Politics and Personal Finance April 3, 2007Posted by pf in Taxes, Uncategorized.
For 2006, I am expecting to receive a fairly good sized tax refund. I realize this has been debated in numerous forums and the consensus view seems to be that giving Uncle Sam a free loan is not a good idea unless you can’t seem to save otherwise. I generally subscribe to this thinking as well, however, my wife is one of those people who really likes the feeling of “found money” that the tax refund gives each year (I must admit, I do enjoy it a bit myself) and would like to keep it as-is.
Well, I couldn’t in good conscience continue to receive this size of a refund, so I struck a compromise (I told my my wife that it’s “dumb” to have such a large refund – very eloquent persuasion, don’t you think?) and we agreed to reduce it by about half. Don’t get me wrong here, we’re not talking like a $10,000 refund here (I know you were wondering).
Anyway, I started investigating how to change my W-4 to reduce my withholding. As I looked into it, I discovered that we may find ourselves no longer eligible for certain tax breaks in the upcoming tax year. As a result, my plan to “reduce” my refund looks like it’s already going to be done for me…literally!
Of course, I shared this with my wife and we began a discussion about taxes and the “how is this possible on our income?”, types of questions one asks when they feel they are getting a raw deal from our “Uncle Sam”. Also, we started discussing the upcoming elections and whether or not our situation would improve or get worse under a new administration. Clearly, from a financial perspective, I’m interested in electing the party that is going to put me in the best position to achieve my financial goals. At the same time, however, that party may also conflict with some of my other beliefs / goals for our country. However, for my immediate purposes, I want to know which party is more likely to help me financially.
We have often heard the Republican party characterized as the “party for the rich”, while the Democratic party is for the “common workers”. What I struggle with is who “the rich” are and who the “common workers” are which one is supposed to categorize me!
So, without getting too complicated, I thought I might create a quick poll to see what people “like me” think about which party is likely to be best for me and my family from a financial perspective. I realize it’s not scientific, but after reading various personal finance blogs, my perception is that those who frequent them have many of the same aspirations as I do and thus make a good benchmark. Make no mistake, I realize that not everyone is at the same point in their life either personally (married / family vs single) or financially (just starting vs well along in their career), but again, I think we still have the same goals, etc and would be interested to see what you think.
I have created a short poll which can be accessed at the address below:
I will publish the results on my blog daily (assuming enough responses) and will be interested to see if all of you have additional thoughts as the results come in.
Finally, I’m sorry the poll is just a link and not interactive on my blog or anything. I just couldn’t figure out a better way to do it. If you have some tips on how to do so, please let me know.