Make up your mind, Barry

November 19, 2007

I’m getting tired of hearing politicians talk about helping the middle class. It’s not so much that helping the middle class is a bad thing but we never get a concrete definition of what “middle class” means. Take, for example, Barack Obama and Social Security.

Obama on Meet the Press (video here):

“I think the best way to approach this is to adjust the cap on the payroll tax so that people like myself are paying a little bit more and people who are in need are protected,” the Illinois senator said.

“That is the option that I will be pushing forward.”

Currently, only the first $97,500 of a person’s annual income is taxed. The amount is scheduled to rise to $102,000 next year.

Obama’s proposal could include a gap or “doughnut hole” to shield middle-income earners from paying more in taxes, he said.

And Obama at the Vegas debate (video here):

And Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois brought himself to use Clinton’s name in a direct attack, criticizing the Democratic front-runner for failing to provide “straight answers to tough questions.” He also took a shot at her for suggesting that raising the level of income taxed for Social Security would unfairly burden average Americans.

“Understand that only 6 percent of Americans make more than $97,000 a year,” Obama said. “So 6 percent is not the middle class. It is the upper class.”

So is that “doughnut hole” of tax relief helping the middle class or the upper class?   Enquiring lower class people want to know. 

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4 Responses to “Make up your mind, Barry”


  1. I think your missing the point just slightly.

    I think what Mr. Obama is saying, is that by raising the cap, the 6% who make more than 97,000 will be paying more taxes than they have been, easing the tax burden that has placed on the backs of the rest of America.

    If the people making more than $97,000 pay more taxes, the people who make less (the middle and lower classes) will no longer be bearing the brunt of the tax burden.

    Also, what we traditionally call the “middle class” is all but extinct. The lack of good union jobs, especially manufacturing jobs, in this country has been the main cause.

    So what you really have is lower class citizens paying most of the taxes.

    I think it’s time to level the playing field, so to speak.

    -Eric Palmieri

    http://www.ericpalmieri.com

  2. John in IL Says:

    And you missed my point entirely. My complaint is with Barack Obama (and John Edwards also) carving out exemptions for those they claim to be middle class but in the same breath say thay they are upper class.

    by raising the cap, the 6% who make more than 97,000 will be paying more taxes than they have been, easing the tax burden that has placed on the backs of the rest of America.

    And with that, you throw out the basic tenet behind the Social Security program. It then becomes a welfare program.

    Also, what we traditionally call the “middle class” is all but extinct.

    That’s news to me. Got anything to prove it?

    So what you really have is lower class citizens paying most of the taxes.

    Again, anything to back up that statement?


  3. The funny part about all of this is that, as analysis shows, the top 5% of Americans earn 33% of the income, but pay 57% of the taxes.

    Meanwhile, the bottom 50% earn 13% of the income, but pay 3% of the taxes.

    Furthermore, as I’ve blogged elsewhere, Social Security already screws over those who work and make a living, since your taxes increase directly and your benefits decrease proportionately as your income rises.

    The reason the cap is set at 97k is because, in the Social Security calculation of benefits, a person making that much is entitled to exactly the Social Security maximum benefit when they retire. What Obama wants to do is to hold the benefit cap, but increase the amount of taxation — meaning that people will be paying in money that they are barred from ever collecting in benefits.

  4. QuakerJono Says:

    You know, I find that to be an interesting statistic. 33% of the income generated in this country is paid directly into the pockets of 5% of the population. That 5% are then, and certainly the “fairness” of this is arguable, paying 57% of the total income tax revenue generated by this country. Yet, that top 5% still, Donald Trumps, Bill Gates, The Real Wives of the OC, etc., still somehow manage to eek out a living with just a couple of houses, a few sports cars, and T.V. shows dedicated to showing exactly how they spend their money and raise their…well, let’s call them children, but “wallet-parasite” is probably a more accurate term.

    My goodness, with all the hardship these 5% have to face on a daily basis, it’s amazing they don’t just eat a bullet and hasten on to the paradise that is the next world, since their tax burden has obviously made this life such a living hell for them.

    The bottom 50% of wage-earners in this country, and, for the record, that’s roughly 150 million people assuming 100% employment, make 13% of the total amount of income generated in this country. So, using a GDP of $13 trillion, that would mean that 150 million people get to divide about $1.69 trillion amongst themselves and their wallet-parasites, which roughly works out to about $11,267 per wage earner per year. Well, sans what they pay for taxes.

    Of course, if you’re one of the lucky 15 million to be in that “top” 5%, then you have $4.29 trillion to split amongst yourselves, which works out to roughly $286,000 to split amongst all your wallet-parasites.

    Certainly, these represent gross figures and some have more and some have less, although “less” seems to be a fairly relative term when looking at the upper 5% and the lower 50%.


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