Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Define Rich

This is a question from the night with Rick Warren that could have been answered in any number of ways. For Obama, the magic number seems to fall somewhere in the $250,000/year salary area, a far stretch for most Americans is my guess. I was listening carefully to his answer, though, because he often talks about two numbers, the aforementioned one and another somewhere in the "below $100,000" range. The haunting question in my mind.... what about the in between? It has been this vacuous area that he fails to talk about.

McCain answered this question in an odd sort of way, not so much defining "rich" but talking about his philosophy of taxing. Basically, if you earn it, it's yours and the less of it you give to the government, the better! He then threw out a number, $5 million/year, and quipped about that comment being blown out of proportion. It was an interesting answer, to say the least.

In relation to the discussion of riches and taxes, I'm recalling a conversation with some folks we met at the beach as well as my sister-in-law, who is a social worker. I'm really starting to see that the solution to many of the social issues today is not higher taxes and more programs, but a complete social welfare reform. If we keep pouring money into the existing system, we're just creating a larger problem than joblessness (often caused by a cap on earning to receive aid), housing (which many time involves a lower income to qualify) and extreme poverty (which is cyclical based on above mentioned issues). That's way oversimplified, but the issue at hand cannot in any way, shape or form be solved by raising taxes and paying more into broken systems.

So, the vacuous salary range?? I found this article yesterday that might answer my question, if only I understood it! YIKES!!! Some scary stuff, if I'm reading it correctly. I'm not the best person to be talking economics, which is so not my forte. But reading this article really made me nervous for many reasons. I call for "no taxation without reformation"!

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