Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why I Don't Vote for Democrats

I've just completed my 2005 Federal and California state tax filings. It took me about 10 hours over three nights to complete, even though I used TurboTax. If I didn't use Turbo Tax, it would have probably taken me twice as long.

For the first time this year, we had pay Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) rates on our Federal Return. This is because our mortgage interest paid, along with real estate and state taxes, are ridiculously high, and the AMT caps the dollar amount of deductions that a taxpayer can claim. Since the AMT was first introduced over 35 years ago, there have been no adjustments for inflation on a taxpayer's income. Thus, my 2005 income is assumed to be in 1969 dollars--the first year of the AMT--and this makes us "rich" in the IRS's view. And so, we are now subject to a minimum tax rate that lawmakers in 1969 deemed "fair" for the wealthy to pay.

One of the reasons why I am pissed at the Democrats is that they have been refusing to negotiate the elimination of the AMT in the tax code, or even indexing it for inflation. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has estimated that by 2010, over 30 million middle-class taxpayers will be hit by the AMT if nothing is done by lawmakers. From Money magazine:

To give you a sense of just who might get caught, this year only 1.8 percent of married couples with two kids and an adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 will be subject to AMT. Next year, that number jumps to 73.4 percent.
The above description fits us to a "T". In the Democrats' eyes, that income level makes us "rich". Living in California, a family of four can barely stay afloat at that income level.

But lawmakers such as Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) have net worths of at least $20 million apiece, so how could they understand the daily struggles that we face? I'll bet they don't limit themselves to one restaurant meal a week, dress in hand-me-downs (Russell & Punky) and samples (me), or have a 16-year-old television at home.


At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No problem....make less money..Oh wait that doesn't work either...

Don't worry Social Security will be around when you retire to take care of all your needs, unless the impossible happens and millions of poorly educated citizens appear to suck up the freebies...and what are the odds of that?


At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Rob said...

James, move to Tennessee! Over here we're gun-friendly, we don't have a state income tax, we don't have those ridiculous things called "environmental regulations," tags for your car costs less than $40, did I mention no state income tax? Oh yeah, and we're not overflowing with communists, socialists, and other such rabble-rousers (except on campuses of course--and in Memphis).

At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Refusing to negotiate..." You may not be aware of this, but the GOP has been in charge of the government for the past few years. If they really wanted to, they could have gotten rid of or indexed the AMT. Now why didn't they...


Also, I'm glad you think George W. Bush is so much more understanding of your struggles than Boxer or Feinstein. He didn't get any breaks in life from Daddy, no sir.


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