Next time you hear President Clinton and his allies claim that conservatives
only want to help the rich, keep in mind whom they consider to be "rich."
The way the Administration sees things, the ranks of the "rich" include:
How does the Administration reach this conclusion?
First, they decided that any household with an income of more than $70,000 is "rich."
Second, they decided that funds American families can't actually spend should be counted to reach $70,000.
For example, they estimated how much the typical American family's home
would rent for if the family vacated it, and counted this amount as "imputed
rent on owner-occupied housing." (Never mind that few American families
thrive living in the streets.) They also counted IRA and Keogh retirement
plan deductions, added Social Security and welfare payments, estimated the
cash value of employer-provided fringe benefits and pensions, and determined
the value of life insurance plans. For good measure they tossed in some
extra income they figure Americans are getting but are not reporting.
By the time the Administration is done cooking the books, millions of American families -- many of which may well be living paycheck-to-paycheck or close to it -- are suddenly "rich."
So the next time the Clinton Administration says conservatives want tax policies to provide relief to the "rich," -- we say: good. People living paycheck-to-paycheck, "rich" or not, need tax relief!
Source for figures: U.S. House Majority Leader's Office and U.S. House Republican Conference, July 1997
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