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View Diary: According to USA Today's logic, you should ask your boss for a pay cut (122 comments)

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  •  Laura Laing is not the idiot here. (0+ / 0-)

    USA Today is the idiot for believing myths about tax brackets. Laura Laing didn't say that.

    In addition to all the people here who did point out that sometimes a few dollars do bump you over a line, not in taxes but in other things, Laura Laing is right. Even if it doesn't bump you over any line, there could be other things you want besides income increase.

    And, no, a better parking space doesn't have any sort of cash value, and hence, duh, does not need to be reported. I find this concept completely baffling. Who would think a space in a company parking lot has any sort of cash value? Someone has this confused with the concept of a company handing employees enough money to rent a street parking space. (Which does have to be reported...but can then be deducted, IIRC.)

    Just to be clear, no, a company saying 'You can put your stuff on this part of our property while at work.' is not any sort of benefit you must report on your taxes, and the very idea is idiotic. Oh, look, they gave you a locker to put your clothes in, better report that....what's a bus locker renting for these days? (And why aren't all those teenagers paying taxes on their school locker?)

    Neither do you have to 'report' flex time, or having more vacation days, or getting a nicer office, all of which might be something you want instead of a pay increase. And those things should be compared after taking taxes from the pay increase.

    And, of course, health insurance is excluded from that, although I've never heard of anyone asking for better health insurance in liu of a raise.

    •  Laura Laing's words (0+ / 0-)
      Getting a raise is always a good thing, right? Well, not always. If that extra cash in your paycheck bumps you into the next tax bracket, you could be giving more in taxes to Uncle Sam than you'd like.

      Unequivocally false....

      yes...I blame Laing as well for nonsense...

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 04:40:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not false... (0+ / 0-)

        Everyone is giving more to Uncle Sam than they'd like.  It's a given, nobody likes to pay taxes, even those of us who realize they're necessary to create the society we desire.

        What Laing is IMPLYING is that the increased taxes will result in a decreased net income, which is patently false, but that's not what she actually says.  "More than you'd like" is a mealy-mouthed Get Out Of Jail Free phrase that you can say about virtually anything.  Any reporter quoting such a phrase should be fired....even if they do work for USA Today.

        •  I have no idea... (0+ / 0-)

 anyone is reading that into her statement, considering premise of the book is to calculate that amount.

          So she said: Hi, I'm here to lie by implication about something in a sentence hidden inside my book, for no apparent reason, as this isn't any sort of political book, but a book to fight the growing issue of adult innumeracy. Then I will provide a bunch of simplified math to show how this lie is, in fact, a lie.

          Seriously, that's what you guys think is going on?

          Or, more likely, USA Today lied and then grabbed some random books and looked for someone else to blame the lie on, and found a sentence they could quote out of context that somewhat sorta implied what they said, if you looked at it with the assumption that it did imply that.

          And reporter quoting such a phrase in that context should be fired. Someone saying it as they explain how tax brackets work and how to calculate that amount? Not so much.

          I swear, it's amazing how a single sentence buried miles deep in a book is somehow misleading if you selectively quote it and pretend it says something it quite literally does not say at all. Yes, we know it's possible to imply a lie while stating the truth, but did you know that it's also possible to imply something is a lie by quoting it completely devoid of context? Wow, who would have thought that?

          Laura Laing herself showed up in the USA Today comment thread: This issue is covered correctly in Math for Grownups. But I'm so glad that you pointed out this very common misunderstanding. The example from the book considers whether or not non-taxable perks and more paid time off might be a better deal than the raise itself. Folks may assume that a raise is the best option--however, there are many ways to negotiate with employers so that more money is kept in your pocket!

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