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Agree on politics vs. reasonable logic. But what political logic led to them being different?

The Senate and House had different versions of tax reform. I forget many of the details, but one of them eliminated the 0% capital gains/qualified dividends rate, and they had different break points for ordinary income brackets. When the 0% rate was added back in the final compromise that became law, it carried its own bracket from a version that didn't have ordinary income brackets changing at the same point. That landed in a slightly different place than ordinary income bracket change, due to coming through a different legislative compromise process and Congress not caring much about making things simple, logical, or internally consistent.

TL/DR: It's because of the sausage-making process that creates tax law.

"He who loves sausage and the law should not watch either being made."

I have $43050 of ordinary income.
I can have 77200 + 24000 - 43050 = 58150 of LTCG and pay zero LTCG tax.
The 43050 will have 1905 of tax = (43050 - 24000) * 10%

Now ignoring the very slight difference in tax brackets (77400 for AGI and 77200 for cap gains).
An additional dollar of ordinary income will be taxed at 12%
An additional dollar of ltcg will be taxed at 15%

Is this correct?


A fine point for analytical purposes: Suppose you have $43050 of taxable ordinary income and $58150 of LTCG & qualified dividends, placing you right at the top of the 0% bracket for LTCG/QDIVs. Another $100 of LTCG/QDIV generates $15 in tax. Another $100 of ordinary income generates $27 in tax, $12 on the ordinary income and $15 for pushing $100 of the LTCG/QDIVs into the 12% bracket.
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