Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jonathan Krause: Shameless Liar or Incompetent Mathematician?

Woe is he!
I told [a caller to the radio station] that my wife and I paid 28-percent of gross income in federal taxes and withholdings last year.


I stunned our caller some more by telling him that I knew that I paid another 6.5% in state income taxes, a little less than 5% in property taxes and then another 5% on all of my purchases and 51.3-cents a gallon on gas. Again, sheer amazement that I would know the actual cost of taxes in my life.
Krause paid $2,681.46 in property taxes last year (you can look him up right here) and claims that's 5% of he and his wife's income. That would presumably make their joint earnings $53,629.20, which is interesting because, according to this web site one doesn't reach the 28% tax bracket until one makes $82,400. Krause is still in the 25% tax bracket.

This is not a small issue and something that can't be blamed on a typo -- he even brings up the 28% figure again in the very next graph. The whole point of Krause's self-aggrandizing post is to tell his readers how financially self-aware he is. What he's actually doing is throwing numbers at his audience with the hopes that no one will take the time to do the math.

Either Krause is arithmetically challenged or he's lying.

MORE: We crunch the number right over here.


Anonymous said...

Interesting he points out "while fresh in our minds" - I just did my taxes on the 15th.

Some other points:
He says 28 percent of "gross income", not "taxable income" which is the income after deductions. The site you link to gives tax brackets for taxable income, which will always be lower than gross income.

Also, he probably filed married filed jointly, which alters the tax brackets but still you are likely correct, Krause is most likely in the 25% bracket unless he is way off on his property tax percent.

Jb said...

Thanks for making this point!

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