The Romney tax plan, in one chart

The top 0.1 percent see incomes that are 8.6 percent higher without paying for the rate cuts, and 4.4 percent higher if they're fully financed. Meanwhile, the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers see incomes fall by 1.1 percent if the rate cuts are paid for by cutting tax breaks.

By Dylan Matthews August 1, 2012

How we die (in one more chart)

If you're 65 or older, it's probably disease that will get you. The top causes of death for younger Americans, have little to do with medical ailments at all.

By Sarah Kliff August 1, 2012

Wages aren’t stagnating, they’re plummeting

High school dropouts' earnings have fallen 66 percent since 1969, and people with some college - the median level of education in the United States - have seen earnings fall by a third. Reasonable people can disagree about what caused this massive decline and what should be done to fix it. But it's a major crisis.

By Dylan Matthews July 31, 2012

The GDP report in 6 charts

The headline figures from today's GDP report for the second quarter of 2012 aren't great: first quarter growth was revised up to 2.0 percent from 1.9, and second quarter growth was at 1.5 percent, neither of which looks particularly great. But there was a lot more to the report than just those numbers. So what else did it tell us?

By Dylan Matthews July 27, 2012

No one pays the estate tax

If you hear politicians worrying about the 55 percent rate, remember that when it was last in place, fewer than 5,000 people were affected every year. It's simply not that big a part of the tax code, and the idea that "millions" of families and small businesses would be affected by a return to Clinton rates is just plain wrong.

By Dylan Matthews July 26, 2012

Don’t believe the polls on third-party contenders

One thing is for sure - we can't rely on polling, especially at this stage but even later on - to predict how well a third-party candidate will perform. I don't know if Gary Johnson is going to matter in November. Something dramatic could change and make him a real factor in the race. But be very, very suspicious of the polling.

By Dylan Matthews July 24, 2012

Local infrastructure spending hasn’t come back, in four charts

State and local budgets are slowly beginning to improve from the worst of the recession. But their spending on infrastructure projects—schools, sewers, and police stations—is still a long way from recovery. According to the Commerce Department, state and local spending on public construction fell to $242.6 billion in May. That's the lowest figure in nearly seven years.

How eligibility cut-offs trap the poor

In plain English: a family going from $10,000 to $40,000 and benefiting from welfare (TANF), housing subsidies, Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), etc. pays an average of 82 cents per dollar earned in new taxes and lost benefits. And that's just the average.

By Dylan Matthews July 13, 2012

Applying Romney’s rules to Obama’s economy

When asked to defend his economic record as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney protested that he shouldn't be blamed for the jobs lost during his first 11 months. What if you apply that rule to President Obama?

By Dylan Matthews July 9, 2012