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"Rich" Could be Redefined to $422,000

The left-of-center Center for American Progress has revealed its own tax plan. It does little, really, to reduce the budget deficit, but it does soak the rich while changing the definition of "rich" to protect the high income class of professionals who live in pricey cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Specifically, the new proposal for a definition of "rich" is $422,000.

Another sop to the professional class (that overwhelmingly votes Democratic these days) is an end to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

With these two changes in place, the main remaining sore spot for the denizens of Bethesda, the Upper West Side and Santa Clara is a mere $2 million exclusion for estates. Bad luck for the upper middle class if they fail to disperse their holdings before death.

Meanwhile, everything else goes up: capital gains tax, gas tax, Obamacare tax (at $250K per couple), the payroll tax, gift tax. I don't think people realize the effect of cumulative increases will have on venture capital funding. If it went from today's 15% to 20%--and stopped--that would be a bit of a pill to swallow for start-up companies. But if, as planned, it also goes up 3.8% for the Obamacare surtax, etc., etc. and winds up at 41% or so, the economy could gag. Add to that number the new higher state taxes in California and even the tech rich will have to take notice. You don't have to care much about them to worry about what happens when new businesses with new jobs are not created.

The significance of the Center for American Progress agenda is that it speaks for consensus American liberalism. That consensus, backed by the media, is in charge.

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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