We need to take account the actual statistics on income, when using evaluative terms like "rich". If a couple makes $250,000 a year, that puts them in the top 0.001% of the global income range, and places them unarguably among the very richest people in the entire world. To claim that someone at this high a global level of income is not rich is absurd.
At 50K, trying to pay for the mortgage, college, a vehicle, utilities, insurance and food is a major challenge. Those earning 250K definitely have more disposable income that those earning 50K. At 5X the average income, it is rich. The upper income earners just pass the costs on. The trickle-down theory just isn't working.
A guy with $100 million might feel poor or middle class when he thinks of a guy with $1 billion but $100 million is still rich. Same with $250K. Rich is not a feeling; it's a statistic. (Rich is also not an insult.) Being top 2% is rich; the line has to be drawn somewhere. I can accept that income may be the wrong statistic; net worth might be better.
I earn about $80,000 per year and have more than enough for my family. I consider myself very fortunate. People need to learn to live within (or below) their economic means. That may mean a smaller home, public schools, used cars, ect. I know many people who FEEL poor but in reality just don't live within a reasonable budget.
One percent of the population controls ninety percent of the wealth in this nation. I would say that anyone making a six-figure income can be considered rich by comparison.
I think that anyone making over 100 grand a year is quite upper-middle class. I barely make enough to get by, and I cannot imagine how nice it would feel to even live comfortably. Whoever is making $250,000 a year should consider themselves lucky, because I would take that in a heartbeat.
Yes our costs are rising and the price of some items are extraordinary, but there is always someone in worse shape than you. Most Americans do not even get close to half of the amount listed above in a year. Most people even with college degrees do not get close to that amount. The couple making this amount may not be at the top of the class anymore but I believe they are still considered rich by the millions that are making a lot less.
$250,000 is considered to be a lot of money for one couple to make in a year. Considering that the average salary in America is somewhere around $35,000- $38,000 annually, most people would agree that 250k is way above average, even rich. If that couple had 10 children to feed, that would be different, but the average family usually has no more than two.
$250,000 is still a significant amount of money for a couple. With smart savings and moderation, they would still be able to enjoy a nice lifestyle and be in good condition for retirement. People making minimum wage are earning a fifth of this amount. Many people these days are having trouble simply finding or maintaining a steady job in the current job market.
Yes, costs are rising in the world, and a 6 figure salary doesn't mean what it used to. On top of that, lifestyle inflation is increasing the amount we spend even where costs are not increasing. But a person that makes $250,000 a year easily makes enough to provide an extremely high standard of living for themselves and 1 to 3 other people. The word "rich" doesn't have a set definition, but surely someone who can spend more than half of their income on non-necessary ("luxury") goods and services should be considered rich.
I am a physician making $250,000.
Subtract my 33% tax rate drops me down to 167,500.
Subtract Social Security (6.2% for first 113,200 earned = $7,049) leaves me $160,451.
Subtract Medicare (1.45%, $3,625) leaves me $156,826.
Subtract my state income tax (IL 5% or $12,500) leaves me $144,326.
Sounds like a lot right? Okay, well, my student loan payments for the next 20 years are $3,500 a month, or $42,000 a year. That leaves me with $102,326 net before paying for any necessities (food, shelter, clothing, utilities, etc).
Should I get married will I get more back in taxes? No, not when I make $250k. How about kids? Child credit on my tax return…not when making $250k. How about when the kids go to school, tax credit? Not when making $250k.
So I went through college, medical school, and a very hard residency to net $102k a year for the next 20 years...so am I rich? I think not.
There are so many more people who make more than that. Look how much Donald makes, and Romney. It's just there are so many people are richer. $250,000 is just OK and it's not poor, but it's like middle class in my eyes, anything less than that to me is lower class.
With the price of a house going for more than a million, and with the fact that we have to save for our kids' college education which is rising rapidly, I don't think we should be considered rich at all. We don't drive luxury cars, we spend very cautiously so that we can retire comfortably. To tax us more will mean much tighter money when we retire and less money for our kids' education.
People that make $250,000 already pay close to half of their income in taxes. Federal, State, Local, Social Security, Medical...leaves you with $125,000. Family of 5 automatically puts you in a "no financial aid" status for your kids in college.
A house(mortgage), 2 car payments, college, food and you are out of money. People that dont make $250,000 a year or more dont know this because they just have never paid as much in taxes.
Look out when Barry needs more money to feed his crack like spending habits. Soon it will be 200k, then 125K ...look out he is coming for your money too.
The cost of living here is so high and I've got 3 kids. It does not seem fair to tax me the same as someone making $250,000 per year in, say, South Carolina where housing is less than 1/5th the cost. The potential tax should be more thoughtful and consider local cost of living.
A quarter of a million dollars once sounded like a ridiculous yearly sum to me; however, after taxes and the rising cost of living is subtracted from that amount, the remainder is enough to save and have some luxuries only. This is not the definition of rich as far as I'm concerned.
We living in a modest home, driving modest cars one of which is a 2001 model. We save for our retirement so we don't have to rely on SS or any other goverment program. We save for your child collage tuition. We do not have a lot left infact far from being wealthy.
A few people are the doers and a whole lot of people are takers. With the economy what it is today I suppose I understand people's desire to want to make the playing field more level, but the fact of the matter is taxing higher earners doesn't level the field. Those who work hard to achieve good incomes want to provide jobs to other people so they can make good incomes. Adding additional taxes however is not incentive to start or grow a business. Yeah let me go take on more risk and stress so I can pay higher insurance premiums, payroll taxes, 40% business income tax (on top of individual income tax), yes that's right. In fact why don't I just list all of the ways I am taxed.
Federal income tax
State income tax
Local income tax
Employee social security tax
Employee Medicare tax
Road toll charges
State sales tax
Driver's license renewal fee
TV Cable/Satellite fees & taxes
Federal telephone surtax, excise tax, and universal surcharge
State telephone excise tax and surcharge
Telephone minimum usage and recurring/nonrecurring charges tax
Gas/electric bill fees & taxes
Water/sewer fees & taxes
Federal gasoline tax
State gasoline tax
Local gasoline tax
Bridge toll charges
Bike license fee
State park permit
Watercraft registration & licensing fees
Sports stadium tax
Bike/nature trail permit
Individual health insurance mandate tax
Hotel stay tax
Air transportation tax
Electronic transmission of tax return fees
Passport application/renewal fee
Luxury & gas-guzzler car taxes
New car surcharge
License plate and car ownership transfer taxes
State/local school tax
Recreational vehicle tax
Special assessments for road repairs or construction
Gun ownership permit
Kiddie tax (IRS form 8615)
Fuel gross receipts tax
Waste Management tax
Oil and gas assessment tax
Use taxes (on out-of-state purchase)
IRA rollover tax/withdrawal penalties
Tax on non-qualified health saving account distributions
Individual and small business surtax (page 336 of Obamacare)
Estimated income tax underpayment penalty
Alternative Minimum Tax on income
Business Taxes & Fees
Federal corporate income tax
State corporate income tax
Tax registration fee for new businesses
Employer social security tax
Employer Medicare tax
Federal unemployment tax
State unemployment tax
Business registration renewal tax
Worker's compensation tax
Tax on imported/exported goods
Oil storage/inspection fees
Employer health insurance mandate tax
Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (page 2001/Sec. 9007 of Obamacare)
Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Page 2010/Sec. 9008 of Obamacare)
Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers (Page 2020/Sec. 9009 of Obamacare)
Tax on Health Insurers (Page 2026/Sec. 9010 of Obamacare)
Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, i.e. "Cadillac" plans
Tax on indoor tanning services
Utility users tax
Internet transaction fee (passed in California; being considered in other states and at federal level)
Professional license fee (accountants, lawyers, barbers, dentists, plumbers, etc.)
Franchise business tax
Tourism and concession license fee
Wiring inspection fees
Household employment tax
Biodiesel fuel tax
FDIC tax (insurance premium on bank deposits)
Electronic waste recycling fee
Hazardous material disposal fee
Food & beverage license fee
Estimated income tax underpayment penalty
Fire inspection fee
Well permit tax
Sales and Use tax seller's permit
Commercial driver's license fee
Bank ATM transaction tax
Occupation taxes and fees (annual charges required for a host of professions)
There are probably more than this, but anybody with a brain should be able to get it now. There is a disincentive for people to earn more money and create more jobs. Quite frankly the money can't go to more taxes, and new jobs, because there isn't that much to go around. I guess we could raise prices to cover it all, but oh wait if we do that we won't be competitive anymore, and we will go out of business, and then no one has a job. Anyone not getting it by now is just too damn dumb. People stop letting your emotions drive your philosophy, and apply a little logic. The answer truly lies in logic. That is a fact.
My husband and I broke the $250 this year, but it actually cost us more due to the higher taxes. Are we rich? I sure don't think so. I'm unemployed with the student loan debt from a Master's degree. My husband is working 70+ hours a week just to keep his job. I clip coupons and even jump into recycle bins to pull out extras, mystery shop to get a little extra cash, and take online surveys just to help pay bills. We shop at TJ Maxx, drive non-luxury vehicles that are both over 6 yrs. old, don't have a fully furnished house, don't have smartphone, and live in a house under 1500 sf. We don't worry about money, but I scrimp and save on everything from the electric bills to groceries so that we can pay our bills, save for retirement, and donate to charity. We don't eat out, buy extravagant things, or even anything full price. It may be rich in comparison to the world as a whole, but if you think someone making this never thinks about money, you're way off. $250,000 after taxes pays the bills and allows you to buy the necessities, but not without pinching pennies and making a lot of sacrifices.
We recently reached this amount, but with the cost of everything else we have to pay for just to have a normal house in a normal community it really doesn't seem like that much any more for a couple. And we don't live in an expensive area like New York City or California. I can't imagine what you would need to feel rich there.