Apropos of the "cliff" negotiations. When someone makes you an unacceptable offer, do you cower? Or do you push back?
Here's one story, told by Roman author Aulus Gellius:
An old woman, a perfect stranger, came to king Tarquin the Proud, bringing nine books; she declared that they were oracles of the gods and that she wished to sell them.And another story. My aunt used to run an antique shop. A guy came in and asked about something, which she'd priced at $100:
Tarquin inquired the price; the woman demanded an immense and exorbitant sum: the king laughed her to scorn, believing her to be in her dotage. Then she placed a lighted brazier before him, burned three of the books to ashes, and asked whether he would buy the remaining six at the same price. But at this Tarquin laughed all the more and said that there was now no doubt that the old woman was crazy.
Upon that the woman at once burned up three more books and again calmly made the same request, that he would buy the remaining three at the original figure. Tarquin now became serious and more thoughtful, and realising that such persistence and confidence were not to be treated lightly, he bought the three books that were left at as high a price as had been asked for all nine.
Him: "How about $70?"
Her: "Sorry, I can't go any lower."
Him: "???... $80"
Her: "$120. And I'll keep raising the price the more you try to haggle."
There's room to push back. The income limit could be lowered from $250K to $200K, or to $150K -- still the income of an undeniably affluent person. The tax rates for the $1m set could still be pushed up. You want them to fear you before they will obey.
I don't hold high hopes for anything like this to happen... but I can dream.