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The point I am trying to make is that the after tax Roth IRA and pretax IRA or 401K are identical when the tax rates are the same now as in retirement.

Hence, as you say, Roth IRA is clearly better if you have a low tax rate now and hope to have a high one in retirement (if your investments do as well as you hope they will). IRA/401K is actually better if your tax rate is high now but you expect to be retired at much lower rates.

The bottom line is both are excellent programs. One is slightly better than the other if you correctly anticipate the future, but it may not be worth worrying about.

Best is max 'em all if you can. The hassles of trying to split hairs and decide which is slightly better in your particular case may not be worth the effort.
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