Real numbers

Pinheads and Patriots

Pinheads and Patriots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before he was elected president, Barack Obama appeared on The O’Reilly Factor in September, 2008.    That interview is reprinted in its entirety in Bill O’Reilly‘s book, Pinheads and Patriots, Where You Stand  in the Age of  Obama. In the interview, Bill made a big deal out of current and possible tax rates, all expressed in percentages. Percentages can be very misleading, sometimes at the will and purpose of the speaker. Rather than percentages, I would require that taxes and incomes be expressed in real numbers so that better conclusions can be drawn.

To determine a real tax burden, I would require the disclosure of gross income and the total taxes paid to the IRS and state government and payroll taxes. Adding all three numbers together and dividing by gross income would produce an accurate percentage of income paid in taxes, not some nominal tax rate before deductions are figured. Mitt Romney‘s tax rate is some number less than 15%. Bill O’Reilly implied that he pays 50% or more. I sincerely doubt that number even though his income is in the millions.

Missed prediction. Bill predicted in this book that the election of 2012 would be between Barack Obama and someone playing the part of Ronald Reagan. Today we know that Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee. Sorry, Bill, you can’t always be right.

Please see Bill O’Reilly challenge | Bill O’Reilly and taxes | Bill O’Reilly