Obama's Top Marginal Tax Rate
I suppose that, for thinking about work incentives, one should add on a few percentage points for state and local taxes as well.
Senator Obama would raise the top individual tax rate back to 39.6 percent, impose an additional 2 to 4 percent tax on earnings for some over the existing Social Security wage cap, and bring back the phase-out of the personal exemption and certain itemized deductions for higher-income taxpayers. When added up, the top effective marginal tax rate rises...from 37.9 percent to roughly 48 to 50 percent. "High" is in the eye of the beholder, but these are tax rates not seen since before the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
Note: These calculations work as follows: (1) 37.9 percent equals the current 35 percent top income tax rate plus the current 2.9 percent Medicare tax rate; and (2) 48 to 50 percent equals Obama's 39.6 percent top income tax rate plus the 2.9 percent Medicare tax rate plus his additional 2-to-4 percent hike in the Social Security tax rate plus an additional roughly 4.5 percent for the phase-out of personal exemption and certain itemized deductions.