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Matching up your interests to the candidate

Taxes are on everyone's minds these days, it seems, as Republicans and Democrats duke it out: Where are Mitt Romney's tax returns? Is the individual mandate a tax? What's going on with the Bush Tax Cuts?

The website Politify breaks down the real question we should be asking when it comes to the tax debate: whose tax plan would benefit me? Politify describes itself as "a platform that provides Americans with data-backed financial projections of political scenarios."

Essentially, the minds behind the site -- a team of UC Berkeley students -- have collected relevant data through the U.S. Census and IRS, parsed through it, and created an easy-to-use tool to help answer the question "What candidate best serves our individual interests?"

Politify is broken down into three sections:

  • The personal tab lets individual users enter their own information—age, income, number of dependents—and see which candidate's tax plan would have the greatest affect on the user's income. 
  • The local part of the site contains an interactive color-coded map that shows whose tax plan benefits what areas in the country.
  • The national section shows an overall breakdown of Obama's and Romney's plans, and how each would affect the national deficit and average households across the country.

The "local" map is the most interesting part of the whole project. If you zoom out to view the whole country, you'll see an overwhelming amount of blue (for Obama). The orange areas, which represents areas that benefit from Romney's plan, are sparse and spread out. You can also click on specific cities and see a comparison by percentage of whose plan benefits the residents. 

The most noticeable orange splotch on the map is up in Alaska: according to the data, 91 percent of Fairbanks and 85 percent of Anchorage would benefit from Romney's tax plan.

So whose tax plan would benefit you? You may be surprised (most of Manhattan would benefit from Romney's plan), or maybe it'll be just what you expect.