With 11 days left to the election, people are still trying to figure out the vague terms of Obama’s tax plan.

On income taxes, Obama said “95% of working families will get a cut.” That will be weird since over a third of these households don’t pay federal income taxes at all. But some of these “cuts” are called “refundable tax credits”, which means even if you zero out your income tax liability, the government still gives you a check with the difference. Some would argue that’s not a tax cut, that’s welfare.

But the most famous and contentious point now is the short statement that the tax hike on incomes over $250,000 will not affect jobs because “98% of small businesses make less than $250,000.”

Census tells us 79% of all American companies, counting both large and small firms, have no employees. The SBA’s Office of Advocacy reports that 52% of small businesses are home-based – not exactly the paramounts of job creation. And from the 27 million small businesses, the NYT reported “there are fewer than 6 million small businesses that actually have payrolls. The rest are so-called nonemployer firms that report income from hobbies or freelance work done by their registered owners, earning as little as $1,000 a year.”

So this “98%” figure was achieved by lumping together firms with no employees with businesses that have 20, 50 or 100 employees. Or, as the Americans for Tax Reform puts it,

“Obama’s tax increases will only affect you if you have a 401(k), have any savings, buy things from small businesses or are looking for a job. If you fall into one of these categories, his policies will take money out your pocket. Otherwise, you’re fine.”

Advertisements