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TGIF – November 17,2017

November 17, 2017

What’s middle income mean in terms of SALT?

When it comes to political talking points, the details matter.  You constantly hear that middle income taxpayers in high SALT states are all going to pay more in property taxes, or that a $10K deduction wouldn’t cover very many of those people.

But what IS middle income?

The answer to that is location specific.  For instance, a person living in Twin Falls ID., making $65K a year would need to earn $168,617 in Manhattan, NY or $129,623 in Brooklyn to maintain comparable lifestyles, according to money.cnn. com’s cost of living comparison calculator.

Housing is 536% higher in Manhattan and 316% more in Brooklyn.

However, in Rochester NY, you would only need to make $74,138 and housing is just 26% more expensive. In  Utica, NY the numbers are even closer, $73,696 and 22% respectively.

San Francisco CA is fairly comparable to Brooklyn. However, the top state income tax rate in California is 13.3%, while New York’s is 8.82% as of March, 2017.

So when you hear that all the “middle income” folks in New York would be hit equally by  removing or reducing the SALT (state and local tax) deduction, take it with a healthy dose of skepticism.

No matter where you live, $500,000 to 1 million a year (where the 39.6 tax rate would apply under the House tax plan) is still a lot of income. Maybe if you’ve got two kids in schools costing upwards of $50,000 each annually in tuition, it doesn’t go as far as you would like, but you won’t need a tin cup under the new tax plans.

One place that does seem to have some room for improvement in the House plan is at the 35% rate, where the single tax filers bracket begins at 200K, but only adds an additional $60K for a married couple. In the two lower brackets of 12 and 25% the single limit doubles if you are married.

Unless you define middle income and do the comparisons, the talking points are just so much hot air.

Maybe castration isn’t just for pets?

Honestly, the news has turned into one unending issue of the  National Enquirer. Who knew you would need to ban your smaller children from watching “World News Tonight?”

There is nothing even close to right about the allegations of sexual predation. If all or even most of them are true, and at least for these most visible ones, there is little doubt that something bad did happen, even if it was 20,30 or 40 years ago. If nothing else, the victims are finally getting their day in the court of public opinion.

Still if you ban all the men (and women, who can be pretty raunchy in their own right) who have made sexually explicit comments or touched someone inappropriately from society, we may need to investigate a 21st century secular version of the Immaculate Conception.

One commentator had the right idea…we know now that people who have been sexually attacked or even repeatedly harassed are no longer in a mood to keep quiet. Just stop doing it. We can’t fix the past no matter how many committees are seated. Prosecute the actual crimes if you can, but gender warfare doesn’t do anyone any good. And really, all men are NOT pigs.

Better late than never.

On November 4, the last Honor Flight for 2017 took off from Milwaukee, WI to bring another 150 veterans to Washington D.C. to view the memorials to their service. For many it was the recognition they never got for their service at the time.

The next time you see some jackass kneeling for the national anthem, or burning a flag, think about these service members, the ones on the flight, and the ones who never lived to see the memorials.

Honor Flight flies about six times a year.  If you want to know more, you can visit their website here.

From → op-ed

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