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WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE OBAMA PLAN:

For Individuals: According to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan center-left organization, Americans up until the 99th percentile are more likely to see a tax cut than a tax increase under Obama's proposals. Only the richest one percent or so -- those with household incomes north of $500,000 in 2009 -- would be more likely to face a tax hike. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation, which is generally sympathetic to lower taxes, particularly on the capital class, takes the analysis one step further. "The Obama plan would redistribute more than $131 billion per year from the top 1 percent of taxpayers to all other taxpayers," writes Foundation president Scott Hodge.

For Businesses: Venture capital fund managers, speaking generally about carried interest, insist that taxing their profits as income rather than capital gains, as Obama proposes, would discourage their interest in venture investing. However, the Tax Policy Center's Roberton Williams is skeptical. "When we see tax rates go up and reported income go down, we don't know if people have changed their behavior and are earning less money, or they've found different ways to characterize their income," he says. "That said, economists generally believe that the behavioral effects of tax increases tend to be small. In the short run we see noticeable changes, but two or three years down the road, behaviors don't look very different."

Last updated: Oct 22, 2008




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