This Might Play
WASHINGTON (AP) – If you’re a senior citizen and earn less than $50,000 a year, Barack Obama has a deal for you: a life free of federal income tax.
Sounds appealing, right? Maybe to many seniors. But tax policy experts in Washington are giving it bad reviews.
Yeah, it’s a gimmick, but throwing out a bone like this to seniors might boost him in the polls. The GOP is supposed to love cutting taxes, so pushing back would be awkward. Although I’m sure they will argue that it would cause a tax burden on everyone else.
But I’m not buying all the arguments that critics have about the proposal.
Seniors typically have paid off their mortgages, many have investments and usually don’t pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. The kids are usually grown, so they’re not saddled with day care or college costs.
Umm. I happen to know a few seniors who are helping their kids raise their kids. And worse, actually having the “grown kids” (40’s and 50’s) move back into their house. Sometimes out of financial necessity for both parties.
“The odds are the retired folks – they’re getting pensions, they’re getting Social Security, they have investment assets, they own a house – so … they’re better off than somebody who is 30 or 40 years younger who’s trying to buy a house (and) trying to start saving,” said Clint Stretch, managing principal of tax policy for Deloitte Tax.
Again, with inflation and property taxes and health care costs, seniors are struggling like everybody else. These guys make it sound like seniors are on constant vacation at Disneyland or something.