It’s hard to go a day without reading some liberal pundit or reporter or politician claiming that President Obama merely wants to raise the top income tax rate back up to 39.6%, where it was during the highly prosperous 1990s. This is false. Under current law the rate is scheduled to rise to 43.4%, and the top capital gains rate (long term) will rise from 15% to 23.8%.
Why is this misinformation repeated over and over again? Do the people saying this know they are lying? If it was a conservative doing this I’m quite sure Paul Krugman would accuse him of intentionally lying. I really don’t know what to make of it. It’s depressing that they would almost universally think it’s OK to lie, but it’s also depressing if it’s because newspapers like the New York Times don’t even understand what’s going on.
Our incompetent representatives in Washington were not satisfied with creating two parallel tax systems, and then forcing taxpayers to compute their taxes both ways, and pay the larger amount. So now they’ve added a third income tax system, a 3.8% tax rate on income over $125,000/year (oh yes, they lie about that too, calling it a $250,000/year threshold) on top of the 39.6% top rate. In Sweden there is no marriage penalty, as everyone is treated with dignity, like an individual. And the government merely sends you the bill. A tax system of elegant simplicity. Meanwhile the US sinks ever deeper into banana republic-style complexity.