Much talk lately about the proposed tax cuts, and debate about who the winners and losers will be. Forty-five percent of the citizens of this country pay no federal tax. They have already won. Those who pay a small amount of tax will likely join the ranks of those who pay nothing. So 45 percent will likely rise to 50 percent, plus or minus. Another group of winners.

Fox News reports that the average American taxpaying family will save about $1,200/year on their tax bill. An average family is a married couple with two children, and likely family income of about $70,000. Others of us may save more or less, depending. Single people, likely less. Married with no children, likely less. More children, more savings, probably. Lots of variables, but if you're average, count on $1,200. So, another winner.

Now to the filthy rich. No decrease in the top taxpayer rate 39.6 percent. So are they losers? So let's take Bill Gates. Billionaire, owns tons of Microsoft stock, has a huge income. No tax cut for Bill. But wait. Under the proposed legislation, the corporate tax rate goes from 35 percent to 20 percent. So, let's say, just numbers, that Microsoft makes $1 billion this year, pretax earnings. They pay Uncle Sam $350 million in taxes, and retain $650 million in the firm. So, after the tax cut, the same one billion in pretax profit creates a tax liability of $200 million, and Microsoft keeps $800 million.

Because Microsoft is now a more profitable company, its stock price rises, say $100 a share. So, the five million shares of Microsoft that Bill owns creates a windfall of $500 million, that, by the way, is not taxed because it is a paper profit until he sells his stock. Now multiple that by all those in the top 1 percent who share the top rung of the ladder with Mr. Gates.

One more thing, remember the presidential election last year when the Clintons released their tax return. Remember what their marginal personal tax rate was? Under 15 percent. Obama's was about 17 percent, and the last time we saw Mitt Romney's return, he was at 15 percent too. Wealthy people have resources available to them that everyday people don't. Accountants, lawyers, tax advisers, etc. They also benefit from loopholes in the tax code for the high earners, loopholes that most cannot use. So, winners?

Tom Colvin

Auburn

Outbrain