The White House wants taxpayers to understand just how much they're saving from the bipartisan tax-cut deal President Obama made with lawmakers last year.
Not a bad move to remind people of the administration's accomplishments as the president goes head-to-head on spending with congressional Republicans, and a government shutdown seems more likely every day.
To get the message across, instead of just a press conference or a set of taking points, the White House has introduced a special calculator to give Americans a hands-on way of understanding their savings.
The administration posted the calculator on its blog in anticipation of the approaching tax-filing deadline to highlight the savings it says that households can expect this year. "The brand new Tax Cut Calculator provides an easy to use tool that shows individuals and families how these tax cuts — some of which are hitting paychecks right now — will affect their taxes for 2011," wrote Adam Abrams, a White House regional communications director, on the official White House blog.
While the calculator focuses on the tax compromise the president signed into law to provide tax cuts for workers and families in 2011, the White House also issued a reminder today that Recovery Act tax cuts meant that 1.1 million African Americans benefited from the extension of unemployment benefits, and an estimated 2.2 million African-American families benefited from the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit on their 2010 taxes.
It's one thing to be told that policies are helping the country overall — another to read statistics on how they're predicted to affect African Americans, and something else altogether to get a solid number reflecting their impact on your very own household. The White House seems to have tuned in to the idea that that last measure is the one that really matters to people who have struggled financially in recent years. Check out the calculator and see how you and your family make out.
Impressed or underwhelmed by this new piece of political technology? Let us know in the comments.
In other news: David M. French Dies at 86.