Our presidential hopefuls make all kinds of tax-related promises that are either unrealistic or incompletely specified. Even if McCain were to win, he could only raise taxes. Obama has come out as favoring tax-increases for those families making more than $250,000/year. Since Obama appears to have better chances to win, I will quote a couple of tax-related comments pertaining to his tax plan:
1) I'm a Democrat and an Obama supporter -- a volunteer, in fact. I am also a salaried professional, married to Joe the construction manager. Together, we earn about $250,000 a year, after deductions, and therefore will be paying higher taxes under Obama's tax plan. This even though we live in the NYC metro area, where the cost of living is 2.5 times the national average. That means that our income has the purchasing power of $100,000 in Podunk. We ain't starving, but neither are we Mr. & Mrs. Richie the Hedge Fund Manager.
My point is that Obama's plan will in fact impact the urban, professional middle class. Most of us are voting for him, but let's be honest; we are paying high taxes already here in Westchester County, plus high energy costs, plus high health care costs, and the extra $3,000 or so per year that Obama's plan will cost a family in my income bracket will not come easily.
I wish that Obama would include a "cost of living" adjustment in his tax plan, so that middle-class professionals in big cities wouldn't take a hit. On the other hand, if I have to sacrifice so that Richie finally pays his share, then I'll bite the bullet.
— KT, Chappaqua, NY2) My husband and I have worked hard over the course of our careers. Now that we are in our late 50s, we are mature in our professions and in our earning capacities. After many years of post-graduate education, we each attained the credentials necessary for our respective professions, and we have each subsequently put in countless hours (and immeasurable passion) to serve, in his case, patients, and, in my case, clients. We net more than $250,000 annually. Although we are now worried about the value of our investments, we are still looking forward to a comfortable retirement in the next decade.
While we don't particularly enjoy paying taxes, we do enjoy being citizens of the United States. We do expect to contribute to the education, infrastructure, public health, social welfare, safety, and culture of the country we live in. We do want to do our part to insure its future. So, while we may sigh when we write checks to the IRS, we also take some satisfaction in the belief that we are integral to the success of our country. Moreover, because we can afford to pay a larger share of our income than others can, we expect to do so.
Regardless of our professional success, however, we still are limited in our income potential by our relying principally on reimbursement for our labor. There are many others in the over $250,000/year category with incomes much greater than ours. There are many whose earnings come from their investments or their executive positions enabling them to partake of large shares of corporate earnings. Fairness requires that these individuals pay even greater amounts/percentages of their income than those of us who are essentially high-earning workers do. The tax rate needs to continue to slide upward, for top incomes go way, way, way above $250,000 annually. Those corporate executives who take millions in cash, bonuses, and stocks do not even breathe the same air as my husband and I. Their tax rate has to be greater than ours. In the tax realm, that's all I ask of Obama when he takes over the reins of this country, which he will do, and not a moment too soon.
— Shelley, Santa Barbara