Unexpectedly Intriguing!
January 1, 2008

Pay up, fool! Uncle Sam wants you. More specifically, Uncle Sam wants what's in your wallet and we don't mean that Capital One card! No, he's after a good-sized portion of that paycheck of yours. That's why we've created the tool below to help you find out just what's left in your wallet after Uncle Sam has stripped it and you of many of your honestly earned dollars! And your dignity. And maybe even a bit of your desire to work to have an income in the first place.

Don't take it personally, because Uncle Sam doesn't really care enough about you to be out to get you. Unless you're holding out on him, that is! In which case, you can expect a visit from your friendly neighborhood IRS agent. Because politicians like U.S. Representative Dave Hobson (R) want to subsidize big corporations/political campaign contributors provide economic development funding for a new gas station and take-out restaurant to fund economic development in their districts, because the projects will be named after them and they will get more campaign contributions *they* care (HT: Captain's Quarters).

That could be worse. Hobson is a piker compared to such pork-barrel politicians economic development experts such as U.S. Representative Jack Murtha (D), who often has the problem of his closest colleagues not even knowing if the organizations he seeks to fund even exist, much less being able to demonstrate if any of the projects funded by the hand-selected recipients of the money from your wallet are truly effective at achieving their stated goals (HT: Democracy Project).

We could go on. We really could. But we need to get onto the business of figuring out how much of your paycheck will be left after politicians like these are done showing how much they really care. Just enter the basic data indicated below and we'll work out how much the federal government will be extracting directly from each one of your paychecks in 2008!

Update (1 January 2009): The 2009 version of this tool is now online!


Basic Pay Information
Input Data Values
Current Annual Pay ($USD)
Pay Period
Federal Withholding Information
Filing Status
Number of Withholding Allowances
401(k) or 403(b) Contributions
Pre-Tax Contributions (%)
After Tax Contributions (%)
Flexible Spending Account Options
Annual Contribution to Health Care Spending Account
Annual Contribution to Dependent Care Spending Account
What if you had a raise?
Desired Raise (%)















Basic Income Data
Calculated Results Values
Proposed Annual Salary ($USD)
Typical Paycheck Amount ($USD)
Federal Tax Withholding Amounts
U.S. Federal Income Taxes ($USD)
U.S. Social Security Taxes ($USD)
U.S. Medicare Taxes ($USD)
401(k) or 403(b) Contributions
Pre-Tax Contributions ($USD)
After-Tax Contributions ($USD)
Total Contributions ($USD)
Flexible Spending Account Contributions
Health Care Spending Account ($USD)
Dependent Care Spending Account ($USD)
Take Home Pay Estimate
Net Paycheck Amount ($USD)

Now that you've seen your bottom line, at least through the federal level, does that make the government's spending on things like this seem like a really good way of putting your hard earned dollars to work for the public good? Remember, as far as professional politicians, government bureaucrats and political lobbyists are concerned, you're not paying "taxes", you're making valuable "contributions" and "investments" for which you really need to show them some gratitude! Maybe by letting them put their names on the boondoggles projects they fund....

Elsewhere on the Web

There are other paycheck calculators like this on the Internet, including the superior tools available at PaycheckCity.com. We really like PaycheckCity's tools because they allow you to determine the amount of state income tax withholding that will be taken out of your paycheck as well as what the federal government extracts.

Then again, if you live in one of the nine states that have no personal income tax (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington or Wyoming), our 2008 Paycheck Estimator will provide you with a very good estimate of your actual take-home pay.

About the 2008 Paycheck Estimator

Political Calculations' 2008 Paycheck Estimator will determine the amount of U.S. Federal Income, Social Security and Medicare taxes to be withheld for wages and salaries earned in 2008, as determined through the percentage method outlined in the IRS's Employer's Tax Guide (Publication 15 Circular E, which is available online.)

The paycheck estimator also takes into account the amount of pre-tax 401(k) or 403(b) plan contributions you make as well as your pre-tax flexible spending account contributions for health care and dependent care expenses before figuring the amount of taxes to withhold.

Political Calculations' 2008 Paycheck Estimator will also determine the net amount of pay left over after all these adjustments to your basic income. And the best part: if you get a raise, you can even see how much more money that will mean to you each pay period - to the best of our knowledge, this is still the only paycheck estimating tool on the web that can do this for you!

Go ahead - give yourself a raise today!

Previously on Political Calculations


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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

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