BusinessWeek‘s June 16 issue has a story on the “not-so-rich” rich. It asks “Just what does it mean to be wealthy these days? … Many facing higher taxes [if Barack Obama is elected president] don’t consider themselves part of the exalted crowd. They have good incomes, to be sure, particularly compared with the median household income of $48,200. Of the 149 million households filing federal income taxes for 2006, some 3% reported income between $200,000 and $500,000; fewer than 1% claimed income above half a million dollars.” The article goes on to cite comments by a few others in this income range who say they feel “stretched” and “middle class at best.”
It would help to have a sense of what a household budget at this income level might look like. Here’s an attempt at one. I assume two employed adults and two preschool-age children. I use a pretax income of $300,000, which comes to $25,000 a month.
A lot of this — loan payments, property taxes, savings, child care expenses, and others — will vary depending on household circumstances. But are there any significant errors or omissions here?
Calculations by the Tax Policy Center suggest that Obama’s plan would increase taxes for this type of family by perhaps $6,000 a year, or $500 per month (about 2% of pretax income). Is that too much to ask? You be the judge.