I'm not a big tax fan. In fact, I am probably one of those individuals opposed to any tax hikes....on me. When the first proposed tax hike on households with $250,000 of income was brought by President Obama, I was wildly opposed to it. Our data at Spectrem Group shows that there are almost 40 million households that could be hit by that tax. As one of those households...just barely...I know that paying more taxes would be a killer. Let's face it. A household that makes $250,000 annually doesn't get any breaks. We can't hire the fancy lawyers to find loopholes. We don't qualify for any financial aid for college and unlike most, we have to pay the full tuition. In New York City, for example, a family that makes $250,000 annually could include a policeman and a schoolteacher. Not because they are overpaid....it just reflects the cost of living.
Now you may think that I am one of the prissy people who makes a lot of money and that I am complaining. I don't feel that way. We have a two income household. My husband and I both work a significant number of hours and balance that with our family and household chores. I paid most of my own way through college, graduating with significant debt, which took me about ten years to pay off. I worked two jobs all through college and graduate school. For me, my goal was to provide my own kids with the best education I can afford.
It is really frustrating to me that I can barely afford the two college tuitions I will soon be paying. I have two more following soon after. Once you factor in tuition, housing and travel, you need to estimate about $50,000 per child annually because we receive no financial aid. Home equity loans are no longer an option because banks don't want to make loans on falling property values. If you are paying $100,000 of tuition annually, $251,000 doesn't go too far. Taxes are already one third of that, leaving less than $100,000 to live on. Virtually no retirement savings will be left. Sorry, I didn't go to school for 7 years and then work 60 hours/week for many years to be in this position. If I have to shoulder more of the burden, everyone should.
But now that I have had my chance to complain, I can say that I don't oppose the Warren Buffett's of the world paying more tax. It makes me feel a little shallow, however. If you believe in a principal, you should believe in it for everyone, not just yourself.
I guess what I really believe is that we should cut out the numerous duplicative agencies that were uncovered in a recent CBO study. We should realistically raise the age for Social Security for those who are under the age of 55. We should cut out giving money to companies that haven't proven they are viable - such as Solyndra. And maybe everyone (OMG!!!) should pay some amount of taxes. Maybe everyone (OMG!!) should try to get a job. I know that the McDonald's across from my office is always hiring.
(Posted a Help Wanted ad for a position in my company and very few responses. Where are those 14 million people looking for jobs? Are they all waiting for unemployment to be extended again?)
Once we do all of that, I am even more OK with Mr. Buffett and his friends picking up the excess.