Fun with Numbers

Even though the IRS moved the tax deadline to next month, I’m calling it for the home team and shutting down that part of my brain. I’m absolutely convinced that extensions were established to allow people in the financial services industry a little breather. I thought we’d do a little fun with numbers today since we haven’t done that in a while.

Let’s kick things off with some fun Federal tax numbers:

• For the year 2021, individuals are expected to contribute $1.932 trillion tax dollars to the US Treasury versus $284 trillion from corporations.

• For perspective, roughly 10% of people ages 25 to 55 don’t pay income taxes while more than 80% of those age 75 or older don’t need to pay taxes (which is completely different than filing their taxes, which they probably should to ensure they are eligible for various program benefits…). 

• The personal Federal median tax rate is about 14 1/2 % (give or take and based on 2017 numbers). The median corporate rate for the companies in the S&P 500 (on roughly $874 billion dollars of annual revenue) is less than 18% (down from 23% and this includes state taxes – the pure Fed number wasn’t available). What would you do with an extra $43.7 billion?

How about some cost of living fun facts:

• $24/hour: The minimum wage if we matched the economy’s productivity growth, as it did until 1968. We’ve already talked about the fact that Geneva’s minimum wage exceeds $19/hour.

• $3 billion: The amount of Paycheck Protection Program dollars received by 200 Catholic dioceses and related institutions. Not for nothing but an organization that owns perhaps as much as $837 million dollars of US property and pays no real estate tax (or other tax for that matter) probably shouldn’t be cashing a PPP check.

• $8/mos: Totally unrelated but piqued my interest—Scotland is the only country in the world that provides school-age and low-income women free period products. The estimated cost is $8/mos which equals about one hour of take-home pay at minimum wage. 

On to life in general numbers:

• It’s safer to deliver a child in Sudan than it is in parts of the US from a maternal mortality perspective. They barely have roads in Sudan but they can keep their moms alive….I guess I’d have to say this is one area I’d prefer to Make America Great, Again (because I know how to use punctuation…).

• There have been 141 mass shootings and 1,991 gun-related deaths reported to the Gun Violence Archive so far in 2021. Since the annual number of firearms manufactured in the US is 9,052,600, I’m actually surprised that number isn’t higher—still appalled though.

• Americans spent $99 billion on their pets in 2020 with an average of $1,063 spent on non-food items. This one made me laugh out loud. I tell my cats I love them every morning when I leave but there is no way I am spending that much on treats and toys—they can have the cardboard toilet paper roll and be happy about it. 

In closing, for those who don’t think numbers are fun:

• The volume of a cylinder is PI times the radius squared times the height, which means the formula for a pizza reads: PI*z*z*a 

We’ll tackle something more serious next week but now you all have a little tidbit to throw out there during your first post-vaccine cocktail party.