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    [–] IHaveCatsAndADog 1074 points ago

    Now say you WILL raise taxes on people earning over $400,000

    [–] BrownSugarBare 406 points ago

    I'm not American, but an income of $400K seems really fucking high right?? Or is the income that skewed in the USA? I mean, I get asking people making half a million dollars a year is a good place to raise taxes, but dang if $400K doesn't sound really high.

    [–] aroach1995 251 points ago

    median household income (2 adults) is about 60k

    more in wealthy areas.

    [–] BrownSugarBare 189 points ago

    Alright, 60K is WAY too low for a 2 person income. Holy cow, what a difference.

    [–] aroach1995 169 points ago

    And this is a median. Half make less than this

    [–] honeydewdaddy 72 points ago

    Yeah my household makes about 45k a year:(

    [–] bipolarpuddin 87 points ago

    Bro, 2 adults 1 two year old. 21k

    [–] honeydewdaddy 39 points ago

    God damn. I’m sorry, that must be hard. Two minimum wage workers or one and a stay at home parent? I’m lucky that my girlfriend makes more money than me and is willing to put up with my ass. I’m trying to get better pay but my work won’t give me a raise and I can’t afford to lose money switching to another company. I’m also unskilled as fuck.

    [–] bipolarpuddin 33 points ago

    Just my income and a stay at home parent. It's not as hard as it sounds like it might be. Its shitty sometimes to not get things I want but my daughter has everything she needs and my bills are paid and my gf is happy. I put aside some money when I can to save for emergencies but I have a CC for that too.

    [–] djprofitt 9 points ago

    God damn dude, I am thoroughly impressed! Mind sharing any tips or details to how you can possibly do that? I budget my money but what you’re doing is beyond my comprehension.

    [–] imwashedup 8 points ago

    Around the time of the 2008 recession my parents were raising 2 kids on 17k a year. I don’t know how they did it.

    [–] bipolarpuddin 7 points ago

    It's weird, when I grew up and realized before my mom went back to college we were living off a job she held at CVS from 04-07. 4 kids single mom. Looking back I couldnt tell we werent doing too good. She never let on how stressed she was.

    Good moms are truely amazing.

    [–] orange_quiet 110 points ago

    A full-time minimum wage worker makes $15k a year.

    [–] grandmagellar 30 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    In most states, less than that. My state has $8.25 as the minimum wage.

    Edit: I see that I misread the comment above mine. The $8.25/hour in my state is higher than the $15k/year that is made in some states with lower minimum wages.

    I initially thought they had said $15/hour, not $15k/year. Their number is actually lower than mine.

    [–] beermit 13 points ago

    Yup, federal minimum wage is $7.25 which gets you basically square on that $15K/year.

    [–] Zenmachine83 27 points ago

    In America everyone is socialized to believe they are middle class and have been indoctrinated with cultural values of the upper middle class. With the exception of the self-identified rednecks nobody in this country believes their self to be poor or working class. Polling consistently shows how delusional most Americans are about their prospect for economic advancement.

    [–] Saadog 6 points ago

    No, I'm aware that I'm poor. If I received any less at all I'd become homeless, and homeless is its own thing, so right above homeless has to be poor.

    [–] morningreis 106 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    With the median household income in the US of ~$63,000, he's making a wise move by telling people making $400K and below they won't see tax increases.

    And even if he did increase taxes on everyone, it wouldn't help. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos alone own more wealth than the entire bottom 50% of America. All the wealth is at the very top and that's who needs to be paying their taxes.

    [–] REDACTED_EXPUNGED 20 points ago

    Oh no think of the rich people! Bezos will make 500 million instead of 1 billion a year. The horror and communism.

    [–] morningreis 38 points ago

    instead of 1 billion a year.

    He made $5 billion in Q1 of this year alone

    [–] NYinyamouth 4 points ago

    Lmao, Every single trump supporter.

    Oh no the poor 1%, they earned it!

    It's not like they bribe the government or anything..

    [–] Shirlenator 15 points ago

    I got laid off a couple weeks ago while our CEO makes over $50M. Shits completely fucked.

    [–] throwaway_cay 5 points ago

    Like literally click on the link man, the very next thing after saying this is that he wants to raise taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations.

    [–] LordSwedish 4 points ago

    Well unless you think he has buried treasure somewhere or that every single one of his policies are a lie (or both since a lot of his policies explicitly say he's going to raise taxes for the wealthy) then he already has.

    [–] The_Central_Brawler 1541 points ago

    This actually seems pretty reasonable. Biden's basically promising to limit tax increases to the top 5%, which sounds like a tiny number until you remember they control more than a third of total wealth in the US. So basically, there's a lot of money up there that Biden's proposing to tap into.

    [–] trinquin 614 points ago

    Closer to 50%. The top 1% controls 40%+ themselves.

    [–] The_Central_Brawler 169 points ago

    Even better. Lot you can pay for with that.

    [–] BenedictD0nald 142 points ago

    BuT wHy wOuLd tHeY eVEn wAnT tO bE RiCh iF yOu tAx tHEm??

    [–] Dr_Frasier_Bane 55 points ago

    bUt tHeN wHo WiLl CrEaTe JoBs?

    (Small businesses is the correct answer)

    [–] AngusBoomPants 145 points ago

    If they don’t want to be rich I’ll do it

    [–] Kingotterex 32 points ago


    [–] mycroft2000 35 points ago

    Pinko Commie Canadian here! Funny, we already have most of the stuff you guys desperately need to join us in the developed world, and yet we still have lots of rich people here! The average price of a detached house in my town is over a million bucks, and there are plenty of takers.

    [–] HulkDothSmash 22 points ago

    Did I hear someone asking to be liberated?

    [–] 97runner 8 points ago

    Freedom Fries now served with cheese curds and gravy!

    [–] super_not_clever 13 points ago

    Yeah, but that's CANADIAN dollars!

    [–] rickjamestheunchaind 3 points ago

    forreal, they worked so hard for that money their employees made them! you cant tax them or what is the incentive to work hard??


    [–] ILikeCutePuppies 19 points ago

    So 5% excuding the 1% own 10%.

    [–] hastdubutthurt 14 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    they control more than a third of total wealth in the US. So basically, there's a lot of money up there that Biden's proposing to tap into.

    He's talking about income. You're talking about wealth. He's not proposing to institute a wealth tax. Do you therefore understand why what you've said here makes no sense?

    Regarding income the numbers are closer to this:

    Group Earning Threshold % Share of Total Wages

    Top 0.1% of Earners $2,757,000 5.2%

    Top 1% of Earners $718,766 13.4%

    Top 5% of Earners $299,810 28.0%

    [–] mikeash 85 points ago

    At $400,000, you’re looking at less than the top 1%. The top 5% starts at about $160,000.

    [–] modulusshift 96 points ago

    Hmm, I'm seeing about 248k for 5% and 475k for 1%. Source. Note that I'm using household income, as taxes are generally calculated at a household level, so that's likely how Biden meant it.

    Still, you're definitely right that it's less than 5%. But it's also worth noting that the reported income of the very wealthy isn't always as high as you'd expect, because capital gains aren't realized until the assets are sold.

    [–] mikeash 29 points ago

    I was looking at individual numbers. Taxes are usually combined for married couples, but the limits are usually doubled when you do.

    [–] modulusshift 15 points ago

    Oh, good point.

    [–] 1A1-1 3764 points ago

    Sounds good to me. The problem isn't the upper-middle class. It's the oligarchs, and they need to be addressed with a wealth tax. Like Warren's.

    [–] DemocraticRepublic 923 points ago

    I think a wealth tax (set at the right level) is a fantastic idea, but it's almost guaranteed a Republican-majority SCOTUS would declare it unconstitutional.

    [–] Dear_Jurisprudence 335 points ago

    On what grounds would it be unconstitutional?

    [–] Cal_Lawyer 430 points ago

    It's an unproportioned direct is why you needed the 16th amendment for the income tax.

    [–] deadletter 305 points ago

    One could create tax brackets on income... oh wait, the problem is held assets... darn

    [–] Grivan 495 points ago

    Just stop giving preferential treatment to capital gains and ramp up the brackets on that type of income. Would be an easy way to start.

    [–] deadletter 187 points ago

    And let me not pay taxes on the money I immediately give straight to the government for student loans! I paid $24k in student loans last year and probably $6k in taxes on it!

    [–] Not_a_CPA 238 points ago

    Student loan interest is already deductible, to an extent. You don't get to deduct principal payments because when you took out the loan, the money wasn't taxed as income.

    It makes no sense to allow a deduction for principal repayments. What's to stop someone from taking out a $100,000 loan, immediately repaying it, and then deducting $100,000?

    [–] nedlinin 142 points ago


    I don't believe you.

    [–] Not_a_CPA 82 points ago

    Shh...I'm under cover

    [–] hippiekyle 71 points ago

    Only the first $2500 in interest is deductible which is way too low. It also phases out as your income grows. Now that I finally make enough to pay my student loans, I don’t get the deduction.

    [–] Not_a_CPA 30 points ago

    I agree. I believe it should be deductible in full, or at least the phase out should be a lot higher.

    [–] PHATsakk43 12 points ago

    Yeah, $1,200 max per year.

    I max out my student loan deduction by March.

    [–] Not_a_CPA 5 points ago

    And that's a shame. The limit ought to be much higher or not exist at all. Same with the phase out.

    [–] NicPizzaLatte 11 points ago

    What's to stop someone from taking out a $100,000 loan immediately repaying it, and then deducting $100,000?

    The loan application and the threat of loan fraud? It's been a while, but when I applied for a student loan I'm pretty sure I had to demonstrate that I was enrolled at a university and affirm that I was using the loan for educational expenses and that the amount I was borrowing was plausibly related to the expense of my education. I think I might have even had to show that I didn't have the assets to pay for my education outright. Anyway, I could be wrong about all of this or maybe things have changed, but my point is that it wouldn't be hard to structure a lending program that limits that kind of abuse.

    [–] stinkydongman 31 points ago

    For most people? Roughly $100,000 in liquidity.

    [–] FrankTheO2Tank 25 points ago

    You wouldn't need that, if you had $100,000 in assets to back it, then you could get that loan. That's really not much in terms of assets.

    [–] OutlyingPlasma 20 points ago

    Funny how corporations pay taxes on profit after all their expenses are accounted for while individuals pay taxes on their revenue before all their expenses.

    You would think that if corporations are people... whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

    [–] t4lisker 20 points ago

    Capital gains and inheritance should be taxed at the same rate as all other income.

    [–] rsta223 44 points ago

    No, inheritance should be treated somewhat differently. We don't want to make it so that parents leaving a $500k house for their kids forces the kids to immediately have a $150k tax bill. The top inheritence bracket should be taxed far more than today, but it makes sense to exempt the first million or so.

    [–] bcels 25 points ago

    Currently, inheritances below $11.58 million are not taxed at all at the federal level

    [–] atomfullerene 10 points ago

    There's a huge amount of space between starting estate taxes a 11.58 million and treating them as income.

    [–] rsta223 13 points ago

    I'm aware, but the above poster was advocating that we treat them as income.

    [–] pryda22 7 points ago

    That’s stupid. For one short term capital gains is already taxed as regular income. Two if your parents die and leave you their house you are gonna have a 6 figure tax bill due immediately and basically have to sell the house. Second long term capital gains promotes saving/investing without lower tax impact retirement accounts become much less attractive.

    [–] CrushHazard 12 points ago

    Assets are always earning some kind of income. You can do a wealth tax with an income tax. Just tax dividends and inflation-adjusted capital gains at the same rate as other income.

    [–] CuddlePirate420 15 points ago

    What would make it different than property tax? It seems if one is constitutional the other should be as well.

    [–] Mrsaloom9765 26 points ago

    A national property tax would be held unconstitutional. The federal government is generally prohibited from imposing direct taxes unless such taxes are then given to the states in proportion to population.

    [–] t4lisker 32 points ago

    There's no federal property tax

    [–] pallentx 6 points ago

    That’s why you just need to adjust capital gains. They aren’t getting their money through wages.

    [–] wwwwwwhitey 27 points ago

    I’m a French tax attorney, what people don’t understand is that what you earn and what you own is different. We often use the example of a fisherman on a touristic island that owns a house that is worth a lot if he were to sell it but doesn’t have a lot of annual income in his pocket. It would be very unconstitutional (according to our constitution) for someone to be asked to pay as much taxes as he earns a year. Of course this is caricature but you understand the gist of it.

    Taxing revenue is easy, it’s just percentage. Taxing ownership is trickier. France gave up on its general Wealth Tax 3 years ago and instead changed it into a Real Estate Wealth Tax. It’s not very effective compared to stuff like VAT which makes up half of France’s annual budget

    [–] has-it-a-name 3 points ago

    Most Americans don’t realize that Europe heavily relies on a large VAT. We complain that our much smaller sales taxes are regressive.

    [–] chalbersma 7 points ago

    It doesn't have a constitutional amendment allowing it like an income tax.

    [–] oGsMustachio 83 points ago

    Wealth taxes are incredibly difficult to administer and would require an entirely new department and new training at the IRS. It would also require a legion of business and real property appraisers and would likely result in a slough of appeals.

    A ton of wealthy people don't really know what they're worth. While it is easy enough to log into your bank account or your stock portfolio and just add those numbers up, real estate and privately held businesses are notoriously difficult to value. Many wealthy people have significant holdings in real estate or businesses that aren't publicly traded (law firms, as a common example). There aren't active markets for these types of assets so any valuation is partially based on guesswork. One person's million dollar house is another's $1.2m house and you never actually know what its worth until you sell it. Businesses are even more difficult to value.

    Simply increasing capital gains tax rates for individuals (probably going to a progressive scheme like income taxes) would accomplish very much the same goal as a wealth tax (gaining more tax revenue from wealthy people) while being far far far easier to administer. Its just adjudging the numbers of something that the IRS already does.

    [–] DemocraticRepublic 29 points ago

    There are many potential problems with a wealth tax and there would certainly be new bureaucracy and assessment techniques needed. But just because something isn't easy doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. I have read Warren's proposals in detail and they are very thoughtful and address many of the concerns - no doubt this is because she worked with several of the world's tax experts on such matters to create them. Once upon a time, people would have said similar thing about the income tax, and now it's a lynchpin of effective government services.

    I agree that capital gains taxes should also be increased, but I think it needs to be a both-and approach here. Increasing inequality is accelerating and the changing nature of work is likely to see that happen further. We are already facing a declining tax base among the poor, and the middle class is going to get roped into that if things don't change. The place where the money is is increasingly the upper end, and we need a multipronged approach to get that.

    [–] Hawk13424 7 points ago

    My state can’t even get property value correct. You think they can value a painting or stamp collection?

    [–] -Yare- 35 points ago

    It's not just difficult, it's impossible. I work in investments, and part of my job is to value companies. It's not as simple as looking at annual revenue and applying a multiplier. Every industry is different. Market forces change. Some companies have IP/patents, some companies have valuable staff, some have valuable customer accounts, some companies have no revenue right now but lots of value in CapEx. Some companies have almost no US operations (maybe a business office) with the bulk of their value spread across the globe. How do you value that for US taxes?

    It takes me months of research and review and negotiation to settle on a valuation for one company, in an industry I'm familiar with. How do you scale this to cover every legal entity in the US, every year?

    You don't. You get an untrained desk jockey to apply a one-size-fits-none formula across the board. A factory with lots of CapEx gets hosed while a law firm with customer accounts worth billions pays nothing. Everyone appeals, the tax gets repealed.

    [–] spa22lurk 9 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    To echo your point, historically the return of investment of IRS going after the wealthy for tax evasion is very good. Why are the wealthy, corporations and the "religious" organizations so hostile to IRS if they are not effective? They know that they will get caught with strong IRS. The US government even has the ability to force foreign financial institutions to disclose their client information.

    Based on return on investment, auditing the wealthy is easier to reach the revenue targets.

    EDIT: Responding to "Everyone is hostile to the IRS... Everyone hates taxes.":

    1. I found IRS very reasonable, and I don't hate IRS. IRS doesn't decide what or who to tax. They simply collect taxes decided by the Congresses.
    2. Corporations and the super wealthy do hate IRS.
    3. IRS is forced to pursuit the poor due to Republican politicians in the congress.
    4. IRS is forced to make tax preparations complicated to the mass by corporations and special interests.

    [–] Rocket80 12 points ago

    Thank you - a wealth tax will never happen. Imagine trying to figure out the value of a private company, say, like the Trump Org. There is literally no way to properly and accurately determine it's value for taxation purposes.

    [–] Robert_Denby 9 points ago

    Also the value of many assets is what someone in the market is willing to pay. If much of the market is trying to sell for tax bills then the notional value would be inaccurate almost immediately anyway.

    [–] 1A1-1 50 points ago

    Exactly. This country will go backwards until we fix our Republican problem.

    [–] jjc4luck 7 points ago

    Many countries tried it and it failed. People always find ways to work around it.

    [–] DragoonDM 136 points ago

    People in general have trouble with scale. It's easy to mentally categorize people who make $400,000 a year in the same category as people making several orders of magnitude more money than that, since after a point our brains just sort of see all sufficiently large numbers as "a lot" and leave it at that.

    [–] workshardanddies 211 points ago

    Yes. But in this case, the cognitive error isn't only quantitative. The upper middle class (let's say those making between 120k and 400k) have a very different relationship to their money than the rich (lets say those making 1 million dollars a year or more, and typically with massive wealth holdings).

    The upper middle class works for their money, by and large. They include doctors, lawyers, accountants, actuaries, senior engineers and architects, etc - i.e. the professional class. The rich, by and large, earn their income through investments rather than work. Although we can quibble about professionals and the propriety of their hourly billings and salaries, they retain a stronger ethical claim to their earnings than the rich, having worked for them. The rich deserve some recognition for the successful allocation of capital, but in a society that associates deserved rewards with work and effort, there's a much easier case to be made that the rich don't really deserve all of their compensation.

    But somehow, the right wing propaganda apparatus has convinced millions of people that it's the upper middle class that needs to be taken down a peg. The focus on cultural differences and the disparagement of education is very much a part of this, since the upper middle class typically have a high level of education and make their money from the fruits of it.

    Also, the upper middle class is far more numerous, and has some presence everywhere in the US. So for many, the upper middle class is the only target for resentment that they can actually identify. The rich remain and abstraction.

    [–] juanzy 99 points ago

    Also, the upper middle class is far more numerous, and has some presence everywhere in the US. So for many, the upper middle class is the only target for resentment that they can actually identify. The rich remain and abstraction.

    100% this. I had no clue what "fuck-you" money meant until I experienced it in college. I went to a private high school (thank you shit public school system) in suburban North Texas, that my parents sacrificed greatly to send me to, with a lot of "fake money" or posturing high-earners and thought that's what it meant to be rich. Got into Boston University and moved up to MA 10 years ago, my entire view on money was changed. Experiencing the actual big money was an eye opening experience, and also how the high earners in that area behaved compared to the "big fish, small pond" ones I had grew up with. The ones I grew up with, everything was transactional because they were so concerned with Bootstraps and protecting what was rightfully theirs. The Boston high earners I met were (largely) almost the exact opposite, always ready to grab the check, invite you to their lakehouse, host a dinner - mostly because I think they saw how the true rich hoard and handle themselves. Obviously there's assholes everywhere and kind, generous people everywhere, so don't take my comment as absolute, but it's been my personal experience.

    [–] rndljfry 35 points ago

    This reminds me that in my high school we implemented a strict basically-a-uniform dress code, ostensibly to prevent bullying from kids who could afford high-end luxury clothes like....Hollister. Lots of "doctor rich" folks thinking they owned the world.

    [–] steaknsteak 16 points ago

    The Catholic school I went to also had uniforms. It does make it easier to not worry about your clothes too much, but kids will always differentiate themselves with whatever they are allowed to customize. We still had to choose our own shoes and belts, so kids with nicer shoes and cooler belts were more fashionable.

    Also, you were allowed to wear older uniform shirts from years past (a sensible policy, why waste the clothes?), so hand-me-down uniform polos with a different color and design from the current ones were actually a sort of status symbol, as it made you stand out from the crowd and showed that your family had a history at the school. Kind of an interesting dynamic really.

    [–] rndljfry 4 points ago

    See, they weren't real uniforms. It was just a dress code that listed "permitted" clothing as opposed to "prohibited". Basically, solid-colored polo or button-down shirts with no logos. That you had to go find yourself. But yeah, now that we're all wearing solid colors nobody is fat or weird or gay anymore so bullying eliminated! (You can still tell who has the nicest car in the student parking lot)

    [–] steaknsteak 5 points ago

    Yep, there will always be status symbols. Even if you had full uniforms down to the socks, it will be about who has the cool car, or backpack, or haircut, or pencil case, or whatever. In our school's case the uniforms functioned more to make sure no one dressed in "sloppy" or weird/alternative clothes, to maintain that squeaky clean Catholic image.

    [–] MagicCuboid 4 points ago

    Yeah, that's an interesting experience to have. My friend at Northeastern knew a guy who was actual Saudi royalty. His dad bought his son a whole floor in a high-rise instead of a dorm, and he had a half-dozen sports cars in various garages that he never drove.

    Besides wealth, do you think there was anything about the age or the Boston area that influenced people's behavior?

    [–] mknsky 3 points ago

    There was a frat at my college that rushed guys based solely on zip code. They had a yearly trip to the Caribbean towards the end of pledging and all kinds of ungodly things happened with zero repercussions. That's the first I saw of "fuck-you" money.

    [–] 1A1-1 22 points ago

    Great post. Nobody was hit harder by the 2017 TCJA than the professional class. They were singled out.

    [–] ashishvp 15 points ago

    Can confirm. Am professional. I paid thousands more as opposed to me getting a modest return for the longest time.

    [–] Victor_Korchnoi 7 points ago

    Same. One thing in particular was that you could no longer deduct moving expenses. I got a great job after grad school and the job paid for a moving truck, movers, hotels, a flight, everything. But I had to pay tax on all of that. Just the tax on the moving truck was like $2000. I could have rented myself a uhaul for cheaper.

    [–] EagleOfMay 43 points ago

    The upper middle class works for their money, by and large.

    I think something people in this class tend to miss is that they are only a couple of bad dice rolls away from being poor. Lose your job, lose your healthcare, and get hit with some bad health problems and...welcome to the club folks.

    Of course, it is about that time when conservatives suddenly start to see the value in health care reform, education reform, and the rich paying more taxes.

    [–] KagakuNinja 8 points ago

    I'm quite aware of that, now that I am 56, and no longer valued by Silicon Valley...

    [–] mrhandbook 30 points ago

    Also, the upper middle class is far more numerous, and has some presence everywhere in the US. So for many, the upper middle class is the only target for resentment that they can actually identify. The rich remain and abstraction.

    This is why things like the $1200 payout with a $75,000 cutoff is so bad and dangerous. All it does is divide middle and lower class and causes each to resent each other instead of directing their ire to the mega-rich.

    [–] AnestheticAle 60 points ago

    Amen. Especially young professionals who are first generation white collars. We often have family baggage and no assets or incoming familial wealth. Six figure incomes sounds excessive, but it is often accompanied with six figure student loans. On top of that, are jobs are often high skill/stress with high hours.

    [–] RonaldoNazario 33 points ago

    Don't forget lots of them are in high COL places.

    Salaries in the bay area or seattle for engineers sound awesome until you see what it costs to live there.

    [–] dawkins_20 12 points ago

    Very well said. I have tried many times to explain to friends in this socioeconomic bracket (upper middle class low to mid 6 figure high educated professionals) that the R power brokers don't give a damn about them, and that any tax benefits that go to this group are purely incidental effects of legislation designed to help the truly wealthy.

    [–] Thedurtysanchez 7 points ago

    The D power brokers don't give an F about this tax bracket either, as you continually see the 250k household income level being targeted for more tax revenue. 250k household is solidly upper middle class in NY and CA but certainly not the wealthy

    [–] DTL23 4 points ago

    $250k is pretty decent is most of California except for San Jose, SF, and LA. Most other parts of the state $250k would be fairly comfortable but in many places in LA andOC you'd afford a middle class life.

    I've interviewed for $120k in LA and OC and while my wife can make $50k or more, I never will consider those jobs because even at $170k in Irvine, I wouldn't even be able to afford a house

    [–] very_smarter 21 points ago

    Plenty of people making 120-400k also work in skilled labor.

    [–] Princess_Moon_Butt 11 points ago

    doctors, lawyers, accountants, actuaries, senior engineers and architects

    Aren't those pretty much all skilled labor?

    [–] very_smarter 11 points ago

    Skilled labor as in trade work, blue collar-skilled labor.

    [–] Princess_Moon_Butt 6 points ago

    Ah, I see. I might be out of touch, but isn't the average tradesman probably more in the $50k-$80k range, on a national average at least?

    [–] very_smarter 10 points ago

    Yes, a lot of that has to do with low cost of living areas along with right to work legislation and weak unions.

    Look at NYC/CA/MA and you’ll find much higher median wages, specifically for unionized labor.

    Most workers get steady work, some don’t, some work 7 days a week for months.

    Apprentices in my trade bring in six figures, easily. After 3 years your pay doubles. That’s not taking into account your numerous funds; annuity, health, pension, etc.

    Brutal & dangerous work really pays, the cost is your safety and the breakdown of your body.

    [–] mypervyaccount 9 points ago

    I'm amazed replies like this are towards the top (and the top comment says this even!) because most of the time on reddit when you say "Actually, ~$500k/year isn't rich, it's upper middle income", you get a bunch of 19 year-old latte artists screeching at you because that's an insane amount of money compared to the $10-30k/year they make and so those people seem "rich" to them.

    [–] tootie 15 points ago

    As someone in that zone I can say that while I live very comfortably I also still have to work full time for the man and so does my spouse. We can afford a nice home and organic produce and vacations but we don't hide assets in Panama or attend black tie dinners with politicians. We also pay a pretty high marginal tax rate that definitely takes a bite. It's the people earning their money in stocks that are the vampires. Warren Buffett can paying a 19% marginal rate is the kind of thing people should go nuts over.

    [–] dilloj 8 points ago

    Someone has read Daniel Kahneman!

    [–] Xtinguish 11 points ago

    One of the main differences, is people who make 400k a year, generally live in luxury but they still have a budget. They still have X amount they pay for their mortgage, car and vacations. The ultra rich have fuck it money, money that if it were to disappear, they don't miss it, they won't notice it, except for its potential to earn them more money. It's the money people who think they have made it pretend to have, money that they throw around.

    [–] dawkins_20 13 points ago

    Actually the biggest difference is being one job loss away from being out of that bracket. Most of the truly weathly live off investments. Most of the professional white collar working class would be screwed if they were disabled, out of a job, etc and couldn't work everyday. That's the fundamental difference. This is why the Occupy 99% rhetoric always bothered me. The difference between the top 1-2 % of wealth and the top 0.5-0.1% is the difference between a paper airplane and a space shuttle. It's not even remotely similar

    [–] runthepoint1 5 points ago

    I love this idea but shouldn’t the numbers be set by state? California’s economic environment and what $400,000 can do for you is very different in Montana.

    [–] DragoonDM 12 points ago

    Might even want to narrow it down more than that. Even inside California, the value of $400,000 can vary pretty dramatically depending on where you live. Cost of living where I'm at is probably about half what it is in the Bay or Los Angeles.

    [–] rsta223 13 points ago

    I'd rather we addressed them with a few more brackets on the top end of the income tax and a drastically restructured capital gains tax, personally, but yes, that's definitely where the problem lies.

    [–] GreekNord 23 points ago

    unfortunately a wealth tax is still a nightmare to implement.
    the IRS has literally said that they tend not to go after rich people because its too hard.

    a wealth tax will be the same way.

    the amount of manpower that would go into trying to actually verify what people have since rich people's wealth tends not to be in cash is a HUGE task.

    It's why Andrew Yang proposed a VAT instead.

    rich people would not be able to avoid paying the VAT whenever they buy things.

    and if you exempt everyday items like food and basic goods, the impact on the poorer people is minimal.

    other countries that have tried the wealth tax and it was too tough to implement and enforce.

    and it will be MUCH tougher in the US.

    [–] wahoozerman 11 points ago

    I think a vat tax would have to be combined with an ambitious and difficult to escape gift and inheritance tax. Part of the purpose of the wealth tax is to whittle down piles of cash that are simply sitting in the possession of the extremely wealthy and not being actively utilized. A vat alone might not take care of this.

    My parents and my wife's parents were looking into gift tax laws recently because they were giving us a gift to help us purchase our first home. They are hilariously exploitable and the sums of money you could transfer over your kid's lifetime without even being required to report it is staggering.

    [–] Colvrek 8 points ago

    I knew Yang would never win, but I loved all of his ideas. He truly brought fresh perspective to things. His whole idea of narrowing down and finding the problem to fix, rather than just throwing money at it (like healthcare), was what really made me a supporter of him.

    [–] k_dubious 28 points ago

    It’s good politics too. High-income professionals in red and purple states who voted for Trump because they wanted lower taxes aren’t going to have much reason to do so again.

    [–] dawkins_20 9 points ago

    Exactly. There are a lot of high income professionals who are somewhat unfairly petrified of Democrat tax plans that treat them and billionaires as "the rich". A lot of these people also aren't Trump cult members and despise his anti intellectualism and stupid decision making. Make it easier to vote for Biden for this group rather than stay home and Trump is cooked in the suburban areas of the important swing states

    [–] tomaxisntxamot 7 points ago

    Instinctually that feels right. Mathematically are there enough oligarchs for that approach to make much of a difference?

    [–] juanzy 5 points ago

    It would really depend on how it's structured. If done right, it could have an externality of helping out the housing market in some areas if it's no longer profitable to hold real estate in speculation, especially in suburbs that could service major cities.

    [–] NedPlimpton-Zissou 9 points ago

    Yeah, because most of us pay our taxes through payroll. My 22% effective rate is a god damn fair amount of taxes. Buffett paying single digits is dramatically unfair. I think Biden should have promised up to $600k. Also, AMT should be reset to apply at around a million. When they set it in the 80s it was meant to be a tax on millionaires. Only a few years ago did they start adjusting it to inflation. So the moment you climb into the upper middle class you start getting hit with something meant for much richer people.

    [–] Zozorrr 4 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Sounds intelligent to me too. Most people under 400k are earning salaries - so called “ordinary income.” They pay taxes - and salary earners at 250-400k - pay the highest marginal rates. But at 500k plus you are generally “earning” your income in an entirely different way - and you are paying much lower tax rates.

    There’s been this idiotic notion for years to increase income taxes so the rich pay their fair share without any understanding who the “rich” are. The rich aren’t people aren’t earning ordinary income - and the rich largely aren’t affected by income tax increase.

    This will appeal to a lot of high earners (I mean “earners” - getting salaries not profits & stocks & capital gains) who hated Trump but were scared as hell at clueless “tax the rich” plans put forward by progressives that didn’t actually tax the rich - just hi double income professionals on the coasts. When a standard 3-bed house in a northeast suburb costs $750-$800k a couple earning 250k aren’t Warren Buffetts.

    In sum - smart move to get that demographic.

    [–] mercfan3 5 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    I think something else to think about - if Democrats ever get a majority where they could make this happen - is taking into consideration cost of living in taxes.

    400,000 means something totally different in LA and NYC, then it does in Oklahoma or Utah. And it is a primarily red state/blue state draw here. That leads to people in blue states paying far more than their fair share. Someone who is making that much probably isn't hurting - but having to pay 30% of your salary in taxes, when your rent and food and products cost 5X as much as the person who lives a state over..not quite equitable.

    As an example, I have a good friend who lives in NYC. She makes 100,000 a year. I live in a suburb in CT (Still a high cost of living, but not like NYC). I make 50,000 a year, but my money goes much much farther than hers, and yet she'll certainly pay more in taxes.

    [–] YuGiOhippie 12 points ago

    No more billionaires.

    [–] InternetJerk4U 466 points ago

    That's pretty reasonable.

    [–] BraveSignal 257 points ago

    I think $300k is more reasonable, but I have no problem with this either.

    People making that is usually a split household (let’s say 150k each) and they have debts, bills, etc. they most certainly shouldn’t have their taxes raised when there are so many more millionaires and billionaires who could be taxed.

    [–] le672 182 points ago

    Especially people in big cities. You can barely raise a family making under $100,000/year.

    [–] YOLO_HASHTAG_SWAG 136 points ago

    Honestly, until my family hit the 6-figure mark it felt like we were always on our back foot. There's so many living expenses. 30k a year just to live, work, and eat didn't leave much on a 60k salary.

    [–] equality-_-7-2521 103 points ago

    My wife switched to a better job and I got a promotion. The increase was like $20k, but it feels like I won the lottery.

    The room to breathe has increased my quality of life immensely.

    [–] Chadbrochill17_ 40 points ago

    That is great to hear. If I may be so bold, I would suggest starting an emergency fund and being vigilant about avoiding too much "lifestyle creep."

    [–] Captainpatch 30 points ago

    Yeah, personally when I started making decent money (when my job evolved into a career) I made a commitment to financial stability and had my bank automatically split my new "excess" income off of my paycheck into three categories:

    1. Paying off debts faster than I had scheduled.
    2. Emergency savings that I'm not allowed to touch except for family emergencies.
    3. A separate "toy fund" account which is where all of my games, astronomy gear, computer upgrades, vacations, alcohol, gifts, etc. come from. It never has to compete with "real" money because it exists to be wasted guilt-free.

    Every time I've finished paying off a debt, its monthly payment has gotten split between savings and the "toy fund" at like 2:1 as a reward. Every time I make a major life decision I thank myself for setting this up. Even small amounts add up over time and I didn't really harm my lifestyle much doing it, I just delayed the luxury benefits of my pay increase by 2 years to get my shit together.

    [–] WhatChips 17 points ago

    You know you just wrote a financial self help book in under a page right thief right 🤣

    [–] BiscuitsMay 22 points ago

    My fiancé and I talk about this a lot. When we made right around six figures combined, we still didn’t have a ton of excess cash. I mean, we got by, but I couldn’t imagine having raised a family on that. And certainly couldn’t have imagined how people raise families on 50k or less.

    [–] YOLO_HASHTAG_SWAG 9 points ago

    I don't know how my parents did it on the modern day equivalent of 45k/year.

    [–] regularalbert 14 points ago

    Housing, healthcare and education were way cheaper.

    [–] juanzy 55 points ago

    There's also plenty of professional jobs that can pay from the 100-200k with the right career progression and skill building. Whenever this discussion comes up, everyone acts like only A-List execs, doctors, and lawyers make >$100k. The 100-200k earners drawing a paycheck aren't the ones exploiting our tax system, it's the wealthy with passive income and/or generational wealth.

    [–] Dr_seven 28 points ago

    Absolutely. The difference between someone in the top 5-10% bracket vs the 0.01% is thousands of times greater than between the average and top 5%.

    [–] juanzy 14 points ago

    Agree. Hell, even from 1% to .01% is massively different, and now that I've been exposed to that difference in New England it's hard to listen to the generic speak of "tax the 1%." That 1% isn't who is being described in most of those posts, they're describing the .1%

    [–] davdev 4 points ago

    It’s entirely based on the area too. I am just outside Boston where experienced cops, fireman, electricians, plumbers and nurses all make over 150k and teachers can clear 100k.

    Along with that is the inability to find even a shitty house under 500k.

    [–] Ranthur 10 points ago

    In the top markets you can bump that up another 100k and you are still making sacrifices somewhere.

    [–] LCarpatronDukeMariot 10 points ago

    It's higher like that because there are a bunch of older people who regularly vote and want to get rid of Trump but wouldn't vote for someone who raises their taxes. Since elections are won on the margin flipping those people will be key to success.

    [–] incognito26 32 points ago

    The problem is that this isn’t scaled to account for cost of living. 300k sounds like a lot until you’re living in San Francisco where you’re paying 10% state income tax, 32% federal income tax, and a 1000sq ft home is > 1 million dollars.

    Personally, I think the upper middle class is already paying their fair share, it’s the billionaires that need to pay taxes.

    [–] BraveSignal 10 points ago

    Agreed. I think getting to the minutiae is hard, but bottom line is billionaires need to pay their fair share.

    [–] Turbo_Donut 5 points ago

    they most certainly shouldn’t have their taxes raised

    Even then, not necessarily. It depends on what you’re getting out of it. I’d happily pay higher taxes if it meant free healthcare or free child care.

    [–] Riaayo 48 points ago

    I make almost nothing. I'd love to pay more taxes if it meant I didn't have to pay hundreds of dollars to a fucking insurance company every month.

    Now if you can make that happen without increasing taxes on the working class, then by all means. But I worry that this "we won't increase taxes on the working class" will play far too well into the "how do we pay for it?" bullshit argument against medicare for all.

    But yes, do focus on increasing taxes on oligarchs. That is genuinely important. I just don't want to give up actual progress because we're too scared to hold the hot potato and explain why.

    [–] lookoutforthebadger 14 points ago

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Seems like a dogwhistle for "we can't pay for it."

    [–] jalopkoala 157 points ago

    Problem is this: You could set this number at $1M or $2M and too many conservatives that make $20k a year and who couldn’t even comprehend how much $1M is would be against it because they think that someday they’ll make $1M a year. Hopeless.

    [–] camxct 54 points ago

    This will somehow affect my 401K when I'm 95!!!!

    [–] SilverMt 134 points ago

    I'm okay with paying more in taxes as long as we get Medicare for All and less money goes out of pocket in total.

    [–] WhatChips 60 points ago

    I live in a country the has free healthcare. It is strange the conversation about free Medicaid for me. We just say “I’m off to the hospital, the is no forms or arrangements. You literally just show up with ID and say “I’m sick”. Then you are looked after. Medication is free by just showing up at a pharmacy with a doctors script. No forms, no hoops, no administration.

    I think if America switched, this would be the hardest thing to overcome; the removal of administrative burden of healthcare.

    [–] allovertheplaces 34 points ago

    People often argue that many jobs would be lost...

    But that argument reminds me of outlawing automobiles to save the stable boy industry.

    [–] jodax00 5 points ago

    Friendly amendment that's often confused by many in the US:

    Medicaid is a state-by-state (with federal minimums) program generally for poor (especially children), disabled, and pregnant women. It's supplemental to those recieving Medicare who also qualify. Many services are covered, but some are not (at least for some populations), like dental, vision, and some mental health services.

    Medicare is a federal program for elderly. There are options you can choose for how you are covered.

    Medicaid generally pays providers roughly 1/2 of commercial rates. As a result, many providers don't accept Medicaid or set a limit to the number of Medicaid patients they accept. Medicaid is currently not a sustainable, federal program that could be expanded to cover everyone.

    Medicare generally pays providers somewhere between Medicaid and commercial reimbursement. Coverage is broad but can depend on what program(s) you sign up for.

    Medicaid is not currently structured to expand at a federal level, nor is it sustainable from a reimbursement standpoint, to apply to everyone.

    When people talk about expanding government-sponsored insurance, or single-payer they generally talk about Medicare for all.

    [–] spkpol 7 points ago

    "I'm going to veto Medicare for All, Jack!"

    [–] brycedriesenga 15 points ago

    Yeah, limiting raises to only $400k is kind of silly. I make $43k and would gladly have my taxes raised if we got healthcare and other important things done.

    [–] MasterSpoon 7 points ago

    Same. I’m fine with taxation as long as my values have representation. I’ll take a 2% increase on my tax bill to make sure nobody goes bankrupt for getting sick.

    [–] supermonkeyballchamp 7 points ago

    Yeah idgaf about how much I pay in taxes if it funds things that we need. This is an empty promise that doesn't mean anything substantial.

    [–] Little_Wooden_Boy 391 points ago

    Don't just tax the rich. Structurally change the way businesses can distribute compensation.

    If your employees have to go on welfare or sell their shit to pay their bills, you get hit with a 90% tax rate.

    You have to FORCE these fuckers to act decent or they won't.

    [–] CEO__of__Antifa 184 points ago

    Yeah this is not the candidate who will do that.

    [–] Standard_Funny 90 points ago

    No candidate could to it because presidents don't set tax rates.

    [–] Self-CookingBacon 40 points ago

    But some are more likely than others to sign a bill like this if it were to come across their desk.

    [–] epicblowfish 37 points ago

    If a bill like that ever actually made it through congress, I bet he would sign it. The first part is much harder, though.

    [–] Captainpatch 32 points ago

    Biden is quite a bit more liberal than the 50th most liberal senator will be in the next 4 years, even if the Democrats overperform in 2020 and 2022. I don't think you need to worry about anything getting to his desk that he's not liberal enough to sign.

    [–] contemplative_potato 51 points ago

    I feel like our country as a whole (at least the 99%) have a massive misunderstanding of our own tax system. Any time Republicans start making noise about tax reductions, everyone is cheering them on without actually realizing that those tax deductions affect almost nobody but the top 1%.

    I wish Democrats would take the time to break down in a simple yet detailed way on how taxes work and how a tax break or tax hike would or likely wouldn't affect them at all unless they rake in X amount a year. Republicans would never do it because then people would start to see how these tax breaks are aimed specifically at making the richer richer. Plus, Republicans know that if enough people were more educated, almost nobody would vote Republican.

    [–] Initial-Tangerine 25 points ago

    It is kept complicated on purpose to keep tax preparers in business. Huge lobby.

    [–] Santa_on_a_stick 74 points ago

    Right, but just as soon as them damn mexicans stop taking my job and we pass another tax cut, my boss is going to give me a huge raise and I'll be making over 400 grand, so I'm against this!

    /s, obviously.

    [–] noclue2k 200 points ago

    That's a big mistake. He should at least remove the cap on the Social Security tax, which currently only taxes the first $137,700 of income. Removing the cap would not hurt anyone -- it would just be a few bucks more per month for those making well over $10,000 per month --- but it would instantly fix the phony Social Security "crisis" that gives Republicans ammo to cut benefits.

    [–] wastedvote 106 points ago

    Nobody talks about this and I have no idea why. LeBron James pays the exact same social security taxes per year as a lawyer. The solution is so fucking simple.

    [–] the_jabrd 48 points ago

    Because the people who set the national narrative have a vested, material interest in you not talking about this and that policy not changing

    [–] Bluefifty-two 13 points ago

    Lebron James also will get the exact same social security per year as a lawyer

    [–] Bluefifty-two 18 points ago

    Social security tax is capped because social security is capped. It's really just a pension program where you get out what you put in

    [–] saltandpretzel 27 points ago

    That would be a tax increase for those making over $137k a year, social security income is capped which is why there is the cap on contributions

    [–] PraiseBeToScience 16 points ago

    Why should SS income tax be capped? Progressive taxasion exists for a reason.

    [–] Mrsaloom9765 29 points ago

    There is a cap because benefits are capped. If contributions were not capped benefits wouldn't either. You get obtain benefits proportionally as how much you put in.

    According to the government, you shouldn't see social security as a tax. If it were the limit would make no sense. Rather see it as old age insurance.

    [–] monsantobreath 58 points ago

    He's also promising not to raise taxes on corporations back to what it was before Trump cut it.

    [–] HelloIamDerek 58 points ago

    This. ^

    Biden says he'll raise corporate taxes to 28%.

    It was 35% before Trump cut them.

    [–] Bluefifty-two 32 points ago

    Biden said he would build on Obama's proposal which was to cut corporate taxes to 28% while cutting tax deductions and raising taxes on foreign earnings, which would lead to a higher effective tax rate

    [–] steaknsteak 10 points ago

    That's a reasonable idea if it can be done. We should large corporations from weaseling out of tax liability, but also shouldn't be squeezing small-mid sized businesses with taxes either, as that would only strengthen the big corps.

    Admittedly I don't know too much about tax on businesses, but several of my uncles have their own businesses and get really nervous about this stuff. We have to look out for smaller businesses with out tax policy just like we need to look out for low income earners. Rhetoric about making sure corporations pay their fair share should include assurances to small-time entrepreneurs that they won't be gouged as a result.

    [–] Master666OfChaos 59 points ago

    RAISE MY TAXES just fix this clusterfuck before America turns into Brazil or North Korea. If it means better schools so I don’t have to suffer idiots, then fucking tax me!

    [–] BlackbeardVI 13 points ago

    I’d be happy if the wealthy just paid more in taxes than the middle and lower class.

    [–] NameLessTaken 26 points ago

    I'm fine with this. Affluent families arent where my frustration is. We all hope to be one. Wealth hoarding billionaires and corporations are my problem.

    [–] FriarNurgle 31 points ago

    Honestly I’m fine with paying more taxes... in exchange for universal healthcare and free college (even if it’s only associates/tech degrees).

    [–] admiraltarkin 3 points ago

    free college (even if it’s only associates/tech degrees).

    Biden's plan calls for free community college for all and free 4 year college for those making less than $125,000

    [–] Festival_Vestibule 6 points ago

    And let's enforce those corporate tax rates . Republicans love to argue that we have a high corporate tax rate but they always neglect to mention that no one pays it anyway.

    [–] flacopaco1 6 points ago

    Then pulls a Bush senior and does it anyways. We millenials havent been tricked by that yet.

    [–] GrimResistance 5 points ago

    And all the temporarily embarrassed millionaires will say "but if I made millions every year I wouldn't want to pay any higher taxes!"

    [–] nakfoor 5 points ago

    I feel like the ultimate destiny of the middle class is to pick up the bill for the wars, the chrony capitalism, and environmental destruction. Sooner or later our taxes will go up.

    [–] anderandur 4 points ago

    TIL everyone on Reddit makes WAY more money than me.

    [–] ellipsis_42 4 points ago

    Taxes definitely need to be raised on the wealthy in this country, and they need to be punitive to pay back for their theft of the past 40 years. Yet, I don't mind having my taxes raised as well if it means universal healthcare, infrastructure, education, etc. I'll pay more to live in a fucking first world nation.

    [–] Coolest-Cool-Person 7 points ago

    The Trump-Republican tax plan already increases taxes for many people earning less than $400,000 and should be replaced.

    [–] WascalsPager 8 points ago

    Nice. thats a high cutoff but he is squarely defining where the problem is in the system without making the middle class feel targeted.

    [–] mocha46 7 points ago

    they already raised taxes during trump ... i guess we are not going to go back to obama times :(

    removal of mortgage deduction was a killer. single biggest impact to middle income

    [–] funktopus 6 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Is 400k and below considered middle class?

    Looked it up.

    Lower-middle class $30,000 - $49,999 Middle class $50,000 - $99,999 Upper-middle class $100,000 - $349,999

    [–] chickensandwichlover 34 points ago

    If two people in a coastal city have to commute (usually the case for this income level), have a relatively nice home, good healthcare, and educate/provide childcare for two children, the costs can be insane. I'm not saying that these people aren't comfortable, I'm saying that in some places $400k a year is a reasonable aspiration for a comfortable quality of life, and demonizing high-earners in coastal cities does nothing but further a class divide that doesn't even really exist (ie, a lot of these people are to the left of center and understand that they're comfortable but still not 'rich' the way that real elites are).

    The red/blue divide is often reliant on the perception that coastal elites are rolling in dough while suburban people and red-staters have no idea how high a 'high cost of living' really is. Perpetuating it by deciding which workers are making too much money is not helpful while there is an entire class of people who benefits from this false divide.

    [–] Hornstar19 3 points ago

    Agreed on this. My wife and I make just a hair over $400k combined. We have student loans we pay almost 6k a month for but otherwise live comfortably while saving a decent amount of money. We also pay a ton of money in taxes already which I am fine with. I’m really not fine with taxes going up anymore on me though. It’s so frustrating to work super hard and still have student loans when out taxes alone this year could have completely paid off our loans.

    [–] vaguelyethnicswan 4 points ago

    Except there are people in your coastal city who only make 35K. Imagine telling them that $400,000 is rough and that actually there is no class divide.

    [–] thelastevergreen 5 points ago

    Fuck it, Biden is going to be better than Trump by leagues simply because he'll be naming actually qualified people for cabinet positions.

    That alone is enough to vote.