Vox’s Tax Calculator Is Wildly Misleading—So We Made a Better One
"Last week, Vox published an article titled “This simple calculator tells you how each presidential candidate’s tax plan affects you.” It couldn’t be more manipulative. Vox’s calculator, despite its catchy headline, does not show how your overall economic situation might change under each candidate’s policy agenda. What it presents is a number Vox calls “your tax liability,” which includes things you would never think of as part of your tax bill—like the payroll taxes your employer pays on your wage or the tax you pay on a bottle of wine. Using Vox’s approach, which draws on a narrow, but largely correct, analysis from the Tax Policy Center (TPC), simply getting a raise from your boss would look like a larger tax bill—bad news. As a result, Vox’s calculator overwhelmingly favors Trump and Cruz, while suggesting that Sanders’s plan would have a negative effect on disposable income for the majority of Americans," writes Mark Paul, research affiliate with the Cook Center.