Human Events Blog

If you’re reading this, you’re probably “rich”

The New York Post brings us some horrified reactions from New Yorkers who just realized how bad Taxmageddon could be:

New Yorkers of all income levels got a rude awakening yesterday when they saw in The Post how much more they will pay in taxes next year without a fiscal-cliff deal by Jan. 1.

“It’s that much higher?” asked IT worker Vikas Kataria, 34, who discovered that his combined household income of about $250,000 per year will cost him nearly $10,000 more in taxes.

“I thought it was a couple thousand — but that’s a lot,” said Kataria, who works at Merrill Lynch in Manhattan and is married to a systems analyst for a brokerage firm. “That’s huge!”

With higher taxes, the couple would have to cut out on traveling and family vacations.

Clothing designer Peter Opie, of Canary Wharf Clothier, made about $2 million this year — and would see his tax bill spike by a staggering $100,000.

“The system is nuts here — it’s madness personified!” he said.

“We were impacted massively by the hurricane — and now there is this,” said Opie. “You work your butt off and you end up with next to nothing.”

It is a tribute to just how thoroughly the concept of a “fiscal cliff” has been hijacked that the fine folks at the Post describe these peoples’ horror in terms of a “fiscal-cliff deal.”  The first two people they mentioned are going to have their pockets picked by Barack Obama even if a deal is reached, because they make over $250,000 per year, and are therefore “millionaires.”  Only if Republicans force Obama to raise the limit above $250k will they be spared.  The next individual cited in the story, clothing designer Peter Opie, really is a millionaire.  These people are evil and greedy revenue targets who didn’t pay their fair share, which is why $6 trillion accumulated on Uncle Sam’s credit cards over the past four years, while an empty chair gathered dust in the Oval Office.

The Post then moves along to some people who make less than $250k:

Small-business owner Haim Hagon, 51, said it’ll be tough to afford college for his two high-school-aged children.

“Every dollar counts when the situation is tough,” said Hagon, who makes about $150,000 and already moved his son from a private school to a public school due to financial concerns.

“Another $6,000 could have gone to my daughter’s tuition. I’ll have to find that money another way.”

He works 12 hours a day, six days a week to keep his children’s-clothing store in Forest Hills, Queens, afloat — and is now mulling staff and pay cuts.

“What am I supposed to do, work harder?” Hagon said. “I don’t want to find myself in front of my store dead with a heart attack!”

Nice try, fat cat!  But everyone knows people who make $150,000 are lazy scions of privilege who keep their money in treasure vaults.  It’ll take four years for the couple that makes $250k to rake in a million bucks; you’ll do it in less than seven.  You’ll be reclassified as a “millionaire” soon enough, my friend.

What’s all this nonsense about working hard for the money – a lament repeated by that even more despicable millionaire clothing designer?  Another alarmed taxpayer quoted in the Post story is a 55-year-old account executive who reports working 65-hour weeks to pull down his $150k income.  Everyone knows cash just falls out of the sky into their hands – they are the “winners of life’s lottery,” as a Democrat class warrior from an earlier era described them.  How dare this guy talk about firing hard-working middle class people to pay his tax bill!  Everyone knows high-rolling business owners can just pay those higher taxes out of their bulging pockets.

Mr. Hagon’s small business and $150k income will almost certainly leave him with the sort of glittering estate that we are constantly told the government should seize in the name of “fairness,” through confiscatory estate taxes.  Why should his two children be entrusted with the assets he built over a lifetime, when it’s clearly more efficient to let the all-wise, all-knowing government redistribute them?

At the bottom of the income ladder in the Post story, we find a single father who earns $75,000 a year, and says his $2,200 Taxmageddon tax bite will ruin his chances at home ownership, weaken his savings, and maybe even force him to “trim activities like going out to dinner or the movies.”  But wait a second – we’re just talking about returning him to the tax rates he paid under that noted economic genius, President Bill Clinton.  Didn’t people own houses and go to the movies in the 1990s?  Wasn’t most of Clinton’s party opposed to the Bush tax rates that are about to expire?  That’s why they were “temporary tax cuts,” after all.

It seems to me like all these people are saying that draining more money out of the private sector to fund Big Government will have negative economic repercussions.  Only the Bush tax rates have prevented the Obama years from being even worse.  And even though everyone cited in the Post story makes considerably more than the median national income, they’re all talking about changing their behavior in ways that will reduce our general prosperity, as well as compromising their personal standards of living… which the guy making $2 million a year seems to think he has as much right to determine as the single father pulling down $75,000.

It’s a pity we don’t have a party in Washington that would boldly, consistently advocate the wisdom and righteousness of letting these folks keep even more of their own hard-earned money.  Instead, you should know that if you’re reading this, you’re probably “rich,” and the class-war consensus in Washington will be coming for you soon enough, once they burn through all the cash they plan to take from the currently identified group of “millionaires” – something they will do in less than two years, even if Barack Obama gets the biggest tax hike he currently dreams of.

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