Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year for individuals who earn $200,000, or families making over $250,000. That’s $125,000 each, if you’re married. Or barely above the poverty line, if you live in a place like New York City.
It’s not unreasonable to see how someone making this kind of money can be struggling to get by as the sole proprietor of a small business, you’re not only paying federal, state and New York’s city-level tax (as high as 12.62% in the top bracket), but also both employer and employee shares of Social Security tax, Medicaid, and all the rest. That’s in addition to the constantly increasing taxes and service costs on virtually everything in NYC.
Where does it all go? If the New York Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency is to be believed: “Office of Mental Retardation third largest overtime spender in New York State,” proclaims task-force Chairman Jeffrey Klein.
It was things like this—like the inability of the state of New York to keep their hands off my hard-earned money and limit their "Office of Mental Retardation" activities to normal working hours—that personally drove me out of NYC.
One out of every seven New York City taxpayers did likewise, and we were earning more than the new taxpayers who will ultimately replaced us, according to a 2009 report by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.
So what can we learn from these lessons? First, that $125,000 gross income per person isn’t “rich,” as Obama would have us believe. He’s running a federal government now, not organizing one of his communities. What is “rich” in one part of America is “poor” in another. He has mused about letting the Bush tax cuts expire—which they will, if Congress doesn’t get around to extending them by the end of this year. And judging by their inability to get much done at all, I can’t say that I would hold out much hope—especially if, as seems likely, the Democrats get hammered in the November midterms and decide to give the electorate one final middle-finger on their way out the door. In allowing the cuts to lapse, Obama would effectively raise income tax on the top two brackets by up to 5%.
Obama often cites a need for these “top 2.5% of earners” to do their share. So on the penthouse level of the massive American social hierarchy that looms so large in Obama’s brain, millionaires are actually mingling and eating crispy crabcakes with those topping out at $125,000?