Let's Move the Needle: $340,250

Let's Move the Needle: $340,250
How to figure out who the "rich" are in the United States of Two Americas (Photograph by Radius Images)
Photograph by Radius Images

How many of the people who stand to get hit with Obama’s higher tax rate plan are in fact either millionaires or billionaires? According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 2.7 million people earn $250,000 a year or more—and fewer than one-tenth of them earn a million dollars or more.

—Thomas Sowell, “Obama uses ‘tax the rich’ rhetoric to hoodwink voters,” The Columbian, September 11, 2012.

I support President Obama’s proposal to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for high-income taxpayers. However, I prefer a cutoff point somewhat above $250,000—maybe $500,000 or so.

—Warren E. Buffett, “A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy,” New York Times, November 25, 2012.

… or so.

Imagine the amount of your taxpayer dollars that will go to figure out who the “rich” are in the United States of Two Americas.

The rich “rich” include any-and-all above, me.

Here’s a back-of-an-envelope guesstimate that will avoid jillions of tax dollars spent, give comfort, cover and joy to the left and right, and will allow the beleaguered of the Congressional Budget Office to get one night of eight hours’ sleep.

Take the “richest” state by per capita income (Maryland! at $70,647). Take the U.S. average ($51,914). The difference is $18,733.

That is, Maryland, richest of the rich, is 36.1 percent “richer” than the national average. Go Orioles!

One hundred thirty-six point one percent, of the oft-cited and evil $250,000, is one small step toward Mr. Buffett’s sanity, and one giant leap for Dr. Sowell’s search for the president’s lazy, no-good, sitting-by-the-pool millionaires and billionaires.

Let’s move the needle: $340,250. Discuss.

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