Are You Rich? If You Live Paycheck to Paycheck, There’s a Good Chance the Clinton Administration Thinks So

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:

  • 8.1 federal, state and local government workers
  • 2.4 million elementary and high school teachers
  • 1.7 million union members
  • 4.2 million mechanics, repairmen, and construction workers

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!

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.