Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Apparently, people who make more than $250,000 per year do not consider themselves to be wealthy, despite being in the top 2% of all income brackets. A writer for the Baltimore Sun received many irate emails after a column discussing Barack Obama's tax plan, which would increase taxes only for this top 2% of earners. Mostly, the complaints were of the "by the time I pay the mortgage, 3 kids private school tuitions, etc, $250,000 is not wealthy" school of thought. I think the complainers missed the point. Private school tuitions are a luxury. A large house with an equally large mortgage, ditto. The fact that you spend everything you make does not mean you aren't wealthy. 98% of american families make less; some much much less. If you make $250,000 a year, you are indeed fortunate. That you might be taxed on your good fortune seems to anger many in that bracket. I don't get it. The phrase "you can't get blood from a stone" seems to come to mind. Who is going to pay taxes? People who have no money for food or shelter? People in bankruptcy? People making minimum wage? The money has to come from somewhere. Consider your taxes "civic karma". In this case, the tax burden is not equal. But it is fair.