Donald Trump may be too much of a chicken to talk about his taxes, but I’m not. Our total federal income tax bill for 2016 was $16,805 on an adjusted gross income of $120,140, for an effective tax rate of just under 14 percent. Using the methods I detailed in my last post, let’s see how our Washington taxes compare.
What a Tax March! My wife got interviewed for a local TV station and I was interviewed by a local newspaper reporter. Our sign disclosing our own federal income tax returns was a big hit.
For the non-Washington readers, Seattle’s Tax March had an expanded purpose to highlight the ridiculously upside-down tax policies in this state.  Washington, like a handful of other states, has no income tax and raises revenue only by other means: mainly property, sales, and business (B&O) taxes along with annual vehicle registration fees (which we call “car tabs”). Many probably assume that these fixed-percentage taxes that apply to everyone are automatically fair. Well, the two of us are a great counterexample for how the wealthy can avoid paying their fair share. Until I did all the math recently for 2016, I had no idea just how bad it was and how little we are contributing to the state’s tax base.
This post covers how to estimate your total state and local taxes as a percentage of your income. I will share our results next time. If you live in Washington, you should do the math and see how we compare.
Oh my gosh, my liberal and libertarian friends are all freaking out over a few dozen cruise missiles. I have a different take on this. Launching an air strike was a good move by the Trump administration, though I do have one nitpick that reveals an ongoing weakness in the decision making.
I am starting a series on political predictions. I do not expect perfect accuracy and would not be at all surprised if my predictions do not come true; rather, my goal is simply to share what I think is a plausible outcome in our current environment.
I see a government shutdown coming. First, we need to talk about the confirmation fight over Judge Gorsuch.
My first Bubbles post focused on personal steps we can each take to broaden our perspectives and come to understand our fellow Americans. That half of the equation is extremely important, and I do not want the flaws in our institutions to eclipse it. So with that caveat, let’s move on to the discussion of what social media is doing to aggravate the problem and what they could do about it. I will focus on two platforms because they are familiar to me: Facebook and YouTube.