One of the biggest issues in any election year is the economy. According to Kerry, it’s bad and gonna be worse if we dump Bush. According to Bush, it’s good and getting better, but if we elect Kerry we’re going down the toilet.
I’m no economist (I think I took one class on it in high school, back around Reagan’s second term), but I am expert on one particular economy: mine. So, armed with my tax returns from 2000 and 2003, my most recent pay stub, and a pay stub from about the same time in 2000, I figured I’d see must how well off I am now compared to then.
I think I’ll make a pretty good model. In that time I have not changed employers (although I did relocate), residence, marital status, or parental status. (Dear God, I’ve stagnated. But that’s a topic for another time.) There have been a few changes in my life, but I’ll skip those for the purposes of this piece.
Adjusted gross income: 2000 – $16,734; 2003 – $21,506.
That’s not too shabby. I’ve done pretty well at my job, and been rewarded accordingly.
Taxable income: 2000 – $9,534; 2003 – $13,706.
Again, a little better. I managed to shave off $600 more from my taxable income than before, decreasing my tax burden.
Total tax: 2000 – $1,429; 2003 – $1,624.
Yes, I’m paying almost $200 more in taxes. But I