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<< actually nothing is done at the marginal rate... everything is done at the effective rate. But the effective rate varies based on the exact dollar amount you make, and it is alot harder to explain to people who think of themselves "in the 28% bracket".

I think everyone is using the marginal rate because it is easy to do. I also think the results are useless. ;P >>

That's absurd, and I know you know that. Many things are done at the marginal rate because every added dollar of income within a bracket costs you that bracket's rate in added taxes. I refuse to believe you're so blinded by love of the effective rate that you can't see that, so why do you persist in ignoring it?

<<As far as the rate at retirement matching the rate at contribution, I think anyone who is *planning* for their retirement is not going to take too much of a tax bracket reduction after retirement. Most people who care what happens to themselves after retirement have a large amount of money saved away outside an IRA. Have you thought about what is going to happen to the tax rates when SS becomes a problem? Are you expecting tax rates to go *down* long term??? >>

Another point we can agree on. Rates will go up. How? Who knows. Watch for the worst in the way of a flat tax, value added tax, or combination. In that case, we'll all feel the crunch.

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