The internet is a monster eating its own tail when it comes to sites “aggregating” content from one another in an effort to poach site traffic. However, since Random Nerds gets zero money from your precious clicks#, I don’t feel as bad occasionally highlighting content from other sites who have come out with something cool. If, for some reason, someone does Patronize money to this post, I promise to forward it straight to Alvin Chang at Vox.

This is “I’m Aggregating This Because…”


Vox’s Alvin Chang recently posted a Tax Plan Calculator that, as the title of the article explains, “tells you how each presidential candidate’s tax plan affects you.”

Partnering with the Tax Policy Center (and admitting “every taxpayer has a slightly different situation”), Alvin and his team looked at the four biggest factors – income, marital status, and children – and the four taxes with the largest impact – individual and corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, and excise taxes – in an attempt to make this presidential race more personal to you, the (potentially) informed voter.

And because this is Vox we’re talking about, this calculator of course also comes with a Q&A for all your Q’s, further analysis courtesy of Ezra Klein, even further analysis courtesy of The Weeds team, and a lovely rebuttal from The Datatitan entitled “Why Vox’s Numbers for Bernie Sanders’s Tax Plans Are So Wrong.”

There’s even a handy video explaining the whole in less than 2 minutes.


In terms of the actual tax rates though, what you’re looking at is:

  • Clinton plans on keeping rates relatively the same, with small tax increases on wealthier tax brackets
  • Sanders looks to raise taxes, pretty significantly, on every tax bracket
  • Cruz and Trump both propose massive tax cuts ($8.6 and $9.4 trillion, respectively) and to quote Vox, “the wealthier you are, the more you keep in your pocket”

Obviously, these different plans come with drastically different ramifications for the country and the role of its federal government. Bernie Sanders’ massive tax rate, for example, comes with universal health care, education, and other programs that you would no longer have to spend your own money on.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’s plans, on the other hand, would mean previously unfathomable cuts to government services…

In that Weeds episode mentioned above, Ezra Klein exasperatedly explains:

“To pay for Ted Cruz’s tax cut you gotta get to something like $8.6 trillion.
If Ted Cruz eliminated Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in their entirety, he wouldn’t get there.
He’d have to then add all federal education spending (so cutting all Pell grants, all K-12 subsidies, Head Start, everything of that nature); all federal spending on justice functions (so no more FBI, no more Drug Enforcement Administration, the federal court system goes away, the federal attorneys go away); all international spending (so you close all of our foreign embassies, you zero out all of our aid to Israel); and he’s still not done.
You gotta take out all federal transportation spending (so everything we’re spending into highways, everything we’re putting into getting around), and all spending on veterans.
And Donald Trump would then need another trillion dollars in cuts on top of that…”

With such disparate competing plans, this fall’s election looks to ultimately be a national referendum on where we believe our hard-earned money deserves to go. Because candidates come and go, they surge and collapse, but times is rough and tough like leather.

Now more than ever, it’s important get with a sick tight clique and go all out…