Hey everyone, I am leaning toward Bernie at the moment. I also hold a public office locally, and saw something interesting happen while I was running for office, and see the same thing happening now in regards to M4A, so I thought I'd drop some fairly obvious knowledge on you that may help you win and argument or sway a skeptical voter.
While percentages are generally the best way to represent numbers (because they normalize the scale) they are also hard for some people to understand, and easy for others to take advantage of.
What I'm specifically talking about is adding percentages. I don't know what the supposed added tax is for M4A, but I saw 14% on another thread, so I'm going to go with that here. The actual number is irrelevant.
As a scare tactic, people will say "You taxes will go up by 14%!!!" Now, what many, many people do in their heads is think "well shit, I already by 30% of my gross pay in taxes, so now I'll have to pay 44%!!! NO WAY!"
As I said, it should be obvious why this is wrong, but it's not to a lot of people. Of course, a 14% increase means 145 more than you're paying now. So, if you are paying 30% of your pay in taxes, a 14% increase is (30% + (14% of 30%) = (30% + 4.2%) = 34.2%
This seems stupid to some of you I'm sure, but it's real. I had a local town administrator tell the community at a public meeting that since a budget went up 7% each year, it had gone up 28%, when in reality it had gone up 31%. Using small numbers like 7% can mask the issue, because the difference really is small, but when you're talking larger numbers like 14% and 30%, as you can see above the difference in actual amounts and what people perceive can be large.
To put a finer point on it, take a person that makes $ 75k/year. @ 30% they are currently paying $ 22,500 in taxes. If they don't understand how adding percentages works, they could *think* they are going to pay 44% or $ 33,000, when in reality to would be 34.2% or $ 25,650.
Sorry if this was rambling, I"m having trouble getting my point across. I guess bottom line is, don't let numbers scare people.