Thursday, December 2, 2010



I heard someone, maybe Chris Hayes, ask someone, maybe Kent Conrad, something like "Why is $250,000 the limit on the Bush tax cut extensions?" Jeez, why haven't we asked that question before? Why have Democrats drawn the line in the sand (ugh, I hate when talking points seep into my writing but sometimes it's the best phrase) at $250,000?

Isn't the tax cut extension to those who make less than $250,000 going to add to the deficit? Yes.

Why is it OK to add to the deficit for those making less than $250,000? Because someone, somewhere decided that $250,000 tops the middle class. Why?

Let's look at this regionally:

Teachers in Texas make about $40,000. Teachers in New Jersey make about $60,000. Houses in Texas are about $200,000 yet houses in New Jersey are about $400,000. An income of $250,000 means something different in Texas than it means in New Jersey.

So why $250,000?

The median family income in 2007 was $50,000. So why don't we say middle class stops at $100,000?

The question is, why are so many saying Obama is caving when they don't even know why he's supposed to be committed to a magic dollar amount? If someone can show me why that number is the magic number and show me why I should commit my heart and soul to fighting for that number, then I will. But if I am just supposed to stomp my foot because someone told me that number is worship-worthy, then fuck that shit.


vic said...

Wasn't it Prez O himself (or his advisers then) who chose that figure during the 2008 campaign?

vic said...

OT in response to an earlier comment -

‘ ...I truly hope you don't think that any of my remarks were specific to you.’

No sweat, I don’t. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and I see exactly what you so ably describe on several of the blogs I visit regularly. Sometimes I have to doublecheck the name of the blog to ensure that I AM on a ‘liberal’ site [I never visit the ‘other side’ = bad for my health].

Valid point about the subtle media influence. Pres O is the only politician that evokes in me the sense that he (a) is working for the good of the whole country – not just for me, for you, or for himself, and (b) he is sincere. Having never met the man, I have to admit that these feelings come to me through his words and his manner (through the computer screen), but they are very real nevertheless. I confess to a very visceral response, particular when people put down his efforts. Since I have NEVER reacted in this way to anyone (movie stars /politician
/celebrity/ or whatever) before, I am going with my instincts. I really, really want him to succeed, and to earn a second term. He’s the only one I can see who is adult enough and focussed enough to effectively lead America right now. Therefore when he seems to be wavering, I get nervous. In the world of politics he has taught me two main things so far,

i) he’s the president of everyone – not just those who voted for him and, in your words,
ii) ‘no one view is the best view’.

I just needed a little reassurance. You provided TONS – Thanks again and keep up your ‘reasoned’ approach. : c )

jhw22 said...

That figure has been around since before that. And I have no clue why Obama, Clinton or anyone else chose to stay with that figure. I don't know if anyone really knows why that number matters anymore.

Basically, I won't flip out if the number changes because I don't even know why that number matters. I don't know if it falls on some bell curve or if it just sounded good. ;)


Broadway Carl said...

Your bell curve theory may be a good one. And failing to research talking points, if everyone over that number equals the top 2%, then that may be your answer. Speaking for myself, my wife and I work full time and our combined salaries don't hit $250K but it's fairly close, and we don't consider ourselves "wealthy" by a long shot. Remember, once you're in that range you also get hit with AMT... and believe me, it hurts.

And your cost of living assessment is right on as well. Sure, I could live in an area where the costs were lower, but then... where would my job come from?

So, I don't have an answer to the why the magic number is $250K, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in.

NowhereMan said...

I think your right about the bell curve.If you live in Kentucky and make 50k,you can buy a nice house for 50k.But if you live in New york,and make 50k,you are destined to be an apartment dweller since that same house in Kentucky will cost you around 250k