Middle class? Yeah, right.

April 21, 2009 at 7:30 am 1 comment

This recent article from Wall Street Journal chaps my hide.  (Click on the link to read the full article.)

It talks about how families earning $250,000 or more each year don’t consider themselves to be wealthy.  They are lamenting President Obama’s proposed tax increase for people in their income range, saying they are already strapped to the hilt and can’t afford to be taxed anymore.  One man, whose annual salary is $400,000, claims he is “barely getting by.”

WHAT????

The article tells us that these people are making more money than 98% of Americans, yet they still consider themselves to be middle class.  These people lament the fact that their income is being eaten up by larger healthcare deductibles, increased college tuition, and rising house payments.  The article also cites childcare costs and conspicuous consumption as reasons why these families are feeling financially strapped.

Maybe it’s because I’m from Wichita, where the cost of living is reasonably low.  Or maybe it’s because I come from a background and a belief system that places people and God before material things.  In any case, I can not imagine a circumstance where I would make $250,000 or more a year and complain that I don’t make enough.  Do you know what kinds of things I could do with that level of household income?

I have to say, however, that I don’t believe that it’s fair – in a capitalistic economy – to tax people who make more just because they have had the good fortune, luck, or acumen to be successful in business.  It smacks too much of Robin Hood-ism to me.  I don’t believe in a sliding tax system, in which you make more, you pay more.  I believe that every American should be taxed a flat percentage.  Period.  Let’s do away with this idea of tax brackets and let everyone pay an equal percentage based on what he or she actually makes.

That being said, I hope the recent downturn in the economy has caused the people quoted in this story to pause and reflect on their lifestyles.  To truly consider the things that they spend their money on and ask themselves if they are focusing on the right priorities.

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Entry filed under: Life in general.

Fancy Alissa The dandelions are blooming.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Candice Crafton  |  April 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    This has little to do with the article or your post as a whole, but it’s a random tidbit that I feel like mentioning — I read somewhere that a study was done, asking people of all different income levels where they felt they placed in terms of lower/middle/upper class. Nearly everyone said middle class, regardless of whether or not it was technically true. They say it’s because no matter who much you earn (except, I suppose, in cases of extreme poverty or wealth), there is always someone better off and always someone worse off. So I guess I can see someone making 250k feeling as if they’re middle class, even though it seems ridiculous to us.

    Also, I wonder where most of these people live. Like you said, in Kansas (and pretty much most of the Great Plains and Midwest), you are pretty set financially making $250,000+ a year. But in New York, where a freaking 2 bedroom brownstone costs can cost easily cost four times that amount, that may not really be enough to live comfortably, you know?

    All that said, though, on the subjects of taxes…well, I’ll admit that I am not completely opposed to Obama’s plan. It’s not ideal, but, you know, none of this mess is, and something does need to be done.

    Reply

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