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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

As expected, Brad has much more interesting comments on the Krugman Okrent exhange here than those below. The part that freaked me out was this (brad in bold)

His 2/3/04 assertion that tax proposals offered by Democrats would help the 77 pecent of taxpayers in the 15 percent bracket or less. The most recent generally accepted figures available at the time indicated that the number was actually 64 percent. Note: I believe that 77% of *all* taxpayers are in the 15% bracket or less; 64% of those who pay *income* taxes to the Treasury are in the 15% bracket or less; there are a bunch of people who pay taxes but not income taxes.

How the hell does Brad know that ? Well "I believe" might mean "I guess", but I didn't even have a guess. Now I see Okrent might have made the mistake of confusing "tax payers" with "income tax payers." Of ourse they are different groups and this would be a less bad than average error for Okrent. Now if the Democrats proposal would not increase refundable credits, then Krugman is wrong about the fraction of taxpayers it would help. I guess that it would, since so far by Okrent, Samwick and Patrick Sullivan have provided amazingly strong evidence that Krugman makes amazingly few mistakes.

By "less bad than average for Okrent" I mean very little indeed. The statement "15% bracket or less" makes it clear that Krugman is not talking about income tax payers but rather all tax payers (as he wrote).

Update: Brad has one final really funny post on this and I am a trackback spammer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's one place to get the 77% number.

Here's another.