$250,000 is Closer Than You Think

One of the greatest weapons in the GOP’s arsenal in the battle for the White House is Joe Biden’s mouth.

Biden says he and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama want to “take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people.”

Under the Democrats’ economic plan, people earning more than $250,000 a year would pay more in taxes while those earning less — the vast majority of American taxpayers — would receive a tax cut.

Biden told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that, in his words, “it’s time to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”

I don’t make it now, but I hope to someday thanks to the Wife’s income. What Joe doesn’t realize is that for many Americans, a quarter of a million a year is imaginable. While our household is nowhere near that number, we can imagine it; it’s not like the CEO salaries we read about where they take home tens and hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Even winning the lottery won’t net you annual salaries like those.

But a quarter of a million could be a combined household of two IT managers, or a vet and a vet tech, or a lawyer and a school teacher, a household that owns a small business or numerous other combinations. Note that at this level we are not talking about the idle rich; even $250k worth of investments will not net you more than $25,000-$50,000 annual income, so $250,000 is income from those working and contributing to society.

$250,000 is within the realm of possibility, and by redefining the wealthy at that level the Democrats prove once again why their message of “socking it to the rich” usually fails. I’m all for punishing those who took no risks and yet received all the rewards before the latest economic meltdown, but not by setting the “wealth” bar at such a low level.

Meanwhile Joe gives a measly $369 a year to charity on his income of $319k. People earning that income average $40,000. I don’t know about the average, but I make far less than Joe and give away roughly 4 times that a year.

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  1. spudmom:

    Most families earning over $250,000 work far more than 40 hours per week. If your employer told you that you would be paid $15 an hour for up to 40 hours, but any overtime would only be paid at $10, how many of you would sign up for overtime? That’s Obama’s tax plan; cut the pay of the most productive workers (remember, it’s an income tax, not a wealth tax) and give them less of an incentive to produce anything beyond $250,000. For professionals, they may cut their office hours (reducing staff.) For businesses, it may mean not bothering to spend the extra effort to open that second location or not hiring the teenager on the weekends to do the odd jobs. Economic growth is created by rapid movement of money; when the government takes its cut, it keeps the people from making spending choices in their own best interest and puts that decision making in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. More of that is the last thing this country needs.

  2. dagwud:

    It’s in the realm of possibility, but I think you’re overestimating how much veterinarians make. Only 10% (about 6,200) in the US made over $133K in 2006, and 75% made less than $95,000, according to BLS reports. I think your other examples are much more likely and better support the argument. I’m not saying that it’s not possible, but those of us who’ve worked in vet clinics probably see it as unlikely.

  3. Scott Kirwin:

    Hmph. I’m surprised to learn that. I had heard that veterinary school was tougher to get into than med school and assumed that salaries would reflect that. My bad.

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