Down And Out in Plano And Glendale

Thu Jan 6, 2011

I saw this amusing article on metafilter yesterday. The basic idea is that a four-person family making 250K/year is, depending on where they live, just barely getting by because of tax burden.

A budget is provided, and it’s reliably absurd. When I last looked at the metafilter comments, however, I don’t know if anyone recognized what the actual rhetorical target of this piece was. To me, it seems clear that the profligate amounts being invested by this family in their 401K and college savings accounts (presumably also investment interests) are designed to make the (almost certainly poorer) readers of the article not just outraged by imaginary tax raises but anxious that they are not putting enough of their money into investments.

Assuming that the basic figures provided here correspond even loosely to reality, which is probably not wise, I was astonished yet again by how low our property taxes are compared to the rest of the states. We’re talking order_s_ of magnitude in some cases.