Monday, August 2, 2010

Tax Cut Expiration: $175,000 A Year Is Middle-Class, Says CNN

By Manifesto Joe

The propaganda machine aimed at continuing Il Doofus' tax cuts for his rich friends is shifting into high gear, and the allegedly liberal Mainstream Media are falling for the line, and into line.

CNN is no exception. Sunday afternoon I watched a special report focusing on a family in New Jersey who were supposed to exemplify "the middle class." There was one enormous, gaping problem -- they aren't.

This was a couple with two kids. Both parents work at secure jobs. The man is a Certified Public Accountant. Their household income -- $175,000 a year.

Man, if that's middle class, I want to know which planet that's on, and how my wife and I can legally immigrate there. That's well over twice as much as my household has ever brought in, and in real, inflation-adjusted dollars.

I understand that a lot hinges on what one's definition of "the middle class" in America is. It may not necessarily be a family of middle income -- by definition, the middle class includes professionals such as doctors, lawyers, CPAs and such. These groups fall short of what is traditionally regarded as the upper class, people who can get into the Social Register and so forth.

But these groups are at the very highest end of the upper middle class, and are hardly representative of a broader view of middle America. Many more people are "lower" middle class than are "upper" middle class. In 2008, according to the Census Bureau, the median annual income of U.S. households was just over $52,000.

This would probably put the aggregate midpoint of the U.S. "middle class" at somewhere around $70,000 per household, when the very large lower middle class living on median incomes is included.

This report illustrates the insularity of much of the allegedly liberal MSM. If these are "liberals," they are most certainly of the limousine variety. I guess they pay a lot more at CNN than they do the rank-and-file workers in the sector of the MSM where I work.

What to do about the expiration of the tax cuts is certainly a debatable issue. On one hand, it's worth recalling that when the previous tax rates were in effect, late in the Clinton presidency, the federal government was running a record surplus. On the other hand, letting taxes go back up broadly, now, might derail an already-weak economic recovery. I think the Obama administration is on the right track by suggesting that taxes go back up only on families making $250,000 or more a year. I'd say that is filthy rich by almost anybody's standards.

But the debate isn't helped by the kind of laughable distortion I saw yesterday on CNN. This focus couple, making $175,000 a year, were lamenting that they would have to cut back on discretionary spending by about $350 a month in order to meet the bigger tax bill.

Poor little tootsies!

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

POSTSCRIPT: Here's a link to the CNN report by Allan Chernoff. It looks even more stupid on second viewing. And, predictably, there's no way for the viewer to comment negatively.


Marc McDonald said...

I recall in August 2008 when John McCain said that he would define the income level that divides the middle class from the rich at $5 million. It shouldn't be surprising McCain said that though....this, after all, is a man who couldn't recall how many houses he owns.

Jack Jodell said...

Manifesto Joe,
Most of the MSM and nearly all of the Republican Party, Congress, and far too many Democrats as well, have little or no accurate clue as to who or what is middle class. The regressive tax system instituted by George W. Bush, his ultra-conservative Republican allies, and a good number of "Blue Dog" Democrats is a criminal assault on the real middle class and the poor. No other western country has such a system which funnels money upward to a tiny, elite few.

I am sick to death about all the lies and bellyaching I am seeing on the issue of taxation. Our tax rate for the wealthiest citizens stands FAR below that of Canada or western Europe, but to hear the wealthy and conservatives tell it, it's more than double. All this pissing and moaning about a styinking 4% increase on incomes over $250 K is outrageously childish. I recently saw Republican Fred Thompson in an ad actively urging people to call their congresspersons to urge them to extend Bush's tax cuts for the rich. IS THIS GUY NUTS? AND WHO IS FRONTING THE MONEY FOR THIS LYING AD CAMPAIGN?

TAX THE RICH! FEED THE POOR, AND EVERYONE ELSE TOO! We have far too much money needlessly concentrated in far too few hands in this country. Those at the top are not producing - they're just skimming. Ours is not an economic democracy; rather, it is a plutocracy. We talk about political reform all the time, and that is good and neccessary. But the time has come for some serious economic reform as well!

Anonymous said...

>>I am sick to death about all the
>>lies and bellyaching I am seeing
>>on the issue of taxation.

Most of the signs one sees at the Tea Bagger rallies are bitching about Obama's "take hikes." These idiots are convinced Obama already raised their taxes (in fact, the bottom 98 percent got tax cuts).

My hard-core Republican neighbor has often claimed that Obama raised his taxes. He was also convinced that Obama was going to "confiscate" his guns and he went out and spent thousands of dollars on buying new guns.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I make $175000 in Massachusetts and we are most definitely middle class. Upper, sure. But, given the cost of living, we are by no means rich.

Manifesto Joe said...

Damn. Things are tough all over.