Nobody From Nowhere (@i8dc)

Occasional Common Sense

Tim Kaine Thinks Making $250,000 In Northern Virginia Is Struggling?

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This has been bugging me for a while, but the latest impetus was a discussion about Tim Kaine diverging from President Obama over the income level where the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire. Obama says $250,000, Kaine says $500,000, apparently because $250,000 just isn’t that much income in northern Virginia, a key battleground in his Senate race against George Allen.

“Remember that $250,000, while it may be worth a lot to some folks,” explained National Journal Hotline editor-in-chief Reid Wilson, “to those voters say in the northern Virginia suburbs, it’s not that much money.”

Channeling Sherman T. Potter: “Horse hockey!”

I didn’t find good stats on just how many northern Virginia households make more than $250,000 per year.  Best I could find was the $200,000 threshold; in Arlington County 15.1% of households exceed this level, while in Fairfax and Loudoun it’s 17.4%. Based on another source, it appears that nationally just over half of those making more than $200,000 don’t make more than $250,000, so my quick estimate has about 8.5% of taxpayers in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties making more than $250,000.

In other words, more than 90% of taxpayers in northern Virginia make less than $250,000 per year.

Forbes says the median household income is about $115,000 in Loudoun and Fairfax, the two wealthiest counties in the country. How should we describe residents making more than twice this much?

Why are people afraid to describe taxpayers in the 91st income percentile in the wealthiest counties in America as “rich”?

Lets forget for the moment that deductions and exemptions mean that taxable income of $250,000 means gross income of perhaps $50,000 more. Let’s also forget that the higher rates would only apply to income in excess of $250,000 of taxable income.

Tim Kaine: quit pandering. Don’t feed into the myth that American families making $250,000 in a year aren’t flourishing. With very few exceptions, they are.


Written by David Clayton

July 12, 2012 at 1:15 am

Posted in Debunkery, Punditry

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