THE BLOG
04/06/2016 05:48 pm ET Updated Apr 07, 2017

How Much Money Will You Have in Your Pocket Under Each Candidate?

CO-AUTHORED WITH

Emily Stephens is CEO of Gravity Switch and an independent researcher. She studied economics and international women's health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

David Rosnick is an Economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Like many of you, we were initially excited by the calculator Vox posted here, which claims to show how each candidate's tax plan affects you.

The Vox calculator is not necessarily wrong in terms of taxes, but it's misleading.

Voters deserve better, so we built an alternative. Go try it for yourself at The Nation.

While understanding your tax burden is important, it doesn't tell you much about your overall economic well-being. Our calculator estimates numbers that matter much more - your after-tax take-home pay. With some candidates proposing taxes to fund programs like Sanders's Medicare-for-All, including healthcare in the equation is necessary. Spending on health insurance represents a significant amount of the total compensation employers pay. Thus, including healthcare provides a more realistic picture of your after-tax take-home pay. This is the money we get to spend on the things we care about.

Let's run through an example. Let's assume you're a family of four (married with two kids), with a median household income of $55,000 - right around the current median household income in the U.S.

Vox's calculator tells us that your taxes will be lower under Trump and Cruz, they'll stay the same under Clinton, and under Senator Sanders you'll pay thousands more in taxes. Relevant numbers tell a very different story.

When you run the same numbers in our calculator, and while the results are very similar for Clinton, Cruz, and Trump, there is a stark difference under Sanders - your take home pay could increase by over $5,000 under this scenario.

But how could that be you ask? See our full explanation in The Nation.