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View Diary: The Scandal of Our Retirement System (117 comments)

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  •  Still part of the 99% (1+ / 0-)
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    Notreadytobenice

    Where you slot a family making $180K/year depends a lot on where you live.  In NYC, LA, SF, DC, Boston, it's not a lot of money.  In all of those places, you would be living in a house below (and perhaps half the size of) the average American home (and probably not in the best neighborhood).    

    This is one of those phenomenon that rears its head every four years when Democratic candidates start talking about raising taxes on households making more than $250K, which they should, Republicans start talking about means testing Medicare and Social Security even more than they already do, and the members of the media who primarily live in the cities mentioned above wonder aloud how $250K makes a person "rich."  

    As Paul Krugman put it, it's really about the 99.9% v. the top 0.1%.  One of the traps Republicans seem to be convincing Democrats to fall into is piting urban dwellers making $200-500K against everyone else, in order to distraction from the truly wealthy.  Means testing Social Security is a complete canard.  The number of people for whom Social Security is unimportant is so small that the savings would be de minimus.  Better to eliminate the caps.  

    I'd also love to see numbers on the number of households that earn $200K+ at some point.  Another problem with that talkig point that I have often wondered about is what percent made or anticipates making that amount, so that it feels like an overly inclusive number.  Again, it's a distraction from the capital gains, estate taxes, and carried interest issues.  

    Lastly, and nobody likes to point this out, as much as we should create one or two additional tax brackets at the top and increase the rates on the superwealthy, we just cannot accomplish what needs to get done without increasing everyone's taxes a little (i.e. the Clinton Era rates).  There just isn't enough money at the top to fund the infrastructure, research, education, and safety nets programs we need.

    "No Gov. Romney, corporations are not people, and that matters... because we don't run this country for corporations; we run it for people." -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Schul on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 05:18:14 PM PST

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    •  The wiki link says 2.3 million households... (0+ / 0-)

      between $200-$250K and 2.8 million >$250K.

      These are 2011 numbers.

    •  Thought the "Clinton era rates" are in effect. n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Only for households with incomes over 450K (1+ / 0-)
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        Notreadytobenice

        The Bush rates were made permanent for everyone else.  Truthfully, this is where Democrats pander too much.  While you definitely do not want to increase taxes in the current economic climate for the middle class, the fact is that we cannot charge the bottom 98% (or 99%) the current rates and maintain the services and military that we do (and while we may need to reign-in military spending, doing so will slow the economy).  

        Strategically, it was probably okay to raise taxes on the wealthy and freeze them for everyone else, if only because the next time we decide to raise taxes, it's almost impossible to think that we would exempt the wealthy from the increases.  

        "No Gov. Romney, corporations are not people, and that matters... because we don't run this country for corporations; we run it for people." -- Elizabeth Warren

        by Schul on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:23:10 PM PST

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