Senate Democrats Also Unclear on How Taxes Work

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WASHINGTON - AUGUST 2:  Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner arrives before U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House August 2, 2011 in Washington, DC.  President Obama spoke about the U.S. Senate's passing of legislation to raise the nation's debt ceiling to avoid defaulting.  (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
Time to teach some home economics. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/2011 Getty Images

As Intel Dan has noted, pretty much the entire news media has misreported President Obama’s tax plan because reporters don’t understand how tax brackets work. You know who else doesn’t understand that? Democrats in Congress. Apparently Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had to break out the hand puppets and head up to Capitol Hill for a quick lesson:

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Geithner tried to assuage concerns by telling Democrats that the president’s plan would ensure that all taxpayers would pay the lower tax rates on their first $250,000 of income — and they would be hit with higher tax rates only for earned income over that threshold, attendees said.

For those readers who, like our distinguished senators, don’t have a firm grasp on how tax brackets work, let me explain.

For those readers who, like our distinguished senators, don’t have a firm grasp on how tax brackets work, let me explain.

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Photo: Citizens for Tax Justice

Obama’s plan to cut taxes below that level, of course, means that even the richest Americans would get a break on their income that falls into the lower brackets. This actually means that his plan lays out a lot of money on tax cuts for the rich — just not as much as Romney would: