From retired UI-C Business Professor Darold Barnum.
He offers this disclaimer:
“I am not involved with the formal campaign of Sean Casten, but I am a member of an independent grassroots group supporting him.”
Chickens Voting for Col. Sanders
My father-in-law Henry was an accountant and his wife Rose had an eighth-grade education.
When they argued about finances, Henry would end up saying, “Rose, figures don’t lie.”
To which she would respond, “Henry, figures don’t lie, but liars figure!”
This story seemed apropos when listening to Peter Roskam boast about his tax-cut law at his appearance before the Daily Herald Editorial Board.
He once again claimed the median-income family of four in the Sixth District making $135,000 annually will save $4,600 on their taxes, implying these are average for the district.
Roskam’s own website states the district’s median-income is $97,387.
To check out his tax-saving claim, I went to the website he often uses, that of the conservative Tax Foundation (http://bit.ly/taxes6th).
Using their interactive map, Sixth District average savings for taxpayers earning $137,699 is $2,332.
About half of what Roskam implies is typical.
But things get worse.
According to the Tax Foundation, those earning less than $10,000 get an average tax cut of only 0.4% of their income.
The averages for other income ranges:
- $10,000-$25,000 saves 0.8%
- $25,000-$50,000 saves 2.8%
- $50,000-$75,000 saves 2.1%
- $75,000-$100,000 saves 2.0%
- $100,000-$200,000 saves 1.7% and
- $200,000-up saves 4.5%.
After the poor, the next biggest losers are Roskam’s core supporters, those earning between $100,000 and $200,000.
With 1.7% savings on the average, they get about 1/3 of the 4.5% saved by the rich, and those with high deductions often will see their taxes increase because of the $10,000 cap.
So, like my father-in-law, Roskam is good at figuring out how to manipulate numbers to make something appear to be true when it is not
My wealthy cousin said this: Middle class voters supporting Roskam are like chickens supporting Col Sanders.
Darold Barnum is Professor Emeritus at UIC’s College of Business Administration, earning MBA and PhD degrees from the Wharton School. Among other subjects, he’s taught finance and strategic management to both students and professionals, and has consulted with organizations ranging from family businesses to Fortune-500 corporations. His publications over the last decade concern organizational efficiency.