Democrats and the "New" Math

Reading leftists can be highly educational. For example, Greg Sargent has information from House Democratic staffers that says the House Republican plan actually raises taxes on quite a few Americans. Of course, to Democrats, a welfare check is something they call a tax cut, while Democrats call a real tax rate cut a tax rate increase; this is kind of like when Democrats say a lower increase in spending is a spending cut. Anyway, Sargent mentions that this is the line Democrats are going to use to attack Republican plans, that what the Republicans are proposing is actually a tax rate increase. Here’s what Sargent was told:

In 2008, 4.2 million Americans had to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The Republican proposal would lower marginal tax rates for individuals, but would not reduce AMT rates. Current law requires you to pay the greater of the two rates, so many of those receiving this lower marginal rate would now be held liable for the AMT.

There is no question that Congress needs to — and will — act to prevent the number of taxpayers hit by the AMT from growing to an estimated 26 million this year. However, we confirmed with the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation that 26 million people would still be forced to pay the AMT this year under the GOP bill. Essentially, their tax bill would give with one hand and take away with the other, leaving 26 million families without the tax cut they promised in their bill.

To be fair, Sargent did contact Cantor’s office to hear the Republican side of things. Per Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring, both the Democratic and Republican plans factor in the AMT.

So, why would the Republican plan to lower the tax rate actually cause people to pay a higher tax rate? Or, does the Republican plan actually raise the rates, as suggested by the Democrats? Go ahead and do the math, but I would suggest using basic arithmetic since it will provide the correct answer. This “new” math by the Democrats isn’t really all that it’s cracked up to be.

Oh, I just can’t help myself. There is a spoiler in the comments, and I can’t keep myself from putting it out there:

Sorry, but the math here doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. As Danp suggests, if you are required to pay the “greater of the two rates,” then when your rate decreases, and you move to the AMT, your tax rate is still decreased as what was once the lesser of the two rates is now the greater of the two. Let me simplify:

Say my tax rate dictates that I pay $1000 in taxes, and the AMT is $900. The greater of the two is $1000, so this is what I pay.

Now say that under the GOP plan my rate is reduced to $800, but the AMT remains at $900. The greater of the two is now $900, so this is what I pay.

It’s not the $200 rate cut that I may have hoped for, but it’s still a $100 rate cut. It’s certainly not an increase. What am I missing?

The commenter isn’t missing anything. He caught the Dems in a bald-faced lie, and it doesn’t even take into account the statements from Cantor’s office that Sargent reported.

See? I told you. You can learn a lot from reading lefties. Even from reading Democrats. You learn that their “math” isn’t math at all.