Linda McMahon is asking the public to vote for her based in part on her "plan" to cut middle class taxes and save the average family in Connecticut $6,000 per year. Yet her math is flawed, her definition of "middle class" represents nearly twice the income of the median Connecticut household, and her "plan" doesn't save the average Connecticut family one cent. Here's the extent of McMahon's naive and misleading "plan", in a nutshell: Cut the current 25% federal tax bracket to 15%.
Any sixth-grader can come up with the simple idea of cutting tax rates. The tougher questions - the effect on the federal deficit of lost revenue; the cost to the taxpayer, and particularly the middle class taxpayer, in terms of lost services; the probability that a junior senator in a party averse to compromise could actually implement such a drastic tax cut at the federal level, etc. - are ignored, ostensibly because they require some thought.
Furthermore, McMahon bases her projected savings on a family of four making $125,000 per year and calls it a "middle class" tax cut. Yet the median household income in Connecticut is just $67,740, according to the latest Census numbers, and a household income of $125,000 is somewhere around the top 13% nationally. This is middle class? Most importantly, the 25% tax bracket - the very tax bracket McMahon proposes to cut - is projected to be between $70,700 and $142,700 for married couples filing jointly. As the lower bound of this tax bracket is already higher than the median household income in Connecticut, the average family would in fact save exactly nothing under McMahon's "plan".
Lastly, the "plan" demonstrates that McMahon's positions are either poorly thought out or - worse - deliberately misleading. To illustrate this, let's accept her out-of-touch assumption that $125,000 is middle class and test the accuracy of the supposed $6,000 in savings for such a hypothetical family of four. Assuming the parents are married and filing taxes jointly, they would benefit from two basic deductions on their federal return: Connecticut state income taxes (about $5,975 for this hypothetical family) and the standard federal deduction (projected to be $11,900 in 2012 for married filing jointly). Ignoring all other deductions, that leaves our family with federal taxable income of $107,125. The portion of their income currently subject to the 25% tax rate would be the amount above $70,700; do the math at 15% instead, and the total savings add up $3,642, not $6,000. Any further deductions (such as mortgage interest, real estate and automobile taxes, IRA contributions, etc.) would reduce their projected savings even further.
To summarize, the cornerstone of Linda McMahon's campaign is a naively simplistic tax "plan" that won't save the average Connecticut family one penny; she is basing her heavily promoted "plan" on highly misleading assumptions; and either McMahon doesn't understand the most basic aspects of the tax code, or else she is incapable of performing basic math.
This is who we want to represent us in Washington?