## Another take on 9-9-9

##### Oct 23, 2011

I wasn't too happy with the previous chart (with a nod to zbicyclist). Here is another take on how 9-9-9 affects different households:

The challenge is how to convey the distributional effects of the tax plan in addition to its effect on averages. One can use expected values and do away with the distributional effects but doing that removes important information. The analysts show that in the top 20%, half of the households receive tax cuts while for the other 80%, at least 85% will see their taxes increased.

In the previous version, I group the data by quintiles (20% buckets); in this version, I group them by whether taxes went up or down.

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I haven't really liked either of the charts. In both cases, it took an awful lot of effort to interpret the chart.

I'm not even sure how I would try this. As you say, covering the distributional aspects of the plan is difficult to do.

How about a simple tornado graph with bottom 20% at the bottom, and top 20% at the top?

This is one of those cases where a simple stacked bar is easy to interpret. Five bars, one for each quintile. The bar length is percentage change in tax for the group. Within a bar, colours are proportion with tax increase / decrease.

I liked the last chart, don't like this one at all...

I cannot figure out if my taxes increase or decrease on this chart, so I call it fail.

A chart showing the mean tax increase / decrease for a variety of
incomes (scatterplot or line plot) would probably do the trick of conveying that most people will see tax increases under the Cain plan while a few high income people will see massive tax decreases. Basically, I'd expect to see a curve mostly above the x-axis, with a huge negative (tax reduction) for high income earners.

Krugman missed the point by splitting the positive and negative values in the table, rather than simply talk about mean burden change within groups. Knowing the lowest quintile has mean burden of .027*-\$650+.911*\$2053=+\$1852 would be more informative than knowing both numbers.

I agree with you Jon. I prefer using a more easy to use charts for my business not just for me to understand it more easy but also for my clients. They're the one who need to know and understand what we're trying to show and explain to them. Simpler chart probably need the simplest explanation.

It's not hard to understand though. Try reading the whole content for you to understand.

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