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I'm wrecked. Just saw Michael Steele on Hardball.

I'm paraphrasing here but this is essentially what he said, "for a family of four, $250k, even adjusted gross, that's not rich, divided by 12."

I'd like to divide 250k/12, carry the two, put it into a sock and smack Michael Steele over the head with it.

Chris Matthews, who I like off and on, replied with, "depends on where you live". Joy Reid seemed the only sane one, reminding that 250k was the top 6%.
This is what we're left with. Our US Conress and the national media, whether right wing or progressive, are all in the top 5% and so far removed from the lives of working people. Both Steele and Matthews, who presumably understand the poverty level is $22000/yr for a family of 4, don't see those making more than 10x that as rich.
I'm despairing of ever seeing truly progressive media or governing with the growing income gap between the 80/20%, never mind the 98/2%.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The idea that $250K/year (25+ / 0-)

    is not rich is complete and utter hogwash. I grew up in a family of three that, for a time, made something like $15K/year. When we started making $20-30K/year, we felt wealthy.

    And no, it doesn't "depend on where you live." Complete bullshit.

    Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

    by Chrislove on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:52:56 PM PST

  •  This must be the latest GOP talking point (14+ / 0-)

    I heard some wag on NPR this afternoon saying essentially the same thing. "If you live in Brooklyn or DC or San Francisco $250k is barely middle class". Seriously.

    "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

    by Richard Cranium on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:55:22 PM PST

  •  OMG this without a warning: (21+ / 0-)
    I'd like to divide 250k/12, carry the two, put it into a sock and smack Michael Steele over the head with it.
    Pass the screen cleaner, please.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:01:07 PM PST

  •  Well, I have a family of 2, living on 22k/yr (16+ / 0-)

    It ain't much, be we could take care of 10-12 families for $250k.

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:03:51 PM PST

  •  They said not rich and they are correct. (10+ / 0-)

    If you want to talk reality then stop distorting it.  A percentile ranking only makes someone rich in the world of percentages, not experience or, if you want, reality.  As the gap between classes has widened what defines the middle class has stretched enormously and very much depends on where you live.  If you live in West L.A., a family of 4 making 250 a year is more properly defined as upper middle class than rich.  That family has more in common with a true middle class family than with a truly rich family with an income of a couple of million or more.  

    •  Steele was talking adjusted gross income (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRA NY, nobody at all, Larsstephens

      $21k a month. What's you're reality? Malibu? beachfront?

    •  in expensive cities, I agree (8+ / 0-)

      well off, doing fine, but not RICH

      when rent is many thousands per month for a tiny apartment, it is not rich in the way we think of rich and normally use it.

      But at same time we have to shock ourselves reminding selves that it's about the top 5% of Americans and the whole rest of us are (much) worse off.

      So I'd like, whenever anyone was arguing it is not Rich, that they also remind selves how well off comparitifvely those folks/themselves are.

      Many of my friends fall into that 250K catagory or nearly so. None are rich BUT they ALSO take forgranted thinking they are average (becasue they are surronded by people like themselves). THEY FORGET how the rest of people live.

      It's easy for them to forget. Even Democrats. Even my family (

      •  EVEN IF rent were $5000 a month that still leaves (4+ / 0-)

        more then my sister made in a year with no benefits, no saving for college, a broken down wreck of a car until we gave her one. I lived in CA and it can be very expensive but 21K a month would do it fine. Most were middle class on 50 to 60K.  Which is 1/4 of that per month. In fact, at that time the newspaper came out with articles about the average income in Contra Costa County where I lived as being around  21000 a year.

        At least until Prop 13 which benefited the  rich and corporate landowners over private homeowners. Because the rich and corps seldom moved. When they built new homes in CA, to make up for the revenue loss, they tacked the cost onto buying a home. I worked at the water wastewater plant as a chemist. I saw the fee for connecting a new home go from 1500 to 13000 for each service in 3 years. When you add in building fees jumping like mad because somethings gotta pay for roads, bridges, police, schools expanding equipment and structure costs you are probably actually in the range of 75000 and up for services that used to be paid for by everyone, not just the new buyers on the block. You could have a couple with identical houses... One paid barely 800 a year and someone who came later (usually younger and broker) and bought the same house paid 3500. Corporations were doing even better. And then like Romney maybe you could hire a lawyer and get you purchase valuation lowered so your basis was lower. Houses just kept escalating in costs. And most of that rise was because  people wanted a ride on the backs of the newcomers.

        Fear is the Mind Killer...

        by boophus on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:58:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  more than me too...but still not rich in the way (0+ / 0-)

          at least I grew up using the I think we all did

          wonder if you even read my whole post. I was only commenting on the use of the word Rich for someone in NYC say who makes 250k

          I lived off less than a tenth of that myself last year. Also in a major city. Believe me I get it.

          I was making a semantic argument. Calling that level of wealth RICH clouds the issue for people. They are well off but not RICH in my mind as I've always thought of the word.
          I did not argue that their taxes should not go up. I think they should. Can't put it on the backs of the poor.

      •  Lived in NYC for half a decade with rent in the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, mumtaznepal, mdmslle

        thousands on an income of $50k.

        What were we? Poor?

        This entire question is a joke. By any reasonable standard, ANYWHERE, $250k is RICH.

        -9.63, 0.00
        I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

        by nobody at all on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:27:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  we just disagree on the semantics, then (0+ / 0-)

          i live on one tenth of that myself.

          There are a significant percentage of Americans who do not think 250K range in major city is "rich" but just "well off". So, when we talk about raising income on the 'rich' and 250 k as cut off they bristle and shut their mind.

          it expands the chance of dialogue to get them to acknowledge that their income is in the top two or five percent...Rich when compared to the rest of the people in the US

          including myself, Im living of less than one tenth of that amt.

          I always think of someone like Romney when i think "rich'

          •  That's stretching the bounds of "rich" (0+ / 0-)

            One way to think of being rich:

            Did you eat today?
            Do you own a pair of shoes?
            Do you own a change of clothing?
            Do you have somewhere safe to sleep?

            Okay.  You're rich.

            •  for me, depends on context (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox

              I am "poor" according to American standards
              yet rich when I think of the billions without clean water
              enough food and the other things in your post.

              it's just symantics as I said. If we want the most AMericans possible to listen and get why Dems want taxes to go up on incomes abouve 250K we might do better not calling ALL of those people 'rich" if they don't feel that way themselves.

              Still they need to get how good they have it. We can all use the reminder even those of us who make 1/10th of that or less.

    •  They're correct, but not about inequality (7+ / 0-)

      Your point is well taken.  That said, it is splitting hairs since it doesn't matter where you live, there are many people living waaaay below the 250K income level...probably about 95% of people.  What gets me about the location comment: there are poor and working class people in LA, Philly, NYC, too.  I also don't buy the argument about the 250k family.  Do they have more in common with a family living on 50K year (1/5th of their income)?  I'd argue that the power of disposable income at that level of difference radically affects opportunity and lifestyle in profound ways.

  •  these people are gross (0+ / 0-)
  •  Lifestyle inflation is a bummer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you list out all the things that they "have to" have, I think that most of us here would find a number of things that aren't important to us.

    But of course he thinks can't earn that money without a lifestyle that puts him in touch with even richer people.

    Active Listening practiced here.

    by CA coastsider on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:18:39 PM PST

  •  The concentration of wealth in this country .. (18+ / 0-)

    is not caused by people making $250k.  It is caused by people making $25 million.  

    When many GOPers hear $250k, they think of someone they know like a doctor or a successful two-income couple.  They figure that the $250k person is working really hard and doesn't deserve to be villified.

    The focus needs to stay on the folks who are getting $25 million a year and only paying 15%, not the people who are making $250k and paying 40% marginal tax rates.

    No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. - Edmund Burke

    by AdirondackForeverWild on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:28:19 PM PST

  •  making it work here in the burbs (6+ / 0-)

    of chicago on 60-70 grand.  we have two small kids.  we seem to be making it.  currently looking to move - have to unload our house - super cute smaller house in the family circles' best town to raise children in.  we want to move closer to my husbands work and where i work will be closer but lately i have been home with the kids, only working when other docs need some time off.  
    life is complicated.  250,000 seems like a ton of money to us but i can imagine that if we had it it wouldn;t be too hard to blow through it. i don't know if people who make 250,000 are rich or not but i know that you don't have to make it to feel like it.  i have two great kids and a wonderful husband.  lucky girl i am.

    We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams. - Peter S. Beagle

    by jk2003 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:07:09 PM PST

  •  Ask some of DK folks who live in SF or Berkeley (10+ / 0-)

    or Boston or NYC or LA.  

    A family with an income of $250 k per year may be "rich" but many of them sure aren't living anything like what most people would consider a rich or wealthy lifestyle.

    It all depends on your individual family's circumstances.

    Take a  55-year-old married couple living in the SF Bay Area with 2 college-age children.  Total family income = $250,000.  Two well-educated professionals can be making incomes that add up to that without being plastic surgeons or TV tort attorneys.  Both police and firefighters in SF have base salaries over $100 k, with many earning much more due overtime.  Many public high school teachers in SF make over 90k.  Experienced nurses in the Bay Area make $90-100k,  So say a pharmacologist and a nurse, or a public health clinic doc and a cop,  

    They will pay around $50,000 in Fed income taxes, $15,000 in state taxes, $15,000 in Soc Sec/Medi-Care taxes.  So they have $180,000 of real money to play with each year,

     The median home price in SF is $705,000.  Even in Daly City, a very modest bedroom community south of SF, the median is $490,000.  In South Berkeley, the poorest part of the city, it is over $500,000.  In the Berkeley Hills or Claremont areas, where the most affluent generally live, you will find some very nice houses, and some very ordinary ones.  One does not get the impression you are in a particularly wealthy neighborhood, though the avg home price is above $1 million.

    So let's say they own a house worth $650,000 in a less attractive part of SF or in the Berkeley flats.  The house will be in the range of 1500 to 1800 sq ft.   Their monthly interest payments will be around $2,900/mo, or $35,000/yr.  Their property tax will be around $11,000 per year, insurance $2,000, utilities $4,000.  They are now over $50,000/yr for housing alone.

    These costs will remain fixed for years, perhaps long after their peak earnings years are past.

    Then they have those two kind, smart children in college, one at a UC, the second at a good small liberal arts college.  There's $75k for college expenses.  

    They are now down to $55,000 year.  They each drive a Toyota Camry, 3 years old,  Car payments, registration, and insurance add up to $10,000.  Public transport or gas/tolls = $1,000/yr.

    $5,000 for food expenses

    They are now under $40,000.

    Then there are expenses for appliances, computers, household repairs and maintenance, internet-cable, cell phones, and medical.  These can vary a lot, but are likely going to in the $4-$8k range.

    Maybe since they are getting close to retirement age they would like to fund their 401k (unless they are cops or teachers they probably have a crappy or non-existent pension).  Say $10k each.

    As do many households in their 50s, there may be an aging parent who needs some assistance to avoid putting them into a nursing home.  Full time care by unlicensed care givers is around $50,000 per year, but these folks are fortunate to have three siblings who can also each chip in $12,500/yr.

    There balance sheet is essentially zero now.

    What would a realistic amount be for recreation, gifts, books, and travel?

    None of these expenses are extraordinary, or even very unlikely.  

    Sure, these people live a good life, but they would not appear to be living the rich life many seem to imagine.

    •  there you go--exactly! When you really chip away (4+ / 0-)

      at what it costs to live with all these fairly normal expenses with two kids in college in a major city or suburbs surrounding---you're left with just about ZERO.

      It is both shocking and frightening to really face the numbers.

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:02:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And if you lose your job..... (0+ / 0-)

        you risk losing your house...

        Suddenly one can find themselves earning median household income of 48k.

        I wont begrudge someone earning 250k, 10 million? 50 Million, ok, no problem. They earn money from capital they aren't wage earners.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 12:27:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How poor do you want to be? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The median home price in SF is $705,000.  Even in Daly City, a very modest bedroom community south of SF, the median is $490,000.  In South Berkeley, the poorest part of the city, it is over $500,000. Metro Area Home Prices Show Stronger Increases in Third Quarter, Sales Up
      The national median existing single-family home price was $186,100 in the third quarter, up 7.6 percent from $173,000 in the third quarter of 2011, which is the strongest year-over-year price increase since the first quarter of 2006 when the median price rose 9.4 percent. In the second quarter the price increased 7.2 percent from a year earlier.
      500k - 180k means that someone just offered you 320k to get you to move.  For that kind of money, you can buy a house free and clear in Indianapolis and have dramatically lower living expenses and a six-figure savings account.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:25:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Families earning 30k or 40k (3+ / 0-)

      have likely already lost a job or 3, lost a house. In fact they may be in the bottom quintile, which means they arent even in the middle class, they are working poor.

      For the so called family making 250k..At 250k you havent likely lost a job or a house. Thats all. That same family is one layoff from sliding down that same slope, losing a job, then a house, and the husband is driving a limo for his old workmates, for 45k a year.

      Working and middle class families need to understand they have been ripped off, by folks making 10's of million of dollars a year, and some are not keeping their eyes on the target, instead they hint that the problem is folks making 250k. SO tax them, cause 250k a year is way cool.

      I dont think we should raise taxes on anyone until they make a good 2 million, heres 6 more brackets


      Unless we repeal the Reagan tax cuts and the 1986 tax reform Act. Which is a more complicated issue.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:27:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Think your math may be off... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Be Skeptical

      If you're single making $250k/year, you're paying about $60k/year in federal income tax, $4.5k social security, and $3.5k medicare.

      I'd think being married would reduce income tax to more like $30-40k, with the Bush tax cuts still in effect.  Medicare would be the same and social security would double, so that's about $13k, which is pretty close to your estimate.

      That gives them about $15-20k more per year to work with.  

      With an income that high, odds are they've been saving for college for a while, so they will have been paying that $75k over the past 18 years.  Speaking of savings, they'll probably also have investment income, since they could actually have been saving that $75k/year, maxing out 401k contributions (Their income is high enough that they can't put money in a Roth IRA, and a normal IRA wouldn't be tax deferred).

      Or instead (Or in addition), they may have opted to get a 15- or 20-year mortgage, in which case, they may have the house paid off by now, or almost paid off, assuming they started paying with the first child, and have had relatively constant incomes (Admittedly, they may be making a lot more now than they were 20 years ago).

      Aging parents are certainly an issue - and retirement homes can be quite expensive, even for seniors who don't need nursing care.

      The fact is if you're making that kind of money, and you pace when you pay for major expenses, you have a lot of options, though you certainly still need to be careful.

      •  tried to use realistic estimates (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flying Goat, Roger Fox

        You definitely make some good points.  Depending on past income and circumstances they may have accounted for these expenses years ago and planned for them accordingly.  Of course, many did not...

        Interest rates 10-15 years ago were way, way higher, so a shorter term mortgage would have sucked even more of their income than I show here, as I have used the much lower current rates.

        After their education and training, plenty of professional couples didn't start earning good salaries until they were close to 35 or 40 even.  When they had children, childcare could be very expensive.  

        As far as taxes go, there is obviously a wide range based on circumstances.  I looked at several sources, including this one.

         From PolitiFact: How much taxes do you really pay if you make $250,000/yr?

        I think we can agree that people earning that amount of money, though they may not be living the lush life,  have far more options than most Americans and should probably keep any complaints very quiet,

        •  That's for an individual, not couples (Which makes (0+ / 0-)

          a huge difference), and pretty much matches my number, though I didn't include payroll taxes, since when you say "I make $250k / year", you generally are excluding payroll taxes.

          You're definitely right about interest rates, though with that extra 75k over the years, they still could have pretty easily managed a 15 year mortgage.  Of course, there's also the deduction on mortgage interest, which would have helped.

          Clinton era taxes were a bit higher, too, especially for couples, so would have to tack that on to their income tax from 11+ years back, too.

        •  I know some top 2-3 percenters (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical

          They phonebank for candidates, etc.

          When I wasnt working and Occupy Wallstreet was new, I organized a food drive for Occupy Wallstreet in NJ. My 2-3%ers came thru every week.

          3 of them work in banking, in the Wall Street area, and would risk their jobs becoming involved, so I was like a cutout for them. I delivered 600 meals in 6 weeks, thanks to those 3%ers.

          Now of course I only hang out with liberals, anyway. So I have very little exposure to GOP 3%ers. LOL.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 12:18:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  & if you lose your job (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flying Goat, Be Skeptical

        and find yourself driving a limo or working at  Starbucks....and maybe losing your house ......

        A 250k earner has options yes, but they also have more in common with the median household earning 48k, than the 250k earner has in common with the 10-35 million earner.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 12:22:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Steele specifically said 250k adjusted gross (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox

      which is what set me off. That's after deducting mortgage interest and state taxes. No payroll taxes after $110k. Tuition and retirement savings would also lower the tax bill

      Car repairs and insurance, home repairs, utilities, aging parents, child care, college expenses?? We almost all (98%) struggle with those.

      To me, it's not about being "hateful" (Roger Fox) towards the fortunate, affluent, rich or idle rich, however you want to describe them. It's about being invisible to them.

      •  AGI (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        If you think about it, "gross" can't be after deductions.  Because after deductions would be net, which is the opposite of gross.

        By inspection of Form 1040, AGI is the last number on page 1, carried over as the first number on page 2, and all of the deductions come after that on page 2.

        Ultimately, tax is calculated on (go figure) taxable income.

        "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

        by craiger on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:28:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Invisible yes.... good point. (0+ / 0-)

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 12:10:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It really depends how you define "rich" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madhaus, CA wildwoman, GoGoGoEverton

    Is a person "rich" if they have any money left over after paying for basic needs?  Or do they need a certain amount left over, below which they are not rich?  Maybe an income of $50,000 or $75,000 is rich?  It certainly would be in many parts of the world.

    From my perspective a person is rich if they don't need to work, and can live off income from investments.  If you need to work, then regardless of your income you're not rich.  You have skin in the game, you're vulnerable, and you need to pay attention to what's going on like everyone else.

    •  Critical mass (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, GoGoGoEverton, Roger Fox

      Enough from your investments that you need not work again.  It's a good definition of being wealthy.

    •  so how do you define someone who, for example, (0+ / 0-)

      runs a business or organization that COULD run itself but that they still administrate? And that person's business earns, say, 10 million a month?

      I'd call that rich. Even though there's still "skin in the game" and your still have to work.

      If I had, say, 5 million dollars, I would never need to work again. Ever. Even if I had no investments. Would I be rich? And  what if I was working and earning 5 million a year? Is that rich?

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 04:03:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  *Have to work to provide a decent living (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        was the key there, I think.

        I challenge you to find TWO companies that have consistently profited $120million a year. where there's ONE owner.

        •  well incidentally, I know someone like that. (0+ / 0-)

          If fact I know a couple someones like that.

          One is a internationally renowned dermatologist who has a few NYT best sellers and his own skin care line blah blah...his company, last I checked, was doing about 150 million a year. It's not publicly traded. He owns it.

          The other owns a few gas stations (30 or so). Again, not publicly traded. His. And his own brand in fact. He does 12-15 million a month.

          I know these people personally.

  •  So many hatefull comments about making 250k (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman

    as id they were a problem.

    When in fact families making 48k a year have a tad more in common the family making 250k, than the family making 250k does to a family making a coupla million a year.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:12:14 PM PST

  •  I think for a lot of people (4+ / 0-)

    "rich" means "don't have to work". A household bringing home $250k a year still has to work, since if they lose their jobs, the $250k dries up. True, they've got a helluva cushion, but they're still eventually shit out of luck if they're out of work for too long. Happened to quite a few people in the last few years, actually.

    That said, $250k is well off, and if it's not enough for you, I am happy to provide consultation on how to stretch a paycheck.

    Once again, Republicans show there is no fact that they feel the need to learn. ~ Fordmandalay

    by MeMeMeMeMe on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:21:26 PM PST

  •  Grew up in a $40k/year house (4+ / 0-)

    with 5 kids and knew we were better off than everyone around us.

    Now earn well under that (still trying to live up to dad's example) with 2 kids.

    $250k? I'd be surprised if I ever come close.

    I don't know anyone at that level in my neighborhood. Not anyone. And they own houses and drive cars and send their kids to schools of their choosing.

    Anyone over $250k that thinks they're not rich is the reason (if ever there was one) that the revolution is coming.

    -9.63, 0.00
    I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

    by nobody at all on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:24:26 PM PST

    •  No, they're literally not the reason. The uber (0+ / 0-)

      rich have apparently successfully jaded us so well that we're looking to eat each other and not them.

    •  The problem is the 10+ million a yr earner (0+ / 0-)

      the problem is not the 250k earner.

      A guy making 250k a year is one job loss from working at Starbucks, hoping he can make the mortgage, cause he already ran thru his savings after losing his job in 2009.

      That guy has a lot more in common with the median household of 48k, than the 250k earner has in common with the 10 million a year earner.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 12:06:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Okay, we earn that kind of money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, semiot

    And I live in an expensive part of the country.

    And I would never suggest that we are middle class.  That kind of talk is just silly.  We might live in a middle-class looking house (here's one similar to mine) but it costs a bunch because the school district isn't falling apart and the city still has the funds to fix streets and keep the library open every day.  There are cheaper places to live, and the lack of services shows there.  The lack of money in those neighborhoods will show too, with the cars that won't start and the paint that peels and the lawn that's dead, or cemented over.

    I may not live in the land of private jets and endless dividends, but I won't think for a minute that this makes me middle class.  Anyone in this position who does is rather out of touch with how most Americans live.  And I think the problem is people living like me comparing themselves to how things were 40 years ago... when people who lived like I do now... were middle class.

    The entire bottom 99%, or even 99.9% have lost ground, but that does not make the top 5% middle class.  And I think it's incredibly insulting to those trying to make it on $20-$40K a year to claim your life has much in common with theirs.  For one thing, people earning $20-40K a year, unless they had a bad fall from higher income, don't have large college funds for their kids or retirement accounts for themselves.  Taking those monthly savings out of your income and claiming you no longer have it isn't reasonable.  You still have it.  You choose to save it in tax-deferred accounts.  If you had an emergency you could use them (even with the tax hit).

    Now try to imagine not having them and having the same emergency.

  •  According to the actual handouts that Charlie Bass (0+ / 0-)

    was handing out in 2001 to sell the new idea of cutting taxes for rich people

    The handout also begins with the statement that
    "The President's Tax relief proposal would provide the typical American family with at least $1600 more of their own money. (The typical family is defined as a family of four, with one wage earner who earns $50,000 annually)"

    Then it goes on to state "What $1,600 would Buy:

    * the average mortgage payment for a month
    * One year's tuition at most community colleges
    * The average gasoline costs for two cars for one year"

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