Posts Tagged ‘payroll taxes’

Social Security & Medicare Lifetime Benefits

How much will you pay in Social Security and Medicare taxes over your lifetime? And how much can you expect to get back in benefits? It depends on whether you’re married, when you retire, and how much you’ve earned over a lifetime. I recently published with Caleb Quakenbush “Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Benefits […]

Payroll Taxes Cover About a Third of Medicare Costs

I get the impression that many Americans believe Medicare is financed like Social Security. They know that a portion of payroll taxes goes to Social Security and a portion goes to Medicare. So they conclude workers are paying for Medicare benefits the same way they are paying for Social Security benefits. That isn’t remotely true, […]

A New Urban Institute Calculator Shows What Taxes and Transfers Mean for Low-Income Families

State taxes and transfers can be an important form of assistance for low-income families. But the amount of government help varies widely among the states. And, importantly, so does what happens to those benefits when such a family increases its wages. To help understand how those tax and spending programs work, the Urban Institute has […]

Fixing Medicare’s Double-Counting Problem

Last week I argued that budgeting for Medicare’s hospital insurance program is flawed. Today, I offer two ways to fix it (and reject a third). Medicare Part A is one of several federal programs that control spending through a “belt and suspenders” combination of regular program rules (the belt) and an overall limit (the suspenders). But […]

The Fight Over Medicare Double Counting

The recent double-counting dispute isn’t just about politics; it also reveals a flaw in budgeting for Medicare Part A. Budget experts are waging a spirited battle over the Medicare changes that helped pay for 2010’s health reform. In April, Chuck Blahous, one of two public trustees of the program, released a study arguing that the […]

Why Romney and Obama Pay the Taxes They Pay

By now, many readers of TaxVox know how much Barack Obama and Mitt Romney pay in taxes. But true tax wonks are more interested in why the candidates paid what they paid. A new infographic from the Tax Policy Center tells that story. The interactive display of the president’s and Romney’s (preliminary) 2011 tax returns […]

A Buffett Rule Proposal in Congress

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama’s called for a new law that would require high-income people to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. In response, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) have introduced the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012, a proposal designed to […]

102% Tax Rate? Really?

Investment manager James Ross last week told New York Times columnist James Stewart that his combined federal, state, and local tax rate was 102 percent.  No doubt, Ross did pay a lot of tax to the feds and the two New Yorks, city and state. But did he really pay more than all of his […]

Should Congress Extend the Payroll Tax Holiday?

Should Congress extend and expand the payroll tax cut it first passed a year ago? In a bizarre but not unexpected role reversal, Democrats insist that at a time of economic uncertainty, Congress must not only extend this tax cut but make it even more generous. And Republicans seem to have somehow discovered a tax break […]