyou off hand how much taxs they paid because all they think of is the end of the year round up
jeffery

Art Read
04-12-2004, 01:28 AM
Uhhhmmmm? Meer?

"...if you make between $30,000 and $400,000, your actual tax rate went up 2% or more..."

I think you'll probably not be surprised to know we fall closer towards the lower end of that range than to the top, and yes, we owed less this year. Your "statistics" are bogus.

Meerkat
04-12-2004, 01:39 AM
They're not "my" statistics Art. They where reported on PBS' "Now" this past friday evening. They cited the IRS as the ones releasing the information. I went and looked at the IRS.gov site and found some stuff that seemed to cooborate it, but it was not cut and dried. Time will tell if the information is bogus, but I have no reason to doubt the source.

High C
04-12-2004, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
They're not "my" statistics Art. They where reported on PBS' "Now" this past friday evening. They cited the IRS as the ones releasing the information. I went and looked at the IRS.gov site and found some stuff that seemed to cooborate it, but it was not cut and dried. Time will tell if the information is bogus, but I have no reason to doubt the source.It's not so, Meer. If you did your own taxes and understood the system you'd realize it. Interpretations and statements from whomever are irrelevant, the truth lies in the numbers and rules of the system itself. Those tax cuts are real.

Mrleft8
04-12-2004, 09:20 AM
The land of the fee, and the home of the brazen...

Art Read
04-12-2004, 08:30 PM
Hell, it ain't that hard to just pull last year's booklet out from your files and check the "handy", little tax table they give you if you don't want to bother figuring your own tax. The numbers are right there in black and white.

Art Read
04-12-2004, 08:57 PM
Let's start with the lower end of Meer's "range"... (Since it's always the the "little guy" who gets screwed, right?)

2002, Married, filing jointly, $30,000 taxable income: $3,904 federal tax owed...

2003, Married, filing jointly, $30,000 taxable income: $3,804 federal tax owed...

Or from the other end of the published "tables"...

2002, Married, filing jointly, $99,950 taxable income: $20,789 federal tax owed...

2003, Married, filing jointly, $99,950 taxable income: $18,614 federal tax owed...

This, of course, ignores the increase in the standard deduction, the reduction of the "marriage penalty", the increased allowance for IRA deductions and various other investment income advantages, etc., etc... All BEFORE you calculate that "taxable income. And this is a two percent INCREASE somehow? Is that like the way a falling dollar compared to other currencies will further increase the trade deficit? :rolleyes:

Run your own numbers if you don't believe me.

George Roberts
04-13-2004, 01:40 AM
Gee, we have a client with $1.5 million in taxes due on April 15. He appreciates the tax cut.