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PUNDIT RIGHT > Kilmeade: $250K a Year Isn’t Rich?

SodaHead Politics 2010/09/10 22:00:00
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Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox News' "Fox & Friends," mulled over Obama's proposition of letting the Bush administration tax cuts expire for those earning more than $250,000 a year and he doesn't like it one bit. He doesn't know why people think someone who makes only $250K a year is considered rich.

"It's a basic premise that if you make $200 – 250,000 a year, you're not rich. It depends on where you live. You might even have trouble making it if you live in New York."

Won't someone think of the poor souls who only make a quarter of a million dollars a year?


Should Those Earning $250,000 Be Considered Rich?

Read More: http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201009090011

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  • mavrick_03 2010/09/11 16:31:51
    Yes
    mavrick_03
    +26
    Let's see some figures:

    Conservatives brought in the tax break for the rich, claiming the top 2 % are the job creators.

    Fact: Less than 5% of business making more than $250k create jobs each year. This 5% are from the 3% of companies that make more than $250k overall.

    90% of the balance 97% of companies making $250k or lesser, have created and are creating the most jobs in the country.

    Fact 2: The tax breaks gave the richest 2%, $1.3 Trillion from 2002 to 2008.
    During the same time period, overseas investment was $1.9 Trillion.

    So, where has the money that was given as tax breaks gone to? It was not invested here, in the U.S.A, it was invested overseas !! Jobs were created by the rich in other countries. I'm not against this. This is free market and they are free to invest where they feel would give them better returns.

    Now, by extending the tax breaks, it will be around $700 Billion over the next 10 years.
    But if it is not extended, that amount of money can be used here to invest in infrastructure, which in turn creates new jobs, which in turn will be invested back in the economy as more people with jobs will spend more in stores and stuff. This, which in turn will create jobs in retail and service industries. Do you see what is happening? This will create a multiple ...



    Let's see some figures:

    Conservatives brought in the tax break for the rich, claiming the top 2 % are the job creators.

    Fact: Less than 5% of business making more than $250k create jobs each year. This 5% are from the 3% of companies that make more than $250k overall.

    90% of the balance 97% of companies making $250k or lesser, have created and are creating the most jobs in the country.

    Fact 2: The tax breaks gave the richest 2%, $1.3 Trillion from 2002 to 2008.
    During the same time period, overseas investment was $1.9 Trillion.

    So, where has the money that was given as tax breaks gone to? It was not invested here, in the U.S.A, it was invested overseas !! Jobs were created by the rich in other countries. I'm not against this. This is free market and they are free to invest where they feel would give them better returns.

    Now, by extending the tax breaks, it will be around $700 Billion over the next 10 years.
    But if it is not extended, that amount of money can be used here to invest in infrastructure, which in turn creates new jobs, which in turn will be invested back in the economy as more people with jobs will spend more in stores and stuff. This, which in turn will create jobs in retail and service industries. Do you see what is happening? This will create a multiple effect on our economy.

    Fact 3: The tax hike for those earning 250k above is only an additional 3%. That too is for the amount after the 1st $250k. Example: if you earn $350k, your 1st $250k is not taxed the additional 3%. The additional 3% applies to the balance $100k.

    So, what is the big fuss about. The majority of you claim to be Christians, yet you don't follow the basic teaching of Christ. What is that? Go read your bible.
    (more)

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  • Jeremiah 2010/09/13 17:14:39
    Yes
    Jeremiah
    This concept came in with Reagan and David Stockman, who later admitted it was a bogus policy. Combined with deep cuts in social programs, it became known as supply-side, and it was seized upon by conservatives everywhere as a means to fill already deep pockets. A later disciple was George W. Bush (not Bush 41, who regarded it as voodoo economics), who liked it so much he repeated the mistake twice, wiping out the budget surplus he inherited from Bill Clinton and creating a new round of deficit spending and enlarging the national debt.

    Are those earning more than $250,000 rich? Compared with most of us, definitely yes. Those who are honest admit they don't need the tax cut, but most of them are not honest.
  • KeithRomeyn 2010/09/12 14:02:09
    No
    KeithRomeyn
    when you look at the fact, their about one third the work force? Not really! They earned the right to that income! They worked hard studing to keep a deasent grade point avg. they deserve to be able to live a" GOOD LIFE" (as my mom would say) NOW< when one gets to, one mill. ayear? NO TAX BREAK! Hell, he makes more in intrest on invertments then most make a year! Come on! THEY! know what I'm getting at! My aunt, she had the BUCKS! NEVER MARRIED, WORKED for NEW YOUK state For over 50 years! Invested wisely, Pinched,AND I MEAN PINCHED! For alot of years Left the whole family a littel something! Now, thats 3 sisters,2 brothers! about 14 neices,and nefews! Tax break, for one group? Tax break FOR ALL!
  • Beaglebabe 2010/09/12 13:11:55
    No
    Beaglebabe
    Maverick,
    Don't know where you get your "facts," but statistics are easily manipulated. From the US Census Bureau, roughly 20,000,000 of the 25,000,000 firms in the US are non employee firms. Of the (roughly) 115 million wage earners that are not self employed, nearly half of them are employed by firms with over 500 employees.

    Most companies of this size are supported by investors. Without investment, companies cannot sustain themselves much less grow. When you tax a large corporation, you are taxing their investors, and many of those do not make $250,000 a year. You also increase the cost of producing a product or service, which hurts the bottom line of a company, making it more difficult to compete in a global market. Loss of profit also discourages investment, making it more difficult to attract investment.

    Redistribution of wealth sounds so kind and so "fair," but in actual practice you cannot tax the wealthy without impacting the poor. The single thing that will grow this economy is less government ... yeah, we all have to pay to support the bloated wages and benefits of federal employees. Let that money go back into the private sector, and jobs will be created. Those jobs come from successful businesses which usually mean those making good profits.

    When Capit...

    Maverick,
    Don't know where you get your "facts," but statistics are easily manipulated. From the US Census Bureau, roughly 20,000,000 of the 25,000,000 firms in the US are non employee firms. Of the (roughly) 115 million wage earners that are not self employed, nearly half of them are employed by firms with over 500 employees.

    Most companies of this size are supported by investors. Without investment, companies cannot sustain themselves much less grow. When you tax a large corporation, you are taxing their investors, and many of those do not make $250,000 a year. You also increase the cost of producing a product or service, which hurts the bottom line of a company, making it more difficult to compete in a global market. Loss of profit also discourages investment, making it more difficult to attract investment.

    Redistribution of wealth sounds so kind and so "fair," but in actual practice you cannot tax the wealthy without impacting the poor. The single thing that will grow this economy is less government ... yeah, we all have to pay to support the bloated wages and benefits of federal employees. Let that money go back into the private sector, and jobs will be created. Those jobs come from successful businesses which usually mean those making good profits.

    When Capitol Hill employees can't pay their own taxes (currently they owe over $9 million in back taxes) why do they think the public sector should shoulder yet even more of the burden of this country's debt. One doesn't need a lot of statistics to realize that the tax cheating, overspending congress has ruined the competitive edge of US firms, and that is the chief reason why jobs are going to other countries.

    BTW, I don't know what being Christian has to do with your argument. Christ did not interfere with government. "Render unto Caesar ..." Christianity does teach that you should do for the least of your brothers, but not that the government should do it for you. I continue to be amazed that you "progressives" are so regressive. All this has been tried and failed or is failing at the moment in other countries. Most European nations are now cutting back on their social programs and entitlement, trying to reduce their debt. You would have America going down the same path that most industrial countries are trying so hard to return from. I just don't get it at all.
    (more)
  • Democrat Beaglebabe 2010/09/12 13:58:12
  • Beaglebabe Democrat 2010/09/12 14:42:38 (edited)
    Beaglebabe
    Democrat!
    You've got to be kidding! According to your unsubstantiated "Facts" most of 20 million businesses are law firms? That's a lot of Democrats!!! LOL

    The question I was responding to was, "Should Those Earning $250,000 Be Considered Rich?" Do not accuse me of putting up smoke and mirrors when you, like Maverick, don't even cite a reference. Then you have the illogical indecency of flipping the argument with an ad hominem attack on me.

    The rest of what you posted is so irrelevant that I wouldn't even know how to respond to it. I have noticed that this type of argument is typical of Liberal style. Don't like the facts? Flip the argument, and throw in a personal attack when you're weak on facts. Why did you even waste the time to respond?

    Back at 'ya, Dem ... Shame on you!
  • Jeremiah Beaglebabe 2010/09/13 17:20:38
    Jeremiah
    Looks like you lost this round, my friend. Why would you support tax cuts for the top two percent, unless you are one of them? If you are, you would not be here; you would be out adding to your fortune, with the help of Bush's largesse.
  • Beaglebabe Jeremiah 2010/09/26 16:14:03
    Beaglebabe
    The only losers are the American People. As I have already commented, I make 45K on a good year. Why would I support extending the Bush tax cuts? The main reason I do is that I want to continue to have a job.

    Obamacare, Cap and Trade, and several other liberal policies raise the cost of doing business in America. I work for a global company. Someone in a foreign country sits in an office, and on his wall is a map. On that map are X’s marking all of the factories across the globe that this cooperation owns.

    Right now their strategy is to reduce the number of factories and consolidate them. That means the factory that I work for is competing against several other factories scattered about the Americas. Bottom line is unit cost. Every extra dollar my plant manager spends on employee benefits, Carbon credits, or compliance with new government regulations adds to that cost, making it harder for the employees here to compete.

    It will be a business decision whether or not that “X” for my factory stays on the map. Plain and simple.

    The main problem facing this economy right now is not the housing crisis, or the War on Terror. It is a bloated Federal Government which is taking an increasingly large portion of our GDP. Government doesn’t create jobs, private business does. ...








    The only losers are the American People. As I have already commented, I make 45K on a good year. Why would I support extending the Bush tax cuts? The main reason I do is that I want to continue to have a job.

    Obamacare, Cap and Trade, and several other liberal policies raise the cost of doing business in America. I work for a global company. Someone in a foreign country sits in an office, and on his wall is a map. On that map are X’s marking all of the factories across the globe that this cooperation owns.

    Right now their strategy is to reduce the number of factories and consolidate them. That means the factory that I work for is competing against several other factories scattered about the Americas. Bottom line is unit cost. Every extra dollar my plant manager spends on employee benefits, Carbon credits, or compliance with new government regulations adds to that cost, making it harder for the employees here to compete.

    It will be a business decision whether or not that “X” for my factory stays on the map. Plain and simple.

    The main problem facing this economy right now is not the housing crisis, or the War on Terror. It is a bloated Federal Government which is taking an increasingly large portion of our GDP. Government doesn’t create jobs, private business does. The more money that is used supporting government programs, the less there is for the private sector to invest in job creation. Do you want a nanny-state or do you prefer to live in a country that offers opportunity for you to pursue your own idea of happiness?

    If you want a mini model of how big government ruins economies, just look at our states. The states with less entitlements and smaller budgets are doing much better than the more liberal states. Michigan has lost close to 90,000 jobs in auto manufacturing. Most of those jobs popped up in several states in the south where the cost of doing business was lower. Some went to China.

    Actually there are quite a few ex-Michigan folks working at the plant I work in. They will tell you. There are no jobs in Michigan. These people are probably making less than half what they did at their old Union Jobs, but are living quite well here. They keep more of their income because of lower state taxes. The cost of living is lower here. And they don’t have to pay a chunk of their earnings to some Union.
    Businesses are leaving in droves from California, too. Most of them are relocating in places like Texas, and even some foreign countries.

    You can look to Nicaragua, Cuba, Greece, and even ancient Rome. The story continues to repeat itself. Big Government and redistribution of wealth policies don’t work. Never have. Never will.

    “Progressives” think you’re on to something new. Oh, yeah! Read a history book, or just take a look around.
    (more)
  • Jeremiah Beaglebabe 2010/09/26 18:07:47
    Jeremiah
    Most of us are quite well-read, but thanks for your concern.

    It is a fact that most hiring – about 80% – is done by owners of businesses who themselves make less than $250,000 per year. It is not done by the top two percent, who mostly use their tax-cut generosity to fatten their person portfolios and then send their jobs to places like Bangladesh. Most of those in the top brackets are doctors and attorneys, who hire a few each, but not enough to impact the employment numbers.

    Detroit's economy will improve now that the Big Three auto makers are all profitable again. Why are they profitable? Would it have anything to do with the bailout by the taxpayers of the U.S. and Canada? They seem to think it does.

    The "bloated" federal government is a holdover from the "conservative" Bush years. The Clinton administration saw a trimming of its size from the bloated condition under Reagan and Bush 41.
  • Jukebox 2010/09/12 12:58:08
    No
    Jukebox
    +1
    First off, $250,000 is before taxes. I think 35% for all taxes and deductions is fair, so you're actually talking about something closer to $162,500. For a single person, that's a very nice sum of money that will allow you to put a nice chunk aside for retirement and live a fairly comfortable life. However, you're still just a catastrophic event away from being knocked into poverty. When you put a family of four into the mix, then you're talking about something completely different. You have to save for two college educations; and you have to assume that at least 10 years from now, they are going to need Masters Degrees to really go anywhere. Assume at least two cars and all the fees and maintenance costs; clothing, food ... Pretty soon, that $162,500 isn't going very far. Properly managed, it's an amount that should keep a family from living paycheck to paycheck. But rich? Wealthy? Far, far from it. It's a middle class tier and that's it. Maybe $500,000/year can be considered an upper tier of high upper middle class, but even then, you're still working for your money -- that money is not working for you.

    That's what it really boils down to: if you have to work to survive you just aren't rich.
  • Democrat Jukebox 2010/09/12 14:04:28
  • Jukebox Democrat 2010/09/13 23:29:06
    Jukebox
    I'm not making a case for the wealthy. I'm saying that $250,000 is not wealthy. A family of four making $250,000 has all the same worries as a family making $52,000. My definition of wealth confirms your first sentence. Two hundred fifty thousand is a long way from the top 1%. And just because the median income is $52,000 doesn't mean that everything above that is wealthy.

    I agree completely that most of the wealth in the world is inherited. I believe that the wealthy have a huge responsibility to society, which has been shirked of late. Once upon a time the wealthy frequently headed foundations and charitable organizations, using their administrative expertise, liaisons and contacts that helped cut those costs for the non-profits. Now the CEOs of non-profits are demanding equitable pay and fund raising is a for profit business.

    What I'm not sure about is if playing with taxes over much right now is the thing to do. It isn't giving a tax cut, but extending cuts already in place while the economy is in this precarious state. I support middle class tax cuts and breaks and credits for small and mid-size business; businesses that create and keep jobs here.

    And it isn't that the US borrows from other nations; rather we sell more Treasury bills and foreign governments do like to buy them up.
  • izzybean 2010/09/12 12:52:28
    No
    izzybean
    +1
    please if you are going to push the class warefare thing at least be honest about it. The only way dems can save themselves is to push against a common (for them) foe, this year it is the rich? So after all you can only run against Bush for so long right
  • Democrat izzybean 2010/09/12 14:07:33
  • Beaglebabe Democrat 2010/09/12 14:58:01
    Beaglebabe
    Democrat,

    Wrong!

    Lawyers and Doctors do produce jobs. Ever been to a Doctor's office when there wasn't at least 3 or 4 employee's. They have a nurse, a receptionist, a coder,and insurance clerk. I stay away from Lawyer offices, but do know they have secretaries and legal research assistants.

    I don't think you are the one to judge whether anybody "needs or deserves" anything. That's a bone I have to pick with Liberals. You want to control my wants and needs according to what you think is best for me. I prefer to keep my right to pursue my own happiness, and you can just butt out.
  • Jeremiah Beaglebabe 2010/09/13 17:28:49
    Jeremiah
    You go ahead and do that, but if you want government to "butt out," you won't be needing their tax-cut assistance, will you?

    You can't be serious. Three or four employees? We're talking about serious employment here, the 80 percent of jobs in this country, which are provided mostly by business owners earning less than $250,000 per year.

    The top two percent do not use the tax-cut generosity for job creation; they use it to fatten their personal portfolios, or to export jobs to places like Singapore and Bangladesh. If that's how they choose to conduct their business, that’s fine, but they don't need tax breaks to do it.
  • AIM Jeremiah 2010/09/24 18:52:37
    AIM
    +2
    Your positioning here is incorrect. The government shouldn't have to 'give' me a tax cut. This is MY money that I have earned. A tax cut is not a 'gift' from the government. It is keeping what is already mine. When the country runs a surplus it means the American people have been completely over-taxed. Tax-cut assistance? Laughable.

    And, who are you? Are you in the top 2% of wage earners? You certainly seem to know what the top 2% do with their money. My husband owns his own business, and I can guarantee you that any excess is used to hire more employees, give raises, and grow the business. List the names of the small business 2%-ers you know who fatten up portfolios and export jobs.

    What is your vocation by the way. Are you a roving philanthropist giving your personal dollars to those you deem less fortunate than you? Or, are you a career academic simply spouting intellectual philosophies with no real world experience?
  • Jeremiah AIM 2010/09/24 19:18:18 (edited)
    Jeremiah
    You certainly seem worried about me, my job experience, my education and all the rest. While it might seem flattering to some, to me it falls in the category of "none of your business."

    For the record, since you are so concerned, I am a retired journalist with many years of experience in investigative and business reporting. This admission usually elicits a response of "liberal media," but I am hoping you are above such simplistic rhetoric.

    The government gave you a tax cut in 2001 and 2003, and if you are in the upper two percent, it was indeed generous. The trouble is, it converted a budget surplus into a deficit five times greater than the surplus Bush inherited from Clinton. Now we hear cries from the Republicans about the deficit they created, and they anguish over the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, even though John Boehner, a Republican, wrote the expiration date into the House version of the bill so it could pass the Senate through use of the evil reconciliation process.

    So it is not a tax increase; it is the expiration of a Republican cut that created havoc with the budget. If the cuts for the top brackets are retained, it will add $700 billion to the deficit, not a good idea during a recession.

    If you are a member of the top brackets, I applaud your industry and you...





    You certainly seem worried about me, my job experience, my education and all the rest. While it might seem flattering to some, to me it falls in the category of "none of your business."

    For the record, since you are so concerned, I am a retired journalist with many years of experience in investigative and business reporting. This admission usually elicits a response of "liberal media," but I am hoping you are above such simplistic rhetoric.

    The government gave you a tax cut in 2001 and 2003, and if you are in the upper two percent, it was indeed generous. The trouble is, it converted a budget surplus into a deficit five times greater than the surplus Bush inherited from Clinton. Now we hear cries from the Republicans about the deficit they created, and they anguish over the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, even though John Boehner, a Republican, wrote the expiration date into the House version of the bill so it could pass the Senate through use of the evil reconciliation process.

    So it is not a tax increase; it is the expiration of a Republican cut that created havoc with the budget. If the cuts for the top brackets are retained, it will add $700 billion to the deficit, not a good idea during a recession.

    If you are a member of the top brackets, I applaud your industry and your good fortune. I do not appreciate having to make up the difference between revenues and expenditures caused by your largesse, however, and I am eager to see the needless generosity end. It is not "your money" if it adds to the deficit and the national debt.

    It is a fact that most of the members of the top two percent are doctors and attorneys, who employ some people, but not enough to justify the continuation of their tax-cuts.

    I am also not very impressed with the Republicans' claim to be looking out for small businesses, since their idea of "small" is the S corporations, whose size is based on the number of owners, not on their earnings or number of employees. A couple of examples of these "small businesses" are The Chicago Tribune Company and Bechtel Corp, both of which are very large and owned by very wealthy people. Yet they are S corporations and fall into the category of small businesses.

    These are only a few points in the arguments. Since you believe I am unqualified to discuss any of it, I await your next rejoinder regarding my lack of acumen.
    (more)
  • AIM Jeremiah 2010/09/24 21:35:33
    AIM
    +3
    Thank you for your vocational clarification. I will not lump you in with the 'liberal media' after your response because you gave an impressive explanation on how you have, thus far, come to certain conclusions. And, for the record, I am a moderate. I am EXTREMELY liberal on social issues (gay marriage, legalization of certain substances, gays in the military, etc..). However, when it comes to keeping money I have worked years, and arduously, for, I will defend my position to the end. I am a physician. I am married to a business owner. We are the 2%-ers.

    You mention in your reply that you "applaud my industry and good fortune" in reaching the top tax bracket. I take complete offense to that. I do not come from money. My dad is an electrician and my mom is in sales. There are 3 children in my family, all of us close in age. I went to a private college on a basketball scholarship (which paid my tuition) and an academic scholarships that had to be renewed yearly to pay for my books and boarding. I graduated top of my class. I then went on to graduate school where I started a small business with my then fiance. I learned the ins and outs of business by trial and error (for the record, my ex is wildly successful and now owns multiple businesses). I decided to go to med school whe...
















    Thank you for your vocational clarification. I will not lump you in with the 'liberal media' after your response because you gave an impressive explanation on how you have, thus far, come to certain conclusions. And, for the record, I am a moderate. I am EXTREMELY liberal on social issues (gay marriage, legalization of certain substances, gays in the military, etc..). However, when it comes to keeping money I have worked years, and arduously, for, I will defend my position to the end. I am a physician. I am married to a business owner. We are the 2%-ers.

    You mention in your reply that you "applaud my industry and good fortune" in reaching the top tax bracket. I take complete offense to that. I do not come from money. My dad is an electrician and my mom is in sales. There are 3 children in my family, all of us close in age. I went to a private college on a basketball scholarship (which paid my tuition) and an academic scholarships that had to be renewed yearly to pay for my books and boarding. I graduated top of my class. I then went on to graduate school where I started a small business with my then fiance. I learned the ins and outs of business by trial and error (for the record, my ex is wildly successful and now owns multiple businesses). I decided to go to med school when I was 28 years old. I graduated 3rd in my class at 32 years of age. My husband comes from even more meager beginnings. He was the kid in school with a lunch ticket and his mom made all of his clothing. He barely graduated from high school, but managed to start his own business at the age of 21 and grow it into a success I don't think he could have ever imagined. We now have two small children together. We are the American Dream.

    Now, the problem I have with one of your responses is to this statement: "The top two percent do not use the tax-cut generosity for job creation; they use it to fatten their personal portfolios, or to export jobs to places like Singapore and Bangladesh. If that's how they choose to conduct their business, that’s fine, but they don't need tax breaks to do it."

    I already addressed the issue of tax cut 'generosity'; my position being that it is not a gift from the government. Just to be super-specific, I want to give the definition of tax from the dictionary:
    1. a sum of money DEMANDED (my emphasis) by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.
    2. a BURDENSOME (my emphasis) charge, obligation, duty, or demand.

    So, a tax cut is not the government being generous; it is keeping what is rightfully mine to begin with. Furthermore, my understanding of economics seems to be a bit different than yours. You wrote, "The government gave you a tax cut in 2001 and 2003, and if you are in the upper two percent, it was indeed generous. The trouble is, it converted a budget surplus into a deficit five times greater than the surplus Bush inherited from Clinton."

    You also wrote: "It is not "your money" if it adds to the deficit and the national debt."

    I couldn't disagree with you more. It is my money. If it is not my money, then where did the government get the money from? Tax cuts have nothing to do with the deficit. Spending too much money that is not there creates a deficit. So, let's put this in a simplistic perspective: if taxes are basically income for the government, and now the government is not making as much money as it did before (via tax cuts), then the government must reduce it's spending. Tax cuts do not create deficits. Spending more than one takes in creates a deficit.
    And I whole-heartedly agree with you that the Republicans went spend-happy there for a while and created a mess.

    When our family/business receives the 'generous GIFT' of a tax cut from the government I can assure you we do not inflate our personal portfolios, or export jobs out of the country. On a business level we hire more employees, give raises, buy equipment, educate employees, etc... On a personal level, we pay out on our obligations (**please see the thread from Beaglebabe to Capuchin Monkey on Sept 12th in which Beaglebabe very accurately describes how a physician can earn $250K but still not live like a fat cat. I didn't want to repeat it here when you can scroll down and read it yourself). We live in a very modest house, drive used cars (which we pay for with cash), do not take many vacations, eat at home, etc...What little money we have left after that, we use to ensure that our children have the best opportunities available to them, help out our parents and siblings and give to non-profit organizations that fight for causes in which we believe

    So, all of these threads are about 'should a couple who earn $250,000 be considered rich?' My real world experience, personally and as a business owner, is that one cannot just choose an arbitrary number and decide that this number constitutes a couple as rich. Unless one knows another's entire financial landscape, a judgement cannot be made merely on a number.
    (more)
  • Jeremiah AIM 2010/09/27 14:54:30 (edited)
    Jeremiah
    I and everyone I know pay taxes, almost all of it on earned income, as opposed to capital gains, etc. All of us could insist tax revenues are our money, but only the upper brackets seem to think in those terms. We all have mortgages and car payments, tuition and related expenses for children and, in some cases, grandchildren. And there are the usual living expenses. We all pay property taxes and sales taxes, some more than others. Some of us live in states without income taxes, but we make up for it in other taxes.

    What will happen at the end of the year? The rate on the top brackets will go from 36% to 39%, where it was during the Clinton years, when the economy was in relatively good shape and there were no wars to sap the nation of its treasury and its younger generation (few of whom include members of the top two percent, speaking of sacrificing).

    So we all do our part in one way or another. Thousands who were not a part of the brackets whose tax rate will increase by three percent sacrificed with their lives for a questionable cause other than the oil in the country we invaded, thereby further enriching many members of the top two percent.

    The whiney top brackets insist it will be a tax increase, when it will be an expiration mandated by a Republican Congress. The th...





    I and everyone I know pay taxes, almost all of it on earned income, as opposed to capital gains, etc. All of us could insist tax revenues are our money, but only the upper brackets seem to think in those terms. We all have mortgages and car payments, tuition and related expenses for children and, in some cases, grandchildren. And there are the usual living expenses. We all pay property taxes and sales taxes, some more than others. Some of us live in states without income taxes, but we make up for it in other taxes.

    What will happen at the end of the year? The rate on the top brackets will go from 36% to 39%, where it was during the Clinton years, when the economy was in relatively good shape and there were no wars to sap the nation of its treasury and its younger generation (few of whom include members of the top two percent, speaking of sacrificing).

    So we all do our part in one way or another. Thousands who were not a part of the brackets whose tax rate will increase by three percent sacrificed with their lives for a questionable cause other than the oil in the country we invaded, thereby further enriching many members of the top two percent.

    The whiney top brackets insist it will be a tax increase, when it will be an expiration mandated by a Republican Congress. The three percent increase is not likely to harm anyone among that grouping, and is a far cry from the 70-90% rates of years past. The three percent is a small price to pay in the attempt to restore balance to a budget horribly out of control.

    Are you being asked to bear the brunt for the restoration of sanity? Perhaps, but then it was the reduction from 39% to 36%, plus the wars you have only heard about on the evening news, that placed the economy on its current slippery slope.

    Since you are so interested in my credentials, I should add that I also hold a JD. I was about half way toward an MBA, but I left to begin my career, and I never looked back.

    I again applaud your industry and your good fortune. By the latter I did not imply that your gains have been due to luck. By living in a system that rewards industry, you are indeed the recipient of good fortune. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    (more)
  • AIM Jeremiah 2010/09/27 17:11:26
    AIM
    It is very obvious to me that you are not, at all, interested in the perspective a person who is posting here, not to spout out political talking points, but to relate to you real world experience (i.e. coming from nothing, making a great life for my family via owning small businesses, FINE w/ paying taxes, but do not want to pay anymore).

    The reason the upper brackets 'whine' about paying more taxes is because it is exactly these people who are burdened by more taxes. We all know the breakdown via the IRS, but in case anyone has forgotten here it is:

    1)Percentiles Ranked by AGI (Adjusted Gross Income)
    2) AGI Threshold on Percentiles
    3) Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

    1) Top 1%...earn...
    2) $410,096/ year
    3) 40.42 Percentage of Federal Personal Income tax Paid

    Top 5%
    $160,041
    60.63

    Top 10%
    $113,018
    71.22

    Top 25%
    $66,532
    86.59

    Top 50%
    >$32,879
    97.11

    Bottom 50%
    <$32,879
    2.89
    ***THE BOTTOM 50% ONLY PAY 2.89% OF INCOME TAXES!!!***

    It's no surprise you make the arguement that the top earners should pay so much more. If 50% of Americans are in the bottom bracket, of course the cry will be, "Tax the Rich, and tell them to quit whining about it!" Strength in numbers for this war cry.


    Your statement: "The three percent is a small price t...

















    It is very obvious to me that you are not, at all, interested in the perspective a person who is posting here, not to spout out political talking points, but to relate to you real world experience (i.e. coming from nothing, making a great life for my family via owning small businesses, FINE w/ paying taxes, but do not want to pay anymore).

    The reason the upper brackets 'whine' about paying more taxes is because it is exactly these people who are burdened by more taxes. We all know the breakdown via the IRS, but in case anyone has forgotten here it is:

    1)Percentiles Ranked by AGI (Adjusted Gross Income)
    2) AGI Threshold on Percentiles
    3) Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

    1) Top 1%...earn...
    2) $410,096/ year
    3) 40.42 Percentage of Federal Personal Income tax Paid

    Top 5%
    $160,041
    60.63

    Top 10%
    $113,018
    71.22

    Top 25%
    $66,532
    86.59

    Top 50%
    >$32,879
    97.11

    Bottom 50%
    <$32,879
    2.89
    ***THE BOTTOM 50% ONLY PAY 2.89% OF INCOME TAXES!!!***

    It's no surprise you make the arguement that the top earners should pay so much more. If 50% of Americans are in the bottom bracket, of course the cry will be, "Tax the Rich, and tell them to quit whining about it!" Strength in numbers for this war cry.


    Your statement: "The three percent is a small price to pay in the attempt to restore balance to a budget horribly out of control."

    I understand that people sacrifice, in many ways, for the 'sanity of our country'. My personal sacrifice is that I am a physician. Aside from my normal practice, I donate my time to help the poor and uninsured in the most destitute places where I live. But this is my CHOICE; I am not forced to do it. I don't necessarily have a choice when the government decides I have to pay more taxes. A 3% increase in my taxes is the difference between my children going to public vs. private school. (Caveat: I'm gonna go out on a limb here and state that most people think our public schools are in horrible disarray. This is not simply due to lack of money. Case in point: Washington D.C. school districts get the most federal dollars per student, but are the worst performing schools in the country).
    It is the difference between my childrens' grandparents being able to fly across the country and stay in our city (on our dime, not theirs b/c they are not wealthy), or only see them once a year. Three percent is a decent chunk of money for my family. I could go on and on here, but you get the point. (***a 3% tax increase would mean our family would owe, roughly $10,000 more per year in taxes).

    If you do not think 3% is such a big deal, then why don't you do your own social experiment? Give 3% of whatever income you receive to someone else and let that person spend your money the way he/she sees fit. This is exactly what you are asking me to do.

    Once again, we disagree about higher taxes and balancing the budget. You say increase taxes, I say cut spending. What I get from you here is that the government should continue costly wasteful projects, no matter the price, and I should have to pay for it.

    Let's go 'real world' again: Let's say I was once making great money and purchased 2 brand new luxury automobiles. I lose my job. I could call my friends and family and beg them for money to help pay for my expenses, but I don't think I'd have much luck. Instead, I think my friends and family would, logically, say, "Get rid of anything that is not absolutely essential so you can pay your bills." This is what I am asking of the government. Don't take more of my money; decrease wasteful spending.

    No offense, but you speak like someone who has never ran a business before. Most small businesses don't run huge a surpluses (I'm talking about the types my husband and I own). The money is constantly reinvested in some sort of way. When the government runs a surplus it is because the people of America have been over-taxed, and this is totally inappropriate. I don't understand what you don't get about that.

    We have to pay quarterly income tax. Every 3 months my husband grumbles uncontrollably because he can think of many ways to either hold on to that money and earn interest (which he would NEVER just hold on to it), or reinvest it and make 20%+ on that same money (this is the most likely scenario). Give it to the government quarterly? The government holds on to the money until it receives the final tax return, then returns the money if it deems one has over-paid. That money is not given back w/ interest. So, the thousands of dollars we pay in to the government makes no money for anyone; it's just 'on hold'. From a business perspective it doesn't make sense.

    I feel that you and I cannot have an honest, objective exchange of ideas here. It appears to me that you didn't really address any of the personal points I made in my post on how a couple earning $250,000 isn't always rich (except your opening paragraph where you stated everyone pays some sort of tax). Instead, you keep referring to political agendas.

    So, I will end this post with a copy and paste of my last:
    All of these threads are about 'should a couple who earn $250,000 be considered rich?' My real world experience, personally and as a business owner, is that one cannot just choose an arbitrary number and decide that this number constitutes a couple as rich. Unless one knows another's entire financial landscape, a judgement cannot be made merely on a number.
    (more)
  • AIM AIM 2010/09/27 17:42:48
    AIM
    Sorry, first sentence should have read: ...interested in the perspective OF a peson who is posting here...I'm typing fast trying to get done before the family wakes up.
  • Jeremiah AIM 2010/09/27 18:40:51
    Jeremiah
    It is clear to me that you cannot simply discuss an issue without resorting to personal invective.

    Yes, our circumstances are different, and you apparently are not able to see the perspective of those trying to make ends meet just to survive, to keep a roof over their heads and feed their children, people who have never had the option of sending their kids to a private school, and who have enough trouble finding enough to purchase school supplies or clothing so their children can feel barely adequate at their public school.

    It is true, they wouldn't know about how you run your businesses and medical practice, or whether you can purchase another new car, or any of the rest. They are probably too busy worrying about keeping their jobs and their homes to concern themselves with your three percent. They know that if they lose their jobs, their health care insurance will disappear with it, and they will be faced with choices you wouldn't understand if one of the kids gets sick or injured.

    Take care and have a good week.
  • AIM Jeremiah 2010/09/27 20:05:11
    AIM
    The question leading to all of the posts here is, 'Should those earning $250,000 be considered rich?' Where I did give a personal account of MY situation, I did not use 'denunciatory or abusive expression or discourse' in order to make my point.

    Go back and read my posts to you. My husband and I WERE the children you are speaking of; those whose parents barely scraped by (remember: lunch tickets, parents making clothing, etc...). I refuse to just exist in this country. I want better for my children than me and my husband had from our parents. I think that is what all parents want. Our family has acheived a modicum level of success, and I will not apologize for this.

    And, for the record, no one pays for our health insurance. Since we are the owners, we are on our own. If we ran our companies the way the government is running country, we would surely lose our businesses and insurances.

    Anyway, I'm beating a dead horse. You are clearly, not even for a minute, going to see this issue from any other perspective than that which you already hold. I'm trying to be reasonable and honest on a personal level. I feel that I can relate to both sides. My husband and I came from nothing, but we chose careers that would, for the most part, ensure better lives for our children. You keep injecting Clinton taxes, S-corps, my incomplete understanding of the under-privileged, so-on, and so-forth...

    So, you too, take care and have a good week.
  • Jeremiah AIM 2010/09/27 23:25:34
    Jeremiah
    I too chose a career, with additional sidelines, that provided for my children, but this thread is about setting the line between the haves and the have nots. For several years I was above that line, but I would have been one of those who had said I did not need or deserve a special tax break, especially when it caused so much damage to the economy in the form of deficits and debt.

    The tired mantra, "cut spending" rolls easily off the tongue unless you begin to specify in which areas the cuts should be enacted. Most of the time it would be in social programs, which is not exactly a fair tradeoff. This was once called "supply-side" or "voodoo economics."

    You persist in taking me for a simpleton, but I can see things from several perspectives, that of an ambitious working stiff, to a reporter investigating business and government practices, to a commentator, to finally a retired senior citizen trying to get by in an unfavorable climate. I think I have heard almost everything in all those years, and I tend to side with those who have not had quite as many opportunities as some of us have had.
  • Beaglebabe Jeremiah 2010/09/26 17:46:02
    Beaglebabe
    Tax cut assistance? Buddy, it's my money. I earned it. They are spending it ... on dumb stuff like signs that say they are creating jobs, and saving swamp mice in Pelosi's district. They are paying their employees way more than I make, but I'm supposed to foot the bill.

    The Federal Government is deeply entrenched in affairs that they don't have the Constitutional authority for. No, it didn't start with Obama. It started with FDR. Or before.
    But Obama and this liberal Congress has taken it to soaring heights.

    Now you liberals want free health care. It ain't gonna happen. Nothing is for free. By commissioning the Federal Government to do the job you just added a layer of overpaid bureaucrats to the cost. Oh ... we'll just tax the rich. That's a great idea. Except it won't be enough. And the rich will just leave. Wouldn't you?

    Maybe you should take a look at the new taxes imposed under various guises imposed under Obamacare on those making way less than $250 grand. Teh Google is your friend. I don't need Obama's assistance. I was doing just fine with out it. Tell him to leave me alone!

    Increasing taxes, even when you don't figure in the behaviors that will create, won't even make a dent in the deficit. Not even if the top bracket is 90%. We have too much gover...





    Tax cut assistance? Buddy, it's my money. I earned it. They are spending it ... on dumb stuff like signs that say they are creating jobs, and saving swamp mice in Pelosi's district. They are paying their employees way more than I make, but I'm supposed to foot the bill.

    The Federal Government is deeply entrenched in affairs that they don't have the Constitutional authority for. No, it didn't start with Obama. It started with FDR. Or before.
    But Obama and this liberal Congress has taken it to soaring heights.

    Now you liberals want free health care. It ain't gonna happen. Nothing is for free. By commissioning the Federal Government to do the job you just added a layer of overpaid bureaucrats to the cost. Oh ... we'll just tax the rich. That's a great idea. Except it won't be enough. And the rich will just leave. Wouldn't you?

    Maybe you should take a look at the new taxes imposed under various guises imposed under Obamacare on those making way less than $250 grand. Teh Google is your friend. I don't need Obama's assistance. I was doing just fine with out it. Tell him to leave me alone!

    Increasing taxes, even when you don't figure in the behaviors that will create, won't even make a dent in the deficit. Not even if the top bracket is 90%. We have too much government. I can't afford a professional rug cleaner, so I clean my own rug. I can't afford all these government services, so cut them out. Balance the Budget. What is so hard to understand about that?

    We need to help the disabled who can't take care of themselves. Everybody else needs to get out and earn their own way. If they can't earn it, they don't get it. Period.

    This President and this Congress is ruining (has ruined?) this country. While Barack plays golf and Michelle flits off to Spain, Americans suffer. A significant portion of the bozo's in Obama's administration aren't meeting their own tax obligations. Special favors are going to their friends, not to me.

    See you in November. This regime is toast.
    (more)
  • Jeremiah Beaglebabe 2010/09/27 15:21:08
    Jeremiah
    Are we buddies? I am flattered.

    We all work and pay taxes, my friend, but most of us don't whine about it. If you are a member of the top two percent, your tax rate will increase from 36% to 39%, an increase of three percent, hardly enough to do harm to your personal portfolio.

    Will it help? Of course it will. If the tax cut did not expire, the deficit would take a $700 billion hit. When Bush took office he inherited a budget surplus, but his tax cuts for the rich created a deficit that was five times the size of Clinton's surplus. Add in Bush's two wars, that have cost an average of $7 billion per month, and you do not need to be an economist to see where we are headed with this. Contrast this sort of spending with Obama's, which is designed to assist those who actually need the help, even if you do not.

    Balance the budget? Friend, it was more than balanced when Bush took office. He left a huge deficit and a national debt that will take many years to undo.

    Speaking of Obama's spending, it is all constitutional, or the Republicans would have wasted no time challenging it in the courts. They will decide whether it is constitutional or not.

    Will it be a tax increase? No. It will simply be an expiration of Bush's tax cuts for the rich. The expiration date was written into...









    Are we buddies? I am flattered.

    We all work and pay taxes, my friend, but most of us don't whine about it. If you are a member of the top two percent, your tax rate will increase from 36% to 39%, an increase of three percent, hardly enough to do harm to your personal portfolio.

    Will it help? Of course it will. If the tax cut did not expire, the deficit would take a $700 billion hit. When Bush took office he inherited a budget surplus, but his tax cuts for the rich created a deficit that was five times the size of Clinton's surplus. Add in Bush's two wars, that have cost an average of $7 billion per month, and you do not need to be an economist to see where we are headed with this. Contrast this sort of spending with Obama's, which is designed to assist those who actually need the help, even if you do not.

    Balance the budget? Friend, it was more than balanced when Bush took office. He left a huge deficit and a national debt that will take many years to undo.

    Speaking of Obama's spending, it is all constitutional, or the Republicans would have wasted no time challenging it in the courts. They will decide whether it is constitutional or not.

    Will it be a tax increase? No. It will simply be an expiration of Bush's tax cuts for the rich. The expiration date was written into the House bill by John Boehner so it could pass the Senate using the dreaded reconciliation process. So it will expire because the Republicans said it must.

    No one is seeking free health care. Even if we had single payer, the best system, we would still pay for it. One major difference in HCR is that the insurance companies will have to apply 85% of their proceeds toward actual health care, instead of using half of it for bonuses for their top executives.

    Another difference is the insurance companies can no longer refuse coverage to children for pre-existing conditions. They number of uninsured is now at 51 million, and about half of them are children.

    I am not sure what you mean by the Google reference. I do research every day for a living, and I use Google along with several other search engines and many various publications.

    The part about Obama's vacations and his golf is snarky. His vacations are not close in number to Bush's for a similar period, Bush played far more golf, and Laura and the girls went to Africa at taxpayer expense.

    You must have a short memory. But at least you called me your buddy.
    (more)
  • Dasher 2010/09/12 12:42:52
    No
    Dasher
    +2
    The government has a spending problem. And taxing people more only allows them to do more wasteful spending. Solution starve the government.
  • Democrat Dasher 2010/09/12 14:09:22
  • Dasher Democrat 2010/09/26 14:34:15
    Dasher
    +1
    In order for the government to spend $1 it must first take $1 out of the economy. Government spends money based on political decisions, not decisions that are best for the economy. Government is a drag on the economy.
  • Beaglebabe Dasher 2010/09/26 17:53:52
    Beaglebabe
    Very well said. Keep up the good fight! I don't think these guys are going to get it though. Got to move on with my life. Thanks for all your excellent posts.
  • Beaglebabe Democrat 2010/09/26 17:51:07
    Beaglebabe
    Says who? That is simply not true. I can see why you voted for O.
  • aneed2know 2010/09/12 11:24:51
    Yes
    aneed2know
    +1
    Yes its rich, i bet those people making over 250k a year do not have to worry about how they will make it to the next pay check, or how they will feed and clothe their children, or pay their utilities. these are all things that hard working Americans do every pay period, and they do it worrying about the next tragedy. So yeah 250k a year might not be supper rich, but they are not wanting for anything except making more money.

    But what i would like to know is this, why is it that i pay Taxes on all my income and those who happened to make over 250k a year only pays Taxes for anything over?

    Some one want to explain this one and tell me how this fair?
  • Jukebox aneed2know 2010/09/12 13:16:57
    Jukebox
    +1
    That isn't correct. Someone making $250,000 has to pay taxes on $250,000. The question is does it get raised back to the same level it was under President Clinton (I think in the low 30% range) or remain under the lower rate President Bush imposed (I think it went down to about 29%). People earning over $250,000 could see their tax rates go back as high as 39%.

    While it's true that if a family properly manages $250,000 they shouldn't have to live paycheck to paycheck, but that doesn't make them rich. They still have to work for every penny and they have all the same expenses -- more in many ways because of that higher income: those children won't be eligible for many grants and scholarships so the parents will be footing the entire collegiate bill. And all it takes is one catastrophic event and that family is impoverished too. All $250,000 means is that family should be able to put money aside each pay day to their retirement.

    Being rich or wealthy is when your money works for you: when your investments produce enough income so that you don't even have to work.
  • Democrat Jukebox 2010/09/12 14:14:41
  • Jukebox Democrat 2010/09/13 23:47:34
    Jukebox
    And someone making $250,000 can't do all of that. Now, if you're saying that someone who earns $250,000 from investments and not a salary, yes that person is wealthy because his/her assets would have to be substantial.

    But a vice president at Citibank could earn $250,000. That VP certainly doesn't have a business to use depreciation.

    Nor can s/he hide any of that money in off shore accounts because every pay check is reported to the IRS and the state and local taxation departments.

    S/he doesn't set up charities run by their children because they have enough trouble putting away money in the 401(k) and for the children's college fund.

    I don't need smoke and mirrors for someone who works every bit as hard (maybe harder) as someone making $52,000. You have a very skewed idea of wealth and who is wealthy.

    I have to emphasize: people do work regular jobs, putting in 40-80 hours to make $250,000. They have mortgages and car payments and pay for braces on their kids' teeth. They worry about keeping those jobs so they can keep making those payments. A lot of them lost those jobs when the economy collapsed, along with the medical insurance that paid for junior's asthma medicine and allergies.

    If that person was getting $250,000 from investments it wouldn't be such a big worry; his advisor...
    And someone making $250,000 can't do all of that. Now, if you're saying that someone who earns $250,000 from investments and not a salary, yes that person is wealthy because his/her assets would have to be substantial.

    But a vice president at Citibank could earn $250,000. That VP certainly doesn't have a business to use depreciation.

    Nor can s/he hide any of that money in off shore accounts because every pay check is reported to the IRS and the state and local taxation departments.

    S/he doesn't set up charities run by their children because they have enough trouble putting away money in the 401(k) and for the children's college fund.

    I don't need smoke and mirrors for someone who works every bit as hard (maybe harder) as someone making $52,000. You have a very skewed idea of wealth and who is wealthy.

    I have to emphasize: people do work regular jobs, putting in 40-80 hours to make $250,000. They have mortgages and car payments and pay for braces on their kids' teeth. They worry about keeping those jobs so they can keep making those payments. A lot of them lost those jobs when the economy collapsed, along with the medical insurance that paid for junior's asthma medicine and allergies.

    If that person was getting $250,000 from investments it wouldn't be such a big worry; his advisor can shift things around to keep money flowing. But that VP who lost the job at Citibank is paying full price for the meds and inside of a month is struggling just like everyone else. And you call that person wealthy and hiding money off shore?
    (more)
  • Capuchin Monkey 2010/09/12 11:03:33
    Yes
    Capuchin Monkey
    250k a year? Why would they not be considered rich? This is why people view these guys as out of touch.
  • Beaglebabe Capuchi... 2010/09/12 13:44:31
    Beaglebabe
    Capuchin, I only make $45,000 a year( on a good year with overtime), but I consider myself rich. Anyone who owns more than one pair of shoes or eats three meals a day is rich relative to rest of the world population.

    While $250,000 may sound like a lot of money, consider one case as an example. Your doctor who had to support himself for 12 years in college while you were working. He comes out of med school owing half a million. Then he has to borrow money to set up his business, probably at least another half a million. He has payroll to meet every week, as well as his office rent, and other business expenses. And he has to pay off his student loans while trying to keep his business afloat. My doctor works really long hours, and says he will cut back if he can't keep his earnings. I suspect many doctors will do the same, and others who are close to retirement age will decide to retire early. Just how will that help our medical expenses, when doctors are in short supply?


    Personally I don't feel like asking this doctor to shoulder any more of the tax burden than I do. If eventually he gets to keep a little more of his money, then I don't begrudge him that either. These congressmen who are creating the need for higher taxes in the first place aren't even paying their ow...

    Capuchin, I only make $45,000 a year( on a good year with overtime), but I consider myself rich. Anyone who owns more than one pair of shoes or eats three meals a day is rich relative to rest of the world population.

    While $250,000 may sound like a lot of money, consider one case as an example. Your doctor who had to support himself for 12 years in college while you were working. He comes out of med school owing half a million. Then he has to borrow money to set up his business, probably at least another half a million. He has payroll to meet every week, as well as his office rent, and other business expenses. And he has to pay off his student loans while trying to keep his business afloat. My doctor works really long hours, and says he will cut back if he can't keep his earnings. I suspect many doctors will do the same, and others who are close to retirement age will decide to retire early. Just how will that help our medical expenses, when doctors are in short supply?


    Personally I don't feel like asking this doctor to shoulder any more of the tax burden than I do. If eventually he gets to keep a little more of his money, then I don't begrudge him that either. These congressmen who are creating the need for higher taxes in the first place aren't even paying their own. Why do you want to trust them with any more of anyone's money?

    It would be nice if everyone had an equal share of the pie, but in reality that just never has worked. Obama made the remark that at "some point" a person is making just too much money. What point is that? Maybe he is making too much money. He should just give some to me. ;o)
    (more)
  • Democrat Beaglebabe 2010/09/12 14:19:40
  • Dasher Democrat 2010/09/26 14:37:40
    Dasher
    And where would the government get this money to pay off those loans and to pay for the "public service" from - you and me the taxpayers. The government has not money it does not first take from the people and the economy in general. Stop relying on government as a free ride.
  • Capuchi... Beaglebabe 2010/09/13 22:18:35
    Capuchin Monkey
    Beaglebabe- Thanks for the response. I understand your point, and I agree with you that we are a blessed nation. I think on this much we can agree; 250k a year is considered "rich."
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