Obama vs. Romney Tax Plans in a Very Tall Graph

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The Tax Policy Center has released its evaluation of the administration's 2013 budget. The upshot is that the White House tax proposal would lower taxes slightly for one-sixth of taxpayers and raise taxes significantly on the top one percent.

To see how the administration's tax plan would match up against Mitt Romney's tax plan, I compared TPC's projection of how both men would impact taxes compared to current policy in 2015. Here is the first, most dramatic graph, comparing how much more each quintile, or percentile, of households would pay under the Obama/Romney tax plans. Scroll (and click to enlarge: Y-axis is in dollars) ...

obamataxromney.png

And here's the same data by percent change in effective tax rates, which is probably the most useful way to compare tax plans. Note: the Romney plan raises taxes slighly in the lowest quintile against current policy because it would axe the tax credits in the Recovery Act, which the president has said he would like to extend. Romney would cut taxes for every other group in TPC's analysis. You can play with the data yourself here and here. Y-axis is in percent-change in taxes paid.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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