President Obama’s new budget again proposes raising the tax rates for the “rich” people who make over $200,000 a year (singles) or $250,000 a year (marrieds). Capital gains and Medicare payroll taxes would also rise for these horrible rich people, and their deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, property taxes, sales taxes, state and local income taxes, medical expenses, and employee business expenses would be cut back.
Of course, this is primarily a tax on job-creating small business. However, through all this debate I always wondered how Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the other Democrats in Congress decided that this particular income level made you “rich.” Then I stumbled on these seemingly obvious factoids from Congress’ official website:
The current salary (2011) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year. The salaries for the leaders are:
Majority Party Leader – $193,400
Minority Party Leader – $193,400
Speaker of the House – $223,500 (remember Nancy Pelosi is married, so she is still under the $250,000 that would make her “rich”)
Majority Leader – $193,400
Minority Leader – $193,400
So it all actually just comes down to the old saying that the definition of a “rich” person is someone makes more than you do.