Thursday, March 19, 2009

Does anybody really know what time its? Does anybody really care?

I found this and I shook my head.

"ABC News produced a heartbreaking tale of woe about harried professionals scheming to reduce their incomes to avoid higher tax brackets. A dentist told the reporter she was contemplating cutting “her income from her current $320,000 to under $250,000 by having her dental hygienist work fewer days and by treating fewer patients.”

"Neither she nor the reporter appeared to have any idea how marginal tax rates work. To wit, she’d pay the higher 36 percent rate only on income above $250,000. The current rate is 33 percent. Hence, Dr. Happy-Tooth’s brilliant plan would save her exactly $2,100 in taxes at a cost of $67,900 in foregone income.

"No wonder people like her vote Republican."

And for Democrats, I might add.

People who report and comment on the news are smart enough to figure this stuff out and at the same time it's entirely possible that they really don't get it.

Still, I wonder: ESPN would never send someone out to cover an upcoming three game series between the Yankees and the Red Sox who would say that one team or the other would sweep the series because it had a pitcher against whom the other had not had a hit in seven years. People who cover baseball know the game well enough to know that pitcher could not pitch all three games. That's not how baseball works. Pitchers rarely start games, except in the most dire of circumstances, any more frequently than once every four days.

And baseball reporters know that.

And, by the way, those who play the game know that, too.

So, in the story alluded to, above, we have someone covering the impact of taxes on earnings--and someone paying those taxes--both of whom are ignorant of how taxes work!

One of them is misleading an audience and the other is contemplating a course of action that will cause serious economic detriment to herself.

If this is ignorance or if it is a guileful attempt to mislead others it does not portend well for democracy or reflect positively on the human condition.

I think I'd rather believe that the dentist and the reporter are doing that, rather than believe that they are so ignorant about something so vital to their own well being that they are doing self destructive things as they try to maximize their well being.

I'd rather believe that someone would lie to damage the other side in the ongoing class war, on the one hand, and the war for audience, on the other. Wowsers!

I'd rather believe people are that dishonest than believe they are that stupid. I don't know that I do believe that, but I know that's what I'd rather believe.

I guess that means I get the Lily, today.

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