Many Americans simply don't understand how tax brackets work. If you're an accountant, you'll get this quiz right. If you follow tax policy closely, you'll get this quiz right. If you do your own taxes and pay attention to how the numbers work, rather than just following instructions blindly, you'll get this quiz right. Otherwise, I bet you'll get it wrong.
You need to understand this key component of tax policy to participate intelligently in the crucial political debates that lie ahead. Conservatives have been counting on your confusion about this issue for decades; disappoint them.
For the quiz, we'll stick to a simple example. The core principles apply to other situations as well.
Consider taxpayers whose filing status is single and whose income is all regularly taxable (they earn no money from qualified dividends and long-term capital gains). Let's consider the taxable income for those taxpayers -- the income after all deductions have been applied. In the year 2012, the 25% tax bracket applies to taxable income between $35,350 and $85,650. Suppose that tax bracket were to keep the same boundaries in 2013, but the tax rate were to go up to 28% for that tax bracket. Please take the poll as if it were a quiz; I'll put the answer in the comments.