Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reality Check

Since when is a family earning under $250,000 or even $200,000 considered middle class? Those are the numbers that Obama and others are batting around saying there will be no tax increase for those earning below those lofty threshholds....
Let's take a look at some real earning numbers--in 2007 the national median* income for families was $50,233. Single men earned $45,113, and women earned $35,102. [The May 2008 figures for NY state were mean** income $49,590 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics].
Only 1.93% of households earn over $250,000. The bottom 20% earned less than $19,178 --12.3% of the households fell below the federal poverty level (for a family of four that's $22,050, for a single pers on its $10,830--for additional persons in household add roughly $3700).

So, I would like our politicians to get realistic when talking about middle income households. Use figures that actually reflect middle income earnings say $35,000-90,000. And tax those who earn over $10,000 more.
Also, I would suggest raising the bar for social security pay-ins (FICA); at this point, one pays 6.2% to Social Security (FICA) on earnings up to $106800, and nothing thereafter. Raise that limit to $250,000 or more, those who earn more can afford to pay more. 6.2% of 50,233 is $3114.45 which before other taxes leaves the family with less than $47,000 to live on....
A household earning $200,000 would pay FICA $12,400, which would still leave them $187,600 before other taxes to live on . . .

[And, we are not even touching those who are unemployed--June's figures were 9.7% is the national figure, 8.6% is NYS and for Ulster County , 8.2%-- note that these numbers do not reflect those who are under-ewmployed, working part time, undert he table or have just given up looking for a job. I have heard some economists say to find the real number, just double the reported number. . .]

* median = the actual number that separates the top half from the bottom half
**mean= the average (add up all the wages and divide equally by number of wage earners)


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