If you want to know everything in the GOP's tax cut plan that is expected to be passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump, you need to click this link 'cuz they did a lot of work to write their piece (and, crazily enough, actually read the 503-page legislation).
We're just interested in the bottom line: What will this tax-cut plan save us? So we've turned to the calculators being offered up by news sites to help people figure out how much money they'd save in taxes, calculated using adjusted gross incomes.
Let's set a couple of parameters and we'll test them out. In some ways, we're comparing apples to orangutans, but people are clicking these links to see what they'll save, so let's give them a spin.
We'll test three scenarios:
- 1. Married with two children, filing jointly, taxable income $125,000.
- 2. Married with two children, filing jointly, taxable income $59,000 (the median income across the U.S. in 2017).
- 3. Single with no children, filing singly, taxable income $35,000.
First, The New York Times calculator, found here.
This graphic doesn't separate by states, but if you click on the income, marital status and number of children on the left side, you can then point your cursor right at a dot and find your exact savings.
- Scenario 1: $3,800 savings.
- Scenario 2: $1,650.
- Scenario 3: $600.
While the Times says, "Over all, about three-quarters of Americans would get a tax cut in 2018" under the latest plan, the paper adds that "How families earn their money, whether they make large charitable contributions and other factors can affect how they would fare under the bill."
Of course, factor in all the small print at the bottom of the Times' calculator, too.
Second, the CNN calculator — found here.
CNN just has broad ranges, for instance for incomes "75K- 125K." In addition, the calculator simply measures "how much your taxes will go down and your after-tax income will go up." For this test we'll pick Kansas as our home, since the state is in the geographic center of the U.S. (there is some variance between states so check out your own). And it's all rather simplistic, with no deductions or exemptions, so keep that in mind.
Scenario 1: 3.4% cut.
Scenario 2: 4.6% cut.
Scenario 3: 6.8% cut.
Now, just to cut off the liberals before they start the whole "tax cuts for the rich" thing, from the above scenarios you can see the top income gets the smallest cut percentage wise, while the bottom income gets the biggest — exactly double, in fact.
Third, the "Tax Plan Calculator" by Maxim Lott, found here.
This one includes the state (we'll stick with Kansas). It also asks if we itemize (we'll say no) and wants an amount we pay in property taxes (we'll say $3,000 for the first two scenarios, $500 for the third).
- Scenario 1: $3,808 savings.
- Scenario 2: $1,638.
- Scenario 3: $607.
Lott's calculator is almost exactly what the Times has — and like the Times', far from CNN's. Surprising in this world where facts are fungible.
That's pretty much what's available online so far. Again, this comparison is hardly scientific, just showing the differences among the calculators.
So check your own info out on one or all three.